Death of an old dog, part four, by Patricia

Aquila chrysaetos closeup by Richard_Bartz

In which I make my way into Crossfire Canyon and meet a wondrous bird.   I muse upon the experience of eye contact with other species, referencing N. Scott Momaday and Martin Buber.   I see the light, loose and free in the canyon–it’s beautiful. Part one here, part two here, part three here.

As I worked my way down the trail, I discovered that my right knee was finally healing from a months-long bout with tendonitis and perhaps nerve damage.   As recently as two weeks earlier I hadn’t been able to raise that leg very high, so I tripped frequently over stones in the trail or fell on my backside on that more difficult-to-negotiate rock outcrop down which I had to lower myself to get where I wanted to go.   But this time, no trips, no falls.   Still worried that I was inviting further trouble, I forced myself down the trail. As I walked onto an overlook I frequent to see what’s happening in the canyon below–whether or not cows are lounging on the trail, for instance–something fine happened. Continue reading “Death of an old dog, part four, by Patricia”

Got flight?

I thought it might be nice to make this Got Flight Week on WIZ’s People Month.   Posts this week will play with the question: Can humans fly?   If you’ve had a flying dream or other liberating experience related to flying, please, feel free to post  it in comments to this post or others published this week or submit your  flight narrative to WIZ.

One of my hobbies is collecting words carrying the meaning of €œunderstanding € and whose root words are bound up in the metaphorical pairing of perceiving and grasping €”of aligning the focus of attention on something and the physical act of laying hold  upon or seizing.   The American Heritage Dictionary gives the following definition for €œunderstand €: To perceive or comprehend the nature and significance of; grasp. See synonyms at apprehend. €   There follow three more definitions relying upon the words €œcomprehend € and €œgrasp. €   At the heart of both €œapprehend € and €œcomprehend € lies the Latin root prehendere, €œto seize. €

Here is a partial list of other words and phrases conveying the concept of understanding that contain root words set in the act of grasping or seizing: Continue reading “Got flight?”

What I did and thought, Earth Day 2008

Parts of this entry rise a little above-average personal in nature.   I don’t mean to make this an “alms before men” post.   I want  to try to show how easily— for me, anyway—  thinking can slide between my  experiences with  animals and the ones I have  with people.     Also, I don’t remember ever having written down the “Hillbilly Dilly” episode noted below, and since the hummingbird called it to mind, after my not  thinking about it for  many years, I  imagined the moment right for the telling.

April 22, 2008

At the cliff this morning, I find  a colony of  white-throated swifts fully active, hunting the wild blue, tangling into the wind gusts that stream  through the canyon’s channel  and splash  against  its rocks.

A vulture passes by, very low, slightly out from the ledge where I sit.  

A swift just cut in  quite close, the vrrrrr of its wings  as they sliced  air sounding like a miniature jet.   A pair of hawks circle high overhead.

Will eagles come?   I barely finish writing the question  when I  look up to see a golden eagle, juvenile or maybe second year, brown feathers flecked with white.    As I  gaze up  at the eagle, a black-chinned hummingbird rises like a helicopter  into my line of sight, directly between the eagle and me, probably examining the burgundy tones in my shirt, faded overall but most vivid in the cuffs.

Continue reading “What I did and thought, Earth Day 2008”