It is difficult for most people to break down, for fear that they are broken. If you let one tear slide, forget it. It’s over. It’s best to cover up and cloak over.
It is difficult for most people to accept embarrassment, for fear that their story is not acceptable. If you tell one bad joke, forget it. Tomatoes are on the way. It’s best not be there when it happens.
It is difficult for most people to dispose their old patterns of thinking, for fear it has become a maze. If you can’t find your way out, forget it. It’s time to give up. Best to accept what you already know.
But I learned about nurdles this week. If you don’t know what they are, do not fear. Neither did I. They are tiny pieces of plastic, microbeads of its former self, whatever kind of toy or water bottle or disposable spoon it used to be. And nurdles, are the No. 1 pollutant that washes up on New Jersey’s coast. It is also part of the 60-80 percent of plastic that pollutes our oceans across the world.
When plastic breaks down by chemical processes and physical elements (like waves and sunlight), it breaks into tiny pieces and releases toxins. Every time it breaks down further, more and more toxins release, which means more and more pollution for everyone, including our grandmothers and our wildlife. Just try putting it all back together. Impossible. There are too many pieces. Breaking everywhere and all the time. Forget it.
Is this what happens when we break down? When we shed a tear? When we get embarrassed? When we dispose of old patterns of thinking? If you’re scared it might pollute you, maybe you’re right. It will. Best to steer clear.
But maybe it’s best to imagine these human break downs and disposals as a natural process, with chemicals and elements. Chipping away at the plastic shells of our emotions and releasing microbeads of our former selves into the openness of humanity. It is so spacious there. Expansive with fresh air that will carry our bits and pieces into the clouds, where it will be transformed and recycled when it rains.
That’s why it rains.
Not because water carries things, like nurdles and other pollutants, but because it washes clean. There is nothing left to fear. Remember that. It is best to just let it go.