Meaghan Wilson Anastasios

Screenwriter and bestselling author of 'The Honourable Thief', 'The Water Diviner', and 'The Pacific: In the Footsteps of Captain Cook.'


Bear with me. It’ll be worth it, I promise (she says with unjustified confidence).

See that hand on the end of your arm? Well, consider this. Every cell in that hand was once part of something else… part of lots of things, actually.

Everything that exists in the material world, from the loved ones we embrace, to our morning coffee, is made up of the same elemental building blocks that have been used and re-used on, and in, the planet since forever. By that I mean forever in the literal sense (let’s not even start to talk about grappling with the idea of the formation of the universe or the beginning of time. Not in a single blogpost).

The world is really just a giant tub of LEGO bricks. Not the annoying, prescriptive branded variety that compels you to construct Skeletor’s castle (showing my age now), or Hogwarts. So the nail clipping you just trimmed off that fell to the floor might once have been part of a diplodocus’ tail, or a narwhal’s tusk. And as for where it might go from here after your sweep it up, or chew and ingest it (ewwwwww)? Who knows? It’ll break down and those cells might end up anywhere.

The bits and pieces that make up our human form are borrowed from the universe and stay with us as long as we dwell here. Then, when our lease on life expires, we hand them back. Break us all down to our basic elements, and we’re all made of the same stuff.   There are a few people making noises around the world today who would be well advised to have a think about that.

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