I am sitting on a couch next to my offspring, whose fingers whir across a keyboard imperceptibly fast, his thoughts coalescing into words for an essay that will form the foundation for his future adult self. But he is not yet an adult. What is this moment?
We are atoms. Electrons “spinning” around nuclei, but not really because electrons are just waves forming a pattern of movement. The idea of the electron, the orbital, mere models in our gross realm attempting to explain something inexplicable on the quantum level. He, me, the couch, the computer, the air between us, all just atoms, quarks. He is not me, but his atoms are no different than mine. How is it that we each are called by different names?
Our atoms configure themselves into molecules, proteins and water. Those form organs, skin, bones. Here we sit, essentially nothing more than bags of water, configured into slightly different shapes that we call different, but we are far more similar to each other than we are to the couch, the machine, the air. We are made of the same stuff.