There are a number of stories that include Coyote being killed, then jumping over his own corpse three times and rising again. This morning I imagined the coyote on Route 62 waiting impatiently for the traffic to subside so that he could do so without anyone watching. I know better. I’m an empirical materialist and I find immense solace in it. No meaning, no morals, the mere existence of unlikely consciousness in a physical universe a phenomenal stroke of luck that should awe each of us every moment for every moment of our participation in it. I don’t need pretend mythical Coyotes inhabiting my cerebellum. I know they don’t exist and I have chosen to populate my version of the world with them despite that fact.
Life is fragile. You and I are living lives just as precarious as those people who got swept away into the ocean last week. We just fool ourselves into believing otherwise.But that’s not a reason to live in fear. Life is a terminal disease. Shunryu Suzuki Roshi said that life is like going out on a boat that heads off into the sea and then begins to sink. Yet somehow he managed to find a kind of joy and beauty in that. In fact, it is the precariousness of life that makes beauty and joy possible.