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We can cure the disease of intolerance. We must do it if the world is to survive. No us. No them. Just we. --Steve Goodier

Pass It Along: A Luthier Shares a Song

--by Fabrizio Alberico, syndicated from servicespace.org, Nov 14, 2017

Below is the transcribed version of Fabrizio Alberico's share at an Awakin Circle in California in 2017.

Every time that we breathe, we are exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide. What exactly is that carbon dioxide? Those are little pieces of us, little burnt up pieces of us that we don't need anymore. We send them out there with every breath.

Few years ago, Tyler Volk at New York University wanted to figure out exactly how many carbon atoms do we release with every exhale? Turns out to be a half a billion trillion carbon atoms with each exhale. That's a five followed by 20 zeroes. That's a lot of little pieces of us that we breathe out every single exhale, right?

So then the next step was for him to figure out, "Okay, so how far do these travel, and then how far do I need to travel to encounter one of these carbon atoms once again?"

Long story short, it turns out that no matter where you go in the world -- Antarctica, North Pole, Africa, you name it -- every meter sphere of air around you contains 50 carbon atoms from each one of your exhales over the last year. That's worth a pause. 50 carbon atoms from each one of your exhales over the last year will greet you no matter where you go on Planet Earth.

That means we're touching everybody else's carbon atoms too. Interconnectedness is not an abstract concept. It's very, very real. There is not a blade of grass on this Earth that does not contain thousands of your carbon atoms. There's not a blade of grass on this Earth that does not contain thousands of the atoms that used to make up the Buddha's body or Jesus or Gandhi or Genghis Khan or Hitler or Mozart or Bach.

So what happens to those carbon atoms? They get absorbed by trees, which produce food for us to eat, through which we re-ingest those carbon atoms once again -- and the cycle continues.

Some of those carbon atoms are used for creating the structure that those plants will use to provide us sustenance, and some of those structures are wood. Wood on this guitar came from a 400 year-old tree, so if I were to pick up this guitar and play Bach, I would literally be playing Bach on my guitar!

We are constantly renewing ourselves, with every single breath. 97% of the atoms in my body right now are from the last year. A few of them persists a little deeper in the body, but generally every seven years, we're just brand new creatures.

Everything is impermanent, and each one of us is just temporary concentrations of carbon atoms.

When these carbon atoms, animated by a consciousness and an energy, leave our bodies, does consciousness leave it? I don't know. It's a bit of a mystery. But I like to think that every time that we breathe out, if we send out an intention, a positive intention about someone having a nice day, maybe creates a ripple effect.

In that spirit, the song I'd like to offer today is Pass it Along. It was written by a friend of mine, Scott Cook up in Canada:

This guitar came from a timber, from the body of a tree
Through the workshop of a luthier, now it's on loan to me
And it's good company after dinner, and it fits my hands just fine
But some day another singer with a pair of hands like mine
Will coax out songs much prettier still hiding in its strings
And sing stronger, braver words than I could ever sing
And folks are gonna love it, of this I'm almost sure
So I'll take good care of it, cause I'm borrowing it from her

Pass it along, pass it along
May it land in careful hands when we're gone
You carry it for a moment
But time won't loan it to you for long
You don't own it, pass it along

This here is my country, sometimes it's hard to recognize it
But I count myself lucky, to have been born inside it
And I'm grateful for the rights others struggled hard to win
And you can be sure I'm gonna fight when they try to take 'em back again
Oh, and everywhere are teachers, though some fell along the way
The words they said still reach us, just like you're teaching me here today
And you may not speak it loud, but it's clear in what you do
And I hope to make you proud, because I borrowed it from you

Seems these days we're in a hurry, to grab up all that's left to use
Putting patents on discovery, making seeds that don't reproduce
If our vision is so narrow, seeing only bought and sold
We'll end up like the pharaohs, buried with their gold
We've all pushed this thing along, we've all been guided by our fear
But the river sings a song we've gotta be quieter to hear
It's in every child's face, new and hopeful as a stem
Best be gentle with this place, cause we're borrowing it from them

This article is syndicated from ServiceSpace, an all-volunteer-run  global platform founded on the principle of "Change Yourself. Change the World."  Fabrizio Alberico is a luthier, yoga teacher and volunteer with ServiceSpace. 


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