Heading to the post office tonight on a busy avenue crowded with vehicles and passers-by, I hear the strange call of a bird. I pause. It’s coming from above, somewhere high in the bare branches of a tall tree. In the dim light I can make out what appears to be two nests and a large bird, loudly croaking. I’m sure there must be something not right, some sort of menace, some sort of need. Distress sounds the same in any language. But what is it now, at this moment, up there in birdland? No way for me to know from my grounded human perch. That’s the way of the world. I keep walking on.
From afar, too, the distress keeps coming in loud and clear from America. Don’t know much about what Obama said last night in Tucson, but I did pick this up: « …At a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do, it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. »
And if we all had learned that long ago? If we had been taught to pause thus?
We would see things as they are. We would see that we are not two. We would see that your hurt is my hurt.
We would see that we have nothing to lose or gain.
All the words in the world would pass like so many clouds. And we would see that we are wider than the sky.