What’s Going On?

20170516_032059046_iOSI don’t know about you, but I’d really like to know the answer.

What’s going on with you?

What’s going on in the world right now?

I’m not totally sure, but I think this might be the most beat-down I’ve felt all year. My mind is in a bleak place. Case in point, a little story.

While we were eating lunch today – on the back deck, in the clear yellow sun – we saw a hummingbird sitting on the feeder, sipping some lunch by us. Another hummingbird came along, eyed the one drinking for a few seconds, and then lightly landed across from its feathered fellow. Aaaw, look at all of us, peacefully enjoying our meal together.

It didn’t last. If you’ve ever watched hummingbirds, you know they’re fiercely competitive, with each other, with other birds, even other animals. I’ve had them buzz me when I was weeding too close to their favorite flowers. They fear no one. They are also not into sharing.

The first bird immediately shot over to the new one, chasing him off the feeder and through the yard. We see this happen routinely, and often spot two or even three hummingbirds zipping through the yard and sometimes high above our heads, dive bombing each other.

We admire them and revel in watching them. But today, all I could think about was how much I was reminded of us, humans, right now, doing all we can to eliminate our “competition.” It feels like no matter where I turn, the news is about people being killed, harassed, terrorized, or deported. People in the Northwest picking up weapons to “protest” against each other. The threat of climate change and shitty (or just plain non-existent) health care will no doubt take their toll on most of us if we don’t all kill each other first. The only people who seem like they’ll escape this race to the bottom are the people currently in power.

I don’t have any answers, not today. If I can’t even enjoy one of nature’s most astonishing creatures without these kind of thoughts, I probably need to go meditate or something. But I felt I needed to say this, because I know I’m not alone. And I wanted you to know you’re not alone. Unlike hummingbirds, I think we do want to get along, help each other, see people be happy. Things just feel bewildering and intractable right now, and I think that’s a normal reaction to insanity. I’m not sure that makes me sane, but it’s a start.


5 thoughts on “What’s Going On?

  1. My brother once tried to photograph a hummingbird nest, and got speared in the forehead by the mother. Good thing he wore glasses, it might have gone for an eye.

    The violent part of nature has always been a bit troubling to me, but I guess non-thinking creatures have to simply react. It’s distressing, though, when it seems the nuclear weapons-building creatures can’t operate on a higher level than “screw with me, and I’ll poke you in the eye.”

    I was going to tell you what Roger Baldwin, former president of the ACLU said–basically, that the world is better and less violent, but the media is much better at reporting it, so it seems worse. But I couldn’t remember his last name, so I googled “Roger ACLU president.” The second entry was a conservative thing about how anti-American, anti-freedom the ACLU is; the folks in the comments section described ACLU supporters as “satanic, wiccan, anti-christian homosexuals…” Their #2 ranking in Google isn’t viral, but it’s certainly bacterial–like beans left in the fridge for too long are bacterial. And stinky.

    Maybe we humans are a virus tasked with rewriting our own programming for good, not evil. I’ve noticed, reading comments in news sites, that arch conservatives are very quick and organized about writing comments. I wonder if comments sections is where some of the reprogramming happens, and if we need to step up.

    Anyway, sorry to go on for so long–I wanted to offer you some hope, but that got derailed. Thanks, internet!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Ed, I agree, it would be nice if we are mutating, in a good way. Maybe you’re right, and we are as we speak, and all this latest ugliness is just another of our growing pains. As MLK said, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I cling to these ideas, and need to remind myself that change doesn’t happen overnight. Must be patient. You give me hope all the time – don’t doubt it!


  2. Pingback: Wag More, Bark Less | black cloud reflections

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