...being the observations and navigational extracts
from the ongoing expeditions of San Francisco Piano Pop trio
True Margrit

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Hawks and Doves

Speaking of birds.

David & I were walking down Precita on the way to the cafe to grab bagels for breakfast the other day, chattering away as is our wont. Suddenly, David broke off from our regularly scheduled conversation and said, "Look there! That falcon has a pigeon" I pivoted around and, sure enough, not 20 feet away a hawk whooshed by with hapless prey gripped in its mighty talons, and heading south ( roughly that) on Precita. It was quite a sight and so nearby, damn, it was one helluva Discovery Channel moment. The stronger eat the weak and thus thrive. The frail fail. That's all natural enough, if gruesome--and admittedly a bit thrilling-- at close quarters.

But I thought about it, naturally, in meta-- the ways in which power/ force is used (abused) in a human political/social context. And 'tis election season now, when the candidates are obliged to paint some rather Neanderthalesque martial scenes onto their banners. They have to squawk like hawks. No doves around ( once America's most common bird, passenger pigeons are now extinct after all). Among your own species, might is not really actually truly right. Folks, I'm a pacifist at heart. It's the only ism I can ascribe to with comfort. It doesn't mean I'm a ninny, or that I don't support the troops (who doesn't like a girl or boy in uniform, and want them home in one piece physically and psychologically). But Gandhi, whoa, that dude rocked.

Floating through space as we are, in this vast universe of uncertainty, on a planet where it's ever more difficult to matriculate the insoluble scale of culpability with looming global devastation, much less choose a personal networking website...wow... pacifism. It's an ideal for human striving and such. Plus, violence/ warfare is so very old hat in the self-begetting ways it has...oh that old thing, it's doesn't fit you anymore, no--don't pack it away in the box in the attic-- it will come back & bite you on the ass, just throw it out already...

Compassion is the most underutilized human resource of all. But I know I know-- I am not offering any solutions, oh you naysayers, you droppers of bombs, you history buffs, you cutting edge pundits and politicos and cynics. Sometimes I just hanker for that day when waving a flag doesn't stand for the implicit threat of force. The brain and its native reason is mightier than the ballistic missile, the poets sing.

But It's an old habit--crushing the opponent. Hold on to your skin -- cuz someone might wanna make galoshes with it. To warm their offspring's toes in the cold winter months ahead. Or to mass-produce it, raise the price, subjugate the worker, and keep the royalties. But it's one thing for birds of prey or cavewomen/ men of paleolithic days. Another one entirely for our ostensibly evolved gentlefolk of the 21st century. How to change? The evolutions and revolutions aren't won with bombs or blades or guns. Never. But one day, yeah, one day we will unite and migrate to a higher plane (espcially since the ocean water levels will be rising).

Until then watch the skies and keep your tools of skepticism acute.