Yesterday I saw a crow littering.
I feel compelled to share that with you.
As I’ve said, I’m collecting old puzzles for an art project (pictures forthcoming in a later blog) and it was at just such an excursion to a second hand shop for old puzzles, that I saw the crow perched atop an electrical wire on the outskirts of the parking area, with the McDonald’s bag in its clutches.
It held it there- balancing just like a Flying Wallenda of the aviary world; with the crumpled white bag in its talons and bobbing it’s head to peck at whatever fast food morsels were to be found in it. It reminded me of this meme I saw:
Anyway, when the crow had finished it’s snack, it lifted a leg just so… then opened it’s talons and just…
released the bag.
I watched it fall to the ground and blow across the parking lot. Then I pointed and said,
“I just saw a crow littering!”
Crows are smart. So what’s up with that lack of morality? Where’s nature’s commitment to making this a better world for future generations? (tongue in cheek) 🙂
Get it? A group of crows is of course, called a murder. 🙂
Speaking of crows, I’m currently reading Philip Glass’s book “Words Without Music.”
(What does that book have to do with crows? Well, in my mind it’s like that “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game. Only in my brain, everything eventually relates to the band Counting Crows who wrote the catchy song “Einstein On The Beach -For an Eggman”–in 1994…
Einstein On The Beach is first and foremost a well known four part opera Philip Glass wrote in 1975. Perhaps Counting Crows were inspired by it?)
So anyway, Philip Glass, the brilliant, gifted composer I’m reading about, had direct experiences with India’s and Tibet’s traditions and as such was greatly influenced both subconsciously and deliberately by his studies and travels. Here’s a book excerpt:
“The power of morality is not something that is talked about much these days, especially among contemporary people. But when we look at it from the point of view of commitments as a form of morality, and when we SEE how the Buddhists treat making and keeping commitments as a form of morality, then we can come to a better understanding of Ghandi’s work and how it continues to reverberate with us.”
Personally, I’m committed to the mantra: Don’t make a promise you can’t keep. A person is as good as their word. But who am I but one soul? Unlike Philip, I’ve not traveled any further than Canada, Ohio, and all the states between Maine and Florida. But perhaps that’s why I travel by means of books: the flying carpets of neural pathways.
Philip Glass is well schooled in a myriad of ways. He’s actually immersed himself in a lifelong learning process- in varied cultures through world travel, practices in Hatha Yoga traditions, Buddhism, and mind you, by direct encounters with skilled teachers like Yogis and Swamis. I can honestly say that some books are true change agents for the well being of the psyche.
Another book excerpt:
“In a clear way we are bound to our culture. We understand the world because of the way we were taught to see. That’s why we become Americans, we become Indians, we become Eskimos. We see that world because that’s what was installed, almost banged, into our heads when we were very, very young. But it’s also possible to step out of that world.”
Through books that is possible, as I said. Subtle paradigm shifts can occur within us. I believe that is going to be the case when I get my hands on Oliver Sacks’ (who is presently battling a terminal illness) latest book; which is on my “to-read” list for the near future:
The same paradigm shift is true for films I’ve seen, notably in no particular order:
The Monuments Men, Lincoln, Philomena, The King’s Speech, The Theory of Everything… (Burton’s “Big Eyes” is on my “to-see” list next.)
Perhaps it’s the subject of mortality and the ever after (both so prevalent in what I read) that inspired a strange dream I had recently. In the dream, everything I did was accompanied by a bland generic VoiceOver, a Dream Narrator, who narrated my exploits in the drone of the male voice that comes installed in GPS machines! You know the voice I’m talking about:
If I went into a house in my dream, the narrator spoke: “She turned the knob and entered the abode…”
Imagine my surprise when the Dream Narrator said this: “She never saw THE END coming. And for that she was grateful.”
Thankfully, I awoke before I could find out what my END was and at three a.m. I sat in the dark in the kitchen with warm milk, took two Advil PM…. and wondered at the weirdness of dreams.
What is significant? Noteworthy? What isn’t? Isn’t everything “for a reason?” Or not?
Within the last week, (in my waking life) three people from my past have crossed paths with me:
1) On Facebook I happened by chance upon a friend of a dear friend overseas, with whom I’ve fallen out of touch. He may be ill and so the chance encounter with our mutual friend was welcome and also timely. We’re Skyping soon.
2) I spotted the mother of a dear friend, in a grocery store which served as a reminder of how much I miss her daughter; (memories of sitting cross legged in grass sharing stories, laughs, library trips, lunch shared with each other). She is someone I miss, who moved away years ago and I’m going to send her an email-and lastly:
3) A detective flashed a Missing Person photo at me today; of a neighbor I used to know…
These three events have affected me. People come. Go.
This last quote I shared above from Glass’s book about culture being installed within us from an early age, implies that our known culture is added much like software when we are small people. It also suggests we can transcend that. So there’s more to the world than my speck of East Coast U.S.A. Good to know. Everyone is a culmination and a work in progress. A Venus without limbs. Glass’s book is inspiring. But.
It’s hard to transcend above deeply rooted concerns like-
Child and Animal Abuse.
Dwindling bee populations
Those are a mere sprinkling of topics that are of far greater importance than the size and baring of Kim Kardashian’s ass. There’s so much more to our culture than “celebrity antics.” There’s so much insignificant spam in our heads. Brains need a button that asks: “Do you wish to move the image of Kim’s ass to the trash bin? This will delete it permanently.”
Yes. Yes I do. Some things cannot be unseen however.
I stop and think, how did our civilization shape that ‘littering crow’s’ behavior?
Well. It couldn’t have littered without a human being having littered first.
I got genuine pearls from my son and flowers from Al for Mother’s Day. And so, despite the trouble we face daily, as long as the earth is still providing us with these beauties:
Partial Lyrics for CC’s Einstein on the Beach