Small things can lead to large meditations _ “Infinity in a grain of sand.” I encourage that exercise. This morning, for example, I consider the blueberries on my breakfast cereal. Nothing remarkable, by common agreement. Marvelously present here and now.

Fresh blueberries in the winter _ the availability of all fresh produce _ is a very modern phenomenon. When I was young in the fifties, fruit besides apples was usually available as juice, canned, dried, and once in a while frozen. And that in itself would astound those who lived before 1900 or so.

But here I sit, usually complacent, eating berries grown in deep down south america, flown and distributed, and priced affordably. A miracle of modern commerce while at one and the same time a symbol of global ecologic devastation. I’m grateful, horrified, accepting.

So much of life in this century has become like that. We are wealthy beyond any dreams of ancient emperors, yet live in what increasingly seems an unsustainable web. Should we enjoy our good fortune? Lament our stupidity? Actively oppose what everyone (including our own secret selves) are grateful for? 

I don’t know. But I do think one of the elements of philosophy should be to pose such provocative questions. Futile as they may be.

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