Monday, November 15, 2010

We Walk Around Like Poems

Another lovely excerpt from Crow Planet:

"We are incapable of isolation. Every time we sip wine, feed the cat, order pizza, watch Survivor, every time we do anything, anything at all, we are brushing, however surreptitiously, however beneath our awareness- however, even, against our will- a wilder, natural world. Such awareness is simultaneously daunting and beautiful. It means that everything we do matters, and matters more than we can even know. Yes, of course we must do all of the things we now know by rote: we must replace our incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescents, and recycle, and compost and ride our bikes, and buy organic, local, biointensive, fair-trade. All of it. And if we can manage these things with a joyful heart, then all the better. But this is not about checklists, is it? About the reduction our planetary relationships to a mean tally of resources used, saved and available? It is about a habit of being, a way of knowing, a way of dwelling. It is about attentive recognition of our constant, inevitable continuity with life on earth, and the gorgeous knowledge this entails. There is a crow's nest in the neighbor's yard, and there are feathers at our feet. We walk around like poems- our lives infused with meaning beyond themselves."

I think about this passage a lot as I observe the crows in my neighbourhood. There is a roost close to my home that I've taken to visiting. Every night at dusk the crows fly overhead and easily 100,000 or more of them roost in a small patch of woods, to fly away again at dawn. It is both an incredible and disturbing sight. Disturbing because there is a connection between crow populations and habitat destruction and biodiversity loss. As the environment becomes less hospitable to other species, crows become one of the few species resilient enough to survive. Growing crow populations are an indication of how much we have already lost. This is a sobering thought as I search for a way of being, knowing and dwelling in the world with a joyful heart. It's a tricky balance to achieve to be sure, but one that I am bound by my beliefs and values to strive for every way that I can, with every breath I take on this crow planet.

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