Your body is an ancestor. Your body is an altar to your ancestors. Every one of your cells holds an ancient and anarchic love story. Around 2.7 billion years ago free-living prokaryotes melted into one another to form the mitochondria and organelles of the cells that build our bodies today. All you need to do to honor your ancestors is to roll up like a pill bug, into the innate shape of safety: the fetal position. The curl of your body, then, is an altar not just to the womb that grew you, but to the retroviruses that, 200 million years ago taught mammals how to develop the protein syncytin that creates the synctrophoblast layer of the placenta. Breathe in, slowly, knowing that your breath loops you into the biome of your ecosystem. Every seven to ten years your cells will have turned over, rearticulated by your inhales and exhales, your appetites and proclivity for certain flavors. If you live in a valley, chances are the ancient glacial moraine, the fossils crushed underfoot, the spores from grandmotherly honey fungi, have all entered into and rebuilt the very molecular make up of your bones, your lungs, and even your eyes. Even your lungfuls of exhaust churn you into an ancestor altar for Mesozoic ferns pressurized into the fossil fuels. You are threaded through with fossils. Your microbiome is an ode to bacterial legacies you would not be able to trace with birth certificates and blood lineages. You are the ongoing-ness of the dead. The alembic where they are given breath again. Every decision, every idea, every poem you breathe and live is a resurrection of elements that date back to the birth of this universe itself.

Today I realize that due to the miracle of metabolic recycling, it is even possible that my body, somehow, holds the cells of my great-great grandmother. Or your great-great grandmother. Or that I am built from carbon that once intimately orchestrated the flight of a hummingbird or a pterodactyl. Your body is an ecosystem of ancestors. An outcome born not of a single human thread, but a web of relations that ripples outwards into the intimate ocean of deep time.

Your Body is an Ancestor, Sophie Strand

"Your Body is an Ancestor" by Sophie St…

List of cycles:

Time and calendar cycles
Atomic cycle – Calendar – Chinese calendar – Computus – Diwali – Ephemeris time – Hertz – Intellectual history of time – Julian date – Season - Sexagenary cycle

Planetary cycles

Astronomical cycles
Astronomy – CNO cycle – Eclipse cycle – Eclipse – Full moon cycle – Galactic year – Great Year – Lunar phase – Mesoamerican calendars – Metonic cycle – Milankovitch cycles – Mira – Moon – Nutation – Orbit – Orbital period – Saros cycle – Sothic cycle – Secularity – Sidereal year – Sunspot – Tide – Tropical year – Year

Climate and weather cycles
Animal migration – Avalanche – Carbon cycle – Climate change – Climate change and agriculture – Climate model – Climate oscillation – Clock of the Long Now – Ecology – El Niño/La Niña – Endometrium – Environmental geography – Global cooling – Global warming – Historical temperature record – Ice age – Transhumance – Milankovitch cycles – Monsoon – Pleistocene – Season – Sunspot – Tide – Timeline of meteorology – 1500-year climate cycle

Geological cycles
Age of the Earth – Cycle of erosion – Mass extinction cycles – Climate change – Earthquake cycle – Dynamic topography – Glaciation – Supercontinent cycle – Wilson cycle

Organic cycles
Agricultural cycles
Agricultural cycle – Carbon cycle – Climate change and agriculture – Crop rotation – Fertile Crescent – Harvest – Nitrogen cycle – Organic farming – Season – Soil degradation – Sustainable industries – Water cycle

Biological and medical cycles
Alternation of generations – Beta oxidation – Bioelectricity – Biological pest control – Biorhythm – Bipolar disorder – Cardiopulmonary resuscitation – Calvin–Benson cycle – Cell cycle – Chronobiology – Citric acid cycle – Circadian rhythm – Clinical depression – Digestion – Ecology – Feedback – Life cycle – List of biochemistry topics – Marine biology – Menstrual cycle – Neurofeedback – Non-Hodgkin lymphoma – Organic farming – Periodical cicadas – Polymerase chain reaction – Soil degradation – Stomach cancer – Triage – Urea cycle – Zygote

Brain waves and cycles
Bioelectricity – Circadian rhythm – Consciousness – Electroencephalography – Neurofeedback – Persistent vegetative state – Sjögren's syndrome – Sleep

Physics cycles
Cyclic process – Carnot cycle – Double-slit experiment – Dynamic theory of gravity – Physics of music – Resonance – Sonoluminescence – Speed of light – Sunspot

Mathematics of waves and cycles
Almost periodic function – Amplitude modulation – Amplitude – Beat – Chaos theory – Cyclic group – Diffraction – Doppler effect – Eigenstate – Eigenvalue – Fibonacci sequence – Fourier series – Frequency domain – Frequency spectrum – Hamiltonian (quantum mechanics) – Harmonic oscillator – Huygens–Fresnel principle – Longitudinal wave – Mechanical wave – Navier–Stokes equations – Partial differential equation – Periodic function – Permutation – Phase (waves) – Physics of music – Power spectrum – Signal – Sine wave – Spectrum of an operator – Translational symmetry – Transverse wave – Wave equation – Wave–particle duality – Wave – Waveform

Electromagnetic spectrum
Absorption spectroscopy – Anders Jonas Ångström – Astronomical spectroscopy – Astronomy – Black body – Blazar – Bremsstrahlung – Caesium – Cherenkov radiation – Color – Diffraction – Digital signal processing – Direct-sequence spread spectrum – Dispersion (optics) – Eigenstate – Eigenvalue – Electromagnetic radiation – Electromagnetic spectroscopy – Electromagnetic spectrum – Electromagnetism – Emission line – Emission spectrum – FM broadcasting – Frequency domain – Frequency hopping – Frequency spectrum – Gamma-ray burst – Hamiltonian (quantum mechanics) – History of radio – Hue – Isotope – Light – Optical brightener – Particle in a spherically symmetric potential – Piezoelectricity – Power spectrum – RADAR – Radio frequency – Radio – Radiocommunications Agency – Redshift – SETI – Spectrogram – Spectrometer – Spectroscopy – Spectrum analyzer – Sunyaev–Zel'dovich effect – Supernova – Telecommunication – Timbre – Very high frequency – Visible light – Visible spectrum – White noise

Sound waves
Acoustic theory – Acoustics – Aerodynamics – Amplitude – Anemometer – Audio feedback – Beat (acoustics) – Bugging – Cherenkov radiation – Cold fusion – Compressibility – Delay line memory – Diffraction – Doppler effect – Echo sounding – Electronic filter – FTIR – Krakatoa – Loudspeaker – Mach number – Microphone – Ossicles – Pan pipes – Parabolic microphone – Phonetics – Phonon – Piezoelectricity – Psychoacoustics – Sawtooth wave – Shock wave – SID – Sonar – Sonic boom – Sonoluminescence – Soundproofing – Sound recording – Sound – Speech processing – Speed of sound – Sperm whale – Square wave – Subsonic – Subtractive synthesis – Synthesizer – Telephone – Transmission line – Triangle wave – Wave drag – Waveform - [Elephantic wave]

Miscellaneous cycles
Economic and business cycles
Business cycle – Inflation / Recession – Monetary policy – Virtuous circle and vicious circle – Kitchin cycle – Juglar cycle – Kuznets swing

Music and rhythm cycles
Harmonics – Interval cycle – Musica universalis – Music theory – Physics of music – Ring cycle – Rhythm – Song cycle

Religious, mythological, and spiritual cycles
Astrology – Mantra – Numerology – Pratītyasamutpāda – Samhain – Sexagenary cycle – Surya

Social and cultural cycles
Dynastic cycle – Kondratiev wave – Social cycle theory – Tytler cycle

Military and war
War cycles

Literature
Literature cycle – Play cycle – Sonnet cycle

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