Monday, December 21, 2015

My Little Feathered Friend

Culture & Society ---

It can be very disconcerting when you find yourself out of your element, when you find yourself far removed from your familiar surroundings, when you find yourself displaced. It is a veritable disruption of your existence. You