All Life Is Connected   By  W. Bruce Watson
I can't say that all life is connected, for how would I or anyone know something like that, but it feels like it is. And if a thing seems to be a certain way, then perhaps it truly is. Or maybe not-perception is the intentionality of the soul, Aristotle said, and I’d be the first to own up to that. Our House Finch, some call them Linnets, started life in the back rooms of the Lindsay Wildlife Museum, behind its public face, back where bird rescue takes place. She had been reared from a nestling and even banded before it was discovered that she was lame on one side, that one wing was unmoving. Immediate euthanasia should have been her lot, but she was rescued a second time by the more subversive elements within the Lindsay, the so-called 'bad girls' for whom all life is precious.

That is how she came to live with us; Maria was one of the bad girls and brought her home to live along with other Lindsay rejects she had rescued, in an outdoor aviary. And that is where she lived for 7 years, in a corner of the aviary, perched on large rock, seldom venturing very far away from it. She knew she was lame, and possibly she was agoraphobic, but more likely it was that she was intimidated by the two towhees with whom she shared the small space.

Towhees, described by my father-in-law Joe as the Idaho farmer of the bird kingdom, are somewhat clannish and aggressive towards other species of birds. This is nothing personal on their part; it's just a tendency they have, a part of their survival strategy. So for 7 years we cared for her as best we could. She never really seemed comfortable with such a large being coming into the aviary to change the papers and put out fresh salad, seed and meal worms. She chirped, or beeped rather, during these invasions, and I was never sure if she was telling me off or sounding the alarm or just glad to see me and the fresh grits. I think she was just saying 'hi'. Anyway, she was a sweet bird and constant in her affection, if indeed that's what it was.

I can't say how she died. I only know I found her drowned in the water dish one bitter cold, dreary morning. The towhees watched without comment as I removed her soaked, lifeless form. Later, as I buried her, within a shroud of Camellia blossoms-the way I like-I wondered once again how such a small life could feel so connected to mine. And why. So I asked Joe; he's 92 and has lived a lot. "All life is the same," he said, "All life is sacred." And all life is kindred, I added to myself, and never is this more keenly felt than in its passing.
The truth is, after much furrowing of brow, I can't think of anything to say by way of preface to my blog. Along the way I wondered what it's purpose might be and maybe I should say a few words about that and would, except that I don't know what its purpose is, or could be, or should be. I only know that my clock is winding down and I'm so desperate to have my mind known that I could just spit! Maybe my blog could be about that. But how depressing and pretentious that could be! But hold on a second, maybe not—my therapist commented the other day how in late adulthood (AKA elder years), one is forced to deal with the sense of loss, all the time, it's always there, and it's painful, it takes great faith to live on even though one knows it's going to end and that whatever they accomplish, if anything, is not going to matter all that much. How does one find meaning or a sense of fulfillment in life knowing that it’s coming to an end? Psychologists have not written much about this if anything. It's sort of an unexamined part of adult life. It takes a lot of self-discipline to function in spite of this sense of loss—it's so easy to give up on the constant struggle, on life. A lot of people do—drinking, TV, drugs, electrosex, So, if you'll bear with me, let us examine this unexamined part of adult life.
Copyright © 2011 W. Bruce Watson, Inc. All rights reserved.  
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