New Civilization News: June's Busting Out    
 June's Busting Out15 comments
picture29 Jun 2004 @ 10:45, by Richard Carlson

The birth of a man is the birth of his sorrow. The longer he lives, the more stupid he becomes, because his anxiety to avoid unavoidable death becomes more and more acute. What bitterness! He lives for what is always out of reach! His thirst for survival in the future makes him incapable of living in the present.

---Chuang-Tzu

The absurd is clear reason recognizing its limits.

---Albert Camus

Great is Mind. Heaven's height is immeasurable, but Mind goes beyond heaven; the earth's depth is also unfathomable, but Mind reaches below the earth. The light of the sun and moon cannot be outdistanced, yet Mind passes beyond the light of the sun and moon. The macrocosm is limitless, yet Mind travels outside the macrocosm. How great is Space. How great the Primal Energy! Still Mind encompasses Space and generates the Primal Energy. Because of it heaven covers and earth upbears. Because of it the sun and moon move on, the four seasons come in succession, and all things are generated. Great indeed is Mind!

---Zen Master Eisai

A female summer tanager

I observed myself talking to a young mockingbird yesterday. This is the time of June when new birds hit adolescence and start venturing on their own. He was rather closer to me than mockers ordinarily get, and so I just wanted to make sounds that would indicate that it's OK . Of course it's not OK, and what he really should learn is to fly for his life whenever a human comes near---but who among us who admire birds and love to watch them can bring himself to scare away a bird to verify its genetic instinct? We long to return to the Garden when birds and beasts frolicked with us...and all was innocent.

This period of June in Ohio is when mama and daddy birds show their young how to use bird feeders. I used to take the feeders down once food became available in the wild, but then I read an article that said you're missing a treat if you do that. The treat is these young birds learning how to balance and navigate around the structures we stick and hang out there full of seeds and other treats, so now I leave them up and stock them well. It's comparable to watching children take their first steps and learn to play. The sight is funny, cute, and irresistible. Young nuthatches are particularly hilarious, since going upside down is part of their act...but it appears being upside down doesn't come naturally exactly---and they get as confused as you or I would.

Anyway, it appears I am talking to animals now. I never used to do that---even with dogs...and cats I still presume prefer no rumbling human sounds. If they want communication they just read our minds or something. So I am at one of those junctures where either I am entering my dotage or approaching sainthood. Let's not take a vote on this: I can await the judgment of Time. The trouble began in the Spring when a young buck, maybe a yearling or 2, started hanging around the house and meadow. No antlers yet---at least since last I saw him a couple days ago---but obviously a male since he snorts at us. Dana likes him too and wonders what's going on. (She thinks it's a female though.) I believe he is the son of the king buck who runs things on our land and probably surrounding acreage too. He's immense with a hoofprint close to 3 inches long (or else he's a regular deer with very big feet---which I don't think would work so well for survival) and I don't know how long this father has been around. The first night I slept in this house several years ago, alone in a sleeping bag before we moved in, he (or his dad) came along outside my window and let out a couple wheezing snorts of protest that woke me right out of my skin.

Again there's a problem of this proximity, and it's even more serious because hunters sometimes stray onto our property. I don't post it at deer hunting season, but trust that hunters will ask permission first. However, out back in the woods it's easy to become disoriented the way the ridges run, and this young buck could get shot for trusting to come and stay so close to us. I don't try to beckon to him, but I do talk...and I imagine I encourage him and wish him a happy day and well in his life. I guess it might be something like talking to a horse to talk with a deer. You know it's energy you're communicating and you want to see if you can be trustworthy to a wild creature. Sometimes he watches me walk by down or out to the road for a jog or to get the mail. Othertimes he lopes away...never darting, but just moseying along.

I also have been talking to tanagers. We have scarlet and summer tanagers living around the house, and while the sight of a scarlet is more thrilling I've come to prefer the summer tanager. The song is breathtaking, much like a Baltimore oriole which nest in our oaks too. Summer tanagers also appear curious about us and come quite close sometimes. Last year they even tried out our feeders. They tend the gardens, and probably rival the pheobes and flycatchers for catching insects. Scarlet tanagers feed exclusively high in the trees, as do summer tanagers---but lately a couple have been coming down to the meadow and vegetable garden and taking care of business there. They are cuddly, graceful birds and fly with extraordinary dexterity. So I've started to talk to them and thank and welcome them.

