Microscopic Self Portrait

As a child I remember watching Carl Sagan on PBS take all the elemental ingredients of life and put them together in a big slurry of potential. The result was not life, but a sticky mess of iron, protein, carbon and other key elements. It was the first time I remember thinking “What are we?” I believe reflection on that question is one of the fundamental commonalities that all human beings experience.
In this piece I am contemplating the science and nature of my existence, from what I had for dinner last night to the corpuscles that feed my vision and the nerve endings that provide me the sensory experience of pleasure and pain. All these small pieces somehow converge to create a depiction of me, but they are really just iron, protein, carbon, etc. The piece is an extreme form of navel-gazing and while the sums of my parts are represented, they do not accurately portray the whole. In a world where we are used to following recipes and formulas, it defies logic.