Dirt Part 1: I'm a Dirt Bag and So Are You
I had been thinking a lot about dirt because I had been reading the Bible and in it I found something in Genesis about dirt and that's just the way things go I suppose.
But back to that in a minute.
First, let’s look at some background of that book, Genesis, where the dirt realization stemmed from.
Genesis means the origins of something to us English speaking folk. It’s the foundation to the rest of the trajectory a story will take.
The “genesis” of something is where that something comes from. It’s an explanation of first cause.
Whether it be origins of the universe or family lineage, the beginning is known as the genesis.
The genesis we find in the Bible is a book that to some is seen as scientific fact.
And to others it’s simply fairytale or folklore.
I prefer the third way of looking at it… poetry or transrational truth or metaphoric messaging.
I see Genesis as an insight into our origins. It tells the story of humanities beginnings being housed in a place of love.
Seeing as the stories and texts of Genesis were not written until many hundreds of years after they would have “literally” happened, viewing them as objective fact seems to have never really been the point.
The author or authors of the texts found in Genesis probably lived around the year 1300 B.C.E. The stories told in the book stem over a thousand years before that.
The “genesis” or origins of these stories likely come from tales spoken around the campfires had by the Hebrew people.
They’d tell the tales about where they had come from. Similar to the folklore used by every early culture since the dawn of time.
The story telling that Genesis comes from adheres to reasoning that wasn’t trying to prove, but rather trying to explain. And that’s a very key difference.
Proving is looking at something with objective fact. It’s categorized by magnifying glasses.
Explaining something is looking at something in wonder. It’s the poets journal.
Okay - enough prefacing.
I want to talk about it and its place in the origin story of the people group of the Hebrews and also the scientific community today.
Here’s the passage I read -
“Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man's nostrils, and the man became a living person.” - Genesis 2
So, according to this text, humans are dirt.
You are dirt.
Me, I’m dirt.
And your aunt, she’s dirt.
And that random guy you saw standing on the street corner with the sign that said “can I get money for weed,” he’s dirt.
And the grocery store clerk who you made small talk with but wouldn’t dare ask the name of
And that kid who set you on edge because of his screaming in the restaurant
And the person who cut you off on your way home form work and the person who brewed your coffee that you got from the drive-thru window this morning
And the person whose eyes you look into and when you do you cant help giggling because you’re so helplessly in love with them
And your kid
And your great great great great grandmother…
dirt dirt dirt dirt dirt dirt dirt.
According to this passage, us humans are essentially just bags of dirt.
You, my friend, are a dirt bag.
And so am I.
The interesting thing about this verse is that it’s true to the person who sees Genesis as full blown fact and to the person who sees it as fairy tale.
God scooped you up literally out of the dirt a few thousand years ago and created you…
13.7 billion years ago, a very hot, single point in space expanded itself. Th universe kept growing and expanding but as time went on, it would do so slower and slower and as it slowed down the overwhelming heat associated with it started to cool down an as it did, it started to form matter.
Skip a few steps and quite a few billion years and here you know are sitting in front of a screen reading this. You are some of that cooled matter. And what is that cooled matter? Stardust. And what else has its origins in the dust of those sparkly and wondrous things in the night sky? Dirt.
You and dirt are not just parts of this earth, you’re actually the same thing…
Dirt is the paint that clothes the canvas that is you.
Dirt is the genesis of your lineage.
So, whether you are a devout atheist or hardcore conservative Christian creationist (those last three words are incredibly satisfying to say out loud…), there’s one thing you can agree on…
We’re all dirt bags.