This June here has been strikingly gorgeous...despite the fact that I have been in the darkness of a theater most of the time. Unfortunately I am having trouble appreciating the beauty of the weather fully. If it's cooler than normal I worry. If it's hot, I feel sure the Warming is upon us. If it's just normal for June, I'm sure that's a bad sign too. Here we have the burden we liberals must pay for believing in these scientific prophecies of gloom and conspiracy. Maybe all this nervousness about Global Warming has finally taken its toll...and so I now jibber to animals. If I start talking to the trees, the wind and the rain, I'll let you know.


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15 comments

29 Jun 2004 @ 10:53 by spiritseek : Have you hugged a tree
its amazing what you can feel from a tree,just wrap your arms around its base! If you focus into the tree you can see a spirit face there amidst the leaves. I put my hand about 6 inches from a branch and it will move toward it if it welcomes me.  


29 Jun 2004 @ 20:04 by jmarc : so far at the new place
i've met a snake,which i rousted from a bush and chased around the driveway for a bit, to the delight of some youngsters,before letting him retire again to another bush. I met a chipmunk,who has a hole right next to the front porch, and seems a bit curious. I think i'll sit out there with some peanuts soon and try to coax him in and befriend him. Then there's the catbirds who are nesting somewhere in the backyard/jungle. I like to mock them as they supposedly mock cats, and so we've mewed back and forth a few times, but they keep their distance. Ahh, life at the city's edge.  


30 Jun 2004 @ 14:29 by Quinty @68.9.129.35 : Odd times

We live in odd times when we can't even tell if the weather is normal or not. If the heat or rain or sudden cold snap was caused by humankind's influence on global elements. Wild animals appear in all kinds of odd places, too. I remember once seeing a deer bound across a street in Oakland, California. The countryside was long ago driven from those parts. And on Pacific Heights, in San Francisco, there was a large family of racoons living in a drainage opening. Lucky racoons! Anyone else would have had to pay thousands of dollars a month rent. I think debating global warming is fine and good. But that we should proceed as if it's happening. Just in case. (I believe it is.) When the birds and the animals start talking back to you then it may be time to become concerned....  



30 Jun 2004 @ 14:35 by skookum : We have turkeys
around my workplace...not unusual to find one on a bench fetching a gimlet eye in one's direction. We have squirrels and Robins and crows. We also have mice in abundance. There is a tree and stream courtyard that I walk in on my breaks.

We need to reconnect to that earthiness at times I think.  



1 Jul 2004 @ 05:19 by Quinty @68.9.129.35 : There are folks among the
"you've seen one redwood you've seen them all" who become indignant at those of who have some deep concern for, let's say, the Alaska wilderness. They will indignantly say (a readilly available ploy for those only interested in winning) "Well, have you ever been there?" "No." "Then what do you care whether it's preserved or not?"

Humbug! I've never been to the Amazon rain forest or even to Yellowstone National Park. But something deep inside must become very hard not to mourn the loss and destruction of these treasures. And the truth of the matter, anyway, is that these people care only about the dollar, not the beauties of nature.

So, I agree, we have to "reconnect to that earthiness at times.... "  



1 Jul 2004 @ 05:34 by ashanti : Sacred Earth, Sacred Creatures
Ah, yes, a tantalizing whiff of yesteryear. While reading about the Kali Yuga (Age of Iron), predicted eons ago by ancients seers, I was struck by how potent and powerful the Earth and her creatures must have been back then. No poisoned air, water, land. Pure, undiluted Nature. Animals are my kindred spirits. I talk to them all the time. Literally. They understand me, and I them. Power Animals, companions in shamanic journeys. Those animals that decide to tame a human, allowing you to directly experience the pure, unconditional love they give, give a gift so precious it hurts. I have hugged lions, communed with snakes, fed wild birds from my hands.....and yet, an uneasy stirring of gnosis troubles this savannah of animal warmth and love....the nasty, short and brutish lives that animals live while on this planet. If not being savagely slaughtered as food by their fellow animals, then being tortured by humans in the name of "science", medicine, and food. Anyone who has ever experienced a close relationship with an animal, experienced that pure, unconditional love that they give cannot ever again consider that they "have no soul." Oh God, do they ever have souls.  


