I have been trying to find inspiration to write something for several hours now. There are so many things that trouble and infuriate me, but emotion is not a reason to write, and I will not play on my audience’s emotions to elicit a response. That is the path of the tyrant and a cheap hack!
But today, I just don’t have it mentally. The last couple of days with the VA, the continued oppression from the Biden administration, the multiple crises along the US/Mexico border, Afghanistan, volcanoes, … like the DJ said, “The hits just keep on coming!” My mind feels like the fabric of the world is being shredded, and there is nothing behind the curtain.
My cherub-like demeanor took too much of a hit this week. To discover that the VA has acceptable limits a provider can hurt/maim/injure/kill patients is beyond the scope of sanity to me. Now, I admit I am not the smartest person in the room. If you read the article linked and possess better capabilities and come to a different conclusion, please feel free to explain what is being discussed about dead veterans, a doctor, and how the VA-OIG can allow patients to expire without raising concerns.
On my desk are five owl statues carved in polished stone. They surround a stone frog, also in polished stone. Some days, I am the frog at the mercy of the predators. Some days, I am the predator looking for frog dinner. The first owl reminds me of a scrap of verse from my childhood.
“There was a wise old bird; the more he saw, the less he spoke, the less he spoke, the more heard, now wasn’t that a wise old bird?”
I first heard this in a movie with John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn, “Rooster Cogburn.” Never knew if I learned the scrap of verse right or not. Never cared. See, Kathrine Hepburn was a strong woman; she played an incredibly strong character wholly equal to John Wayne, and that was important. In the owl relationships, the female and male are equal partners, and this is important to me. I encourage people to be the main character in their life stories, be strong, independent, courageous, and never back down from anything!
The second owl is for Winnie-the-Pooh and Owl. Eyeore and Owl are my favorite characters from Winnie-the-Pooh stories. The calm demeanor of Owl always impressed me as a character trait to embody.
The third owl is probably the most important and comes from a lesson. I forget who taught the lesson. The lesson was “Who?” I was ranting about somebody, and something, and somewhere, and was belligerent. The person I was bellowing at kept asking, “Who?” That’s all they said, and eventually, it dawned on me that the problem wasn’t other people, the place, the situation, the problem was me, and the only thing I could change was me. I keep forgetting and re-learning this lesson to my chagrin and dismay. The teacher closed that lesson with a scrap of Latin, “Numquam nothi sudet te.” I learned the second lesson a lot better than the first.
The fourth owl reminds me to laugh. Have you ever heard owls laugh? There is a lesson in that for us mortals. For ages of human history, owls have been revered as wise, yet they possess the ability to laugh. Maybe, just maybe, we should practice more lessons from the owl and laugh, especially at ourselves.
The fifth owl reminds me of how I feel every time I see an owl, full of wonder and amazement. I see those eyes and think of the wonderful and amazing things I could see with those eyes. I think of how the owl can turn their heads and wish my neck could turn like that. How the owl can minutely control the feathers on the leading edge of their wings to control airflow for silent flight, and I think how cool would that be as a superpower! As a supreme klutz, the majesty and poetry of motion found in an owl are wonderful to me, and I like being reminded of the wonder in the world.
One of my favorite memories of my grandmother was playing with her fiber-optic ornament. This was a heavy base with an electric cord and light shown through hundreds, if not thousands of fiber-optic strands. The decoration would change colors, and you could group different strands to shine them into different areas. On my desk is a fiber-optic Christmas tree on a USB plug.
My apologies, dear reader, I do not mean to sound maudlin or pass along depression. I just don’t have it in me to engage in deeper subjects today, and I pray for your forgiveness. Please, take the time to hug your loved ones. Forgive your family and friends, and pray for America to survive the current political mess we find ourselves suffering.
© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.