The reality of anitya extends to whole genomes, which are permeable to genes introduced from other lineages. This is why we can put cold-resistance genes from halibut into frost-vulnerable tomatoes. (Whether we should is another question.) Even without high-tech human intervention, the evolutionary reality of continuity among all living things is inseparable from the fact that all lineages have themselves evolved—that is, they have changed over time, and continue to do so. The seemingly rigid boundaries between cells and within species are flexible and inconstant. Living things do not simply have the capacity for impermanence; rather, at what we might oxymoronically call their “core,” they are profoundly and deeply impermanent and ever-changing.
You’re 3.7 miles away, watching this controlled explosion in a rocket with human beings on top. It’s the biggest explosion you’ve ever seen, but you’re hearing … swamp sounds. Strain your ears, but that’s all you hear — swamp crickets. People are weeping softly around you and Mission Control is saying what it needs to say, but in between you’re hearing peaceful swamp. You have time to notice the quiet, wrinkle one eyebrow, and think to yourself, (I had one friend who actually said it out loud, but everyone at least thinks it), “Hmm, it seems so bright and smoky — you know, I would have thought there would be some noise.”