1 Jul 2004 @ 05:53 by jazzolog : Ashanti, Please Pay Me A Visit
They still are powerful, and I need you to talk to a raccoon for me. It started last week when I noticed our bird feeder, stocked with sunflower seeds, which dangles 20 feet on a cord tied 3 feet out on a twigless maple tree branch, all of it 30 feet off the ground, was entangled in the tree. I thought a wind had blown. But last week it was there again, and we were breezeless. Every morning this week, I find it empty and tangled---and it is clear to me a raccoon has figured out how to do this. Yesterday I considered some dire plans to outwit him...but then figured he was so ingenious that I may as well just untangle it every morning and let him have his reward. However, this morning the entire feeder has been taken off the cord and is missing. When I finish this comment, my first chore is to see if I can find it and if anything is left. Dear friend, do swing around this way, on your voyage to South America, and have a talk with this guy: I need a negotiator.  


1 Jul 2004 @ 13:41 by bri_outten : fine
I know exactly what you mean Sir!
Mind you, it's when the trees start talking back to you that you've got to worry!
Cheers :)  



1 Jul 2004 @ 14:21 by spiritseek : telepathy
don't you think your mind can link with a tree? How little you think.  


2 Jul 2004 @ 05:37 by swan : I have heard trees speak,
it is a language that I didn't understand though. But the sound was incredible.
Richard, talking to animals is a good thing, just ask my cats.
As for the raccoon, he just wants his own feeder. And old garbage can with a few foods scraps in it would probably bring him great joy and get him away from the bird feeder.  



2 Jul 2004 @ 10:19 by Quinty @68.9.129.35 : Maybe
Saint Frances could reason with your racoon?  


5 Jul 2004 @ 04:36 by ashanti : Interim racoon negotations
Hi Richard. I'll reply to your invite in private e-mail. With regards to your racoon - I agree with Swan, he wants his own fascinating toy to play with. Racoons are insatiably curious, and very deft with their paws, so they just love investigating fascinating objects. From an inter-species communication point of view, you need to divert his interests to other objects. Racoons also LOVE water, so perhaps a log, hollowed out, with a bowl of water, and some tangled strings and things for him to untie?

I practice shamanism, and believe that when a particular animal or insect shows up, it has a message for you. The racoon's particular message has to do with masks, identities and transformation. The racoon's gift is to point you to areas in your life that need attention - are you needing to look at your identity? Do you have to grow a new aspect of your personality? Has something occurred which requires you to go through a transformation? These are all questions to ask when a racoon shows up in your life.  



6 Jul 2004 @ 00:38 by ashanti : Talking with animals
Here is some more about inter-species communication: Talking with animals is possible and Animal Voices.  


6 Jul 2004 @ 06:00 by jazzolog : Brother Raccoon Speaks
Before I meditate longer, harder, further on the gift of the raccoon's message on inner transformation, I decided to listen again to what he was saying---often loudly in the middle of the night...and without obvious telepathy. He said, "There is food here and I'm going to get it. Not only that, if there's a way into your attic or garage I'm going to find it and move in. Then I'm going to bring my family in there, and we'll party all night and sleep all day---and you won't get us out short of tearing the roof off...which we may do for you."

Well, I need a new roof...so there is positive development right there. Thank you. However, I prefer to choose my own time for that job, money being scarce right now. So what I did was find our collection of empty 2-liter plastic soda pop bottles that we didn't even send to recycling when we moved out here from town. Where we lived before was a hangout for a collection of extraordinary squirrels. They were the ones who wanted the birdseed there---and even shooting beebees at them had no effect: all I did was batter up the feeders, while the squirrels just looked at me as the beebees bounced off their thick fur. Since the feeders were suspended only 10 feet off the ground (so I could reach to refill) the squirrels would jump onto them if they could, from a supporting branch or the trunk of the tree. So I took the bottles, put holes in the bottom and strung them through the supporting cable. I moved the feeders out of jumping range, and finally our chisel-toothed friends were stymied. Out here, of course, squirrels have nuts up the poopshoot and don't dare risk a fall from our heights.

So, having found the empty feeder the little rascal had dragged halfway to the creek before he realized the thing was worthless to him, I put it back up with 10 empty soda bottles between it and the overhanging maple branch. He can't climb over those things and it's too heavy for him to pull over to the main trunk. He was furious the night he discovered it, and woke Ilona up jumping up and down on the roof over her bed---but then he settled down and has returned to the abundant snack I always left him anyway down at the bottom of the trees. He just wanted more. He wanted it all! He wanted the magic of the refilling birdfeeder. He wants to be me...but I'm already occupied for a while longer. That's the message. Ashanti, those are wonderful links!  



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