An Osprey’s View

A wild couple of days of storm have passed. Now the fog and wind are all that remain of the tempest.

The weather seems to reflect the national mood, creating a milieu that is mythic. Somewhere out there, in the deep fog, one imagines people stirring cauldrons and chanting ancient phrases.

Here, deeply embedded in the natural world, one may find some distance from the vicissitudes of the everyday world. There is balm in the presence of other lives, a reminder that our small dramas are social constructs that say little about the value of individuals.

Still, I awoke to the thought that all those in charge of governance should be forced to lead lives of disability and receive only the supports available through the social compact rather than those that come from wealth and influence. Such thoughts are hardly generous, reflecting some deep hurt and anger that surely come from a near lifetime of disability. I am keenly aware that the anger arises even though I am relatively insulated from the harsh blows of greed and fate.

That said, I doubt the osprey care much about the social consequences of disability, the simple task of hunting for breakfast in the wind and fog being a much more immediate problem.

15 thoughts on “An Osprey’s View

  1. I had a similar thought when I read that Rush Limbaugh has downplayed and found fault with how the media makes a big deal out the the hurricane. He believes the media wants to scare people in order to support their false climate claims and to increase profits of retailers as people prepare for the storms. He make these statements as Irma is coming towards Florida – and he is based in Palm Beach (The Washington Post). You can guess my thoughts, and of course I felt a little guilt (mainly for the innocent people who would be hurt). Sometimes we just wish for a way to knock some compassion and sense into the minds and souls of people who have privilege. To know that the eugenics movement is being talked about again is making me ill. On the happy side, we are heading for VT today after wet, drippy night in Maine.

    • Pat, the return of eugenics is, I guess, sadly predictable. Did you know that it was deeply embedded in Vermont culture and history? Natives here were sterilized into the 1980’s…… As to Rush, I notice he fled Florida. How did your Florida home do in the storm?

      • Yes, I had read some time ago, probably when I was doing doc studies, about Vermont and was shocked and appalled. I do believe the Vermont is the most beautiful state in the US. We stayed on highway 2 and spent a day driving one of the scenic routes north almost to Canada. And then we drove down 100, then over to a small ferry to NY. We enjoyed these drives so very much. The 5-15 ft. surge was 2-6 feet and didn’t get to us even though we live across from canals directly from Naples Bay. After hearing from someone who walked the grounds, our concerns are only from inside water damage from leaking windows and doors as the eye passed over Naples and there were recorded winds of 132 mph. We can’t go down until there is electricity and they aren’t giving dates seeing almost everyone in FL is waiting for power. It has been a stressful month as our daughter lives in Victory and evacuated to Houston (actually Galveston, but didn’t tell us) and then we had Irma. Thanks for asking.

      • Pat, I am glad you enjoyed our fair state! I am even happier to hear that your home survived the ravages! Hopefully all will be as well as can be when you do get to go down.
        The eugenics legacy continues to haunt Vermont, and there remain deep and profound divisions between people here. Still, there is often a willingness to talk and try.

  2. Sometimes I wonder if my existence is about championing “the value of individuals”. My children, for example. Who, except for me, would take on this cause? I suppose my thoughts are mostly about missing my late husband, their father.

    • Yes, loss has this aching that persists. And yes, it is our role to care for our kids, even when they are adults. Who would do this, is indeed the question. Often we do so even when they have partners.

  3. when i was a youngster i thought ospreys looked out for me. i was always happy when they would appear in the spring, sitting on snags above the lake. they would fish through the summer, sometimes just beyond me. when they took south in october i felt on my own.

  4. A thoughtful reflection, Michael. I have often wondered if those whose lives have been privileged are at a disadvantage. Those who have struggled through adversity often develop innovative ways to survive. Common sense, practical skills to make the best of what one has, social skills to form mutual support networks, and philosophical/spiritual depth to make sense of life don’t come easily for those who have never had an opportunity to really struggle. I doubt that many even notice ospreys or contemplate compassionate detachment. I have also wondered if experiencing adversity firsthand would make a difference for privileged folks like many of those in power today. I honestly don’t know if empathy or compassion would be the result. Adversity can also result in less hopeful outcomes as well…

    • Carol, I always urged my students to go to Third and Forth World communities and stay for a while. Such experiences are often immensely transformative, although I also know some folks who just had their prejudices confirmed and solidified by their contacts with The Other. Certainly, isolation and xenophobia don’t help…..

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