The Bananaquit And The Hummingbird.

Bananaquit from above
The Bananaquit

I sat one afternoon after lunch and sat, listening to the surf. A bold bananaquit had grown used to me and would come within arms reach, whistling and studying me – unafraid even when I moved. He whistled loudly, either happily or voicing a complaint. After much song and the little hopping two-step dance of the bananaquit, he would go for the hummingbird feeder.

The ever-present hummingbird watched from it’s regular roost in a shrub in front of me, and would dart at the bananaquit – the bananaquit that was unafraid of me would fly off quickly to avoid the humming bird, looking for it, but unable to see it.

I watched the hummingbird hover in the shade of a nearby tree, watching the feeder it had claimed. As the bananaquit would sing and dance toward it again, the hummingbird would dart at it again,so fast and precise.

The bananaquit would again fly off.

Photo
The Hummingbird

This process repeated itself in so many different ways – different directions, different starting points and ending points for both of them. The bananaquit could simply not get to the feeder, afraid of a bird even smaller than itself as I quietly chuckled at it’s many failures when trying to sneak into the hummingbird’s territory.

I watched – they had been at it for an hour, and in heartbeats that must be the equivalent of days of their lives, perhaps even weeks.

A thought occurred to me.

It might be nice to have a hummingbird to deal with all the noisy bananaquits in my life.

Vacation Thoughts

Bananaquit from aboveThe time away was a wonderful thing; I hadn’t realized how much I needed a vacation.

There was time for some necessary culling of what I have been doing over the years by not doing any of it. I wrote for days in a notebook, a means I have for clearing my mind. I started doing that as a teenager, a way to get everything out – every sting, every joy, every itching wound. That writing is never to be published – simply an exercise in free writing that cleanses and, which at the end, is destroyed.

An open letter to the Universe as some might see it, an open letter to the Self as others might see it. The physical act of making everything inside external, the mechanical process, is something that works for me because then you can look at it from the outside looking in. The shift in perspective is then more easily done, going through one’s own life as the reader rather than the author.

You find petty things, you find important things glossed over, you find a character whose world-view is affected by things no longer present, whose actions are affected by that world-view in both good and bad ways.

And then I burn them – a symbolic thing I have always done, watching the black ink contrast less and less on the pages that go from white to ash.

Then you’re left with a start, and in that start, in a space where you can be yourself, you find what’s really there now. What I found was not what I had thought was there – faux rationality is easily scattered from the urn and you can see yourself for what you are, the world for what it is…

And then the vacation starts where you can do the things you want to do.

One morning I idyllically tossing a tethered waterproof camera into an area of deep current, just because I had one and some 550 cord.

Another morning I traipsed around on the abandoned paths of Blue Waters Inn – full of life, absent people who wanted to spend money to go see things and were out and about. I saw new things.

I sat with a hummingbird for hours, watching it feed and chase others from it’s source.

Most of all, I figured out what the next me was going to do with his life, if only for a while.

Context

Crystal sparksWe miss things.

We look away. Sometimes it’s a matter of time, which is a matter of prejudice in the full meaning – not the popular usage.

Take for example The Wall, by Pink Floyd. I introduced the album to my father circa 2001, and he liked it. In 2004, I got a copy of the video for The Wall. The video is something that Tarantino probably looks up to, really, but it tells the story as they wished to represent it.

My father hated it, and would not listen to Pink Floyd after it. In his words, “They’re fucking sick!”.

Now, we could get into the metaphors, etc, but the video – is biographical to an extent, as is the music. It’s about tearing down metaphorical walls, something of a theme in every sentient human I know and have known. To me, it’s soul food.

That’s not what my father saw at all – in it’s own way a tribute of our differences. To him it was sick and disturbing. To me, in a way, that was sort of the point – because inside of ourselves, when we’re honest with ourselves, I think – there always lurks something sick and disturbing. Some might say that there is a darkness in all of us. My father was taught, oddly enough, to maintain The Wall, whereas I embraced that darkness early on.

Was he wrong? No, he was not, he was absolutely right in what he saw – in his context, in the context of his own life and what he thought the world should look like. Was I wrong? No, I saw in my context that it all fell into place. That he was a cornerstone of some of my Walls was a bit poetic in his reaction. Pink Floyd was also a tool for me to help work my way around things, and he believed in brute force – which is not to say that he wasn’t intelligent, but that he was forged of the same materials in a different furnace.

That’s one example of context. Others abound. We all prejudge things to at least a small degree, and some of us – a few, it would seem – take the time to get to understand the contexts better. To see things from different perspectives, to appreciate these perspectives for what we are. It’s important for creating lasting solutions in a world that doesn’t really care about context – it doesn’t care about our prejudices, it doesn’t care about any of what we care about.

The Laws of Nature, which we’ve started figuring out, don’t care about what you think of the next person.

Society, on the other hand, does. We live in both, and we live where contexts are always in conflict – and the big ugly ones remain unresolved because they fester, they are not allowed to heal, and they remains bricks of the wall in our society.