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What's Woke



Mr. Yeo used the word "woke" to shape his Nov. 7 column ("Love the Alien"). What is woke and what isn't? The Nov. 14 Ana Daksina and Jake Pickering letters mocked it (Mailbox). Woke is a new take on the word as Webster's had it in 1998.

I suggest woke could mean living daily life by the light of a fact: that the day will come when we disappear as a human body. Born innocent, we continue a form of life present when we were born into it. Not cookie-cutter made, we have lineage and agency. As homo sapiens we are today's version of homo erectus and how far back do you want to go? There was a time when there was no planet Earth!

As our body begins to die in our 30s, it begins to release experience that shaped it from the outside — love, work, loss, etc., even as more is added. The changes create a new you: the residue of a life. What if we consider this residue a new expression of the body we got at birth — the version we had a chance to contribute to for the time we were in it by what we did with the life we were given?

At death, this residue that gave the body expression is released. What happens to it? If the formative experience endured by every other form of life is also released by death, what does all of it form? We live as if contributing to a huge project beyond our comprehension: Life experience from all forms of life is constantly being released as these beings die. Could it be that the new human being of scripture continues taking shape in us? That through our life, but living woke, is how we use our chance to make our contribution? Easy to to see from here how, why, where, religion kicks in.

Andrés Steinmetz, Eureka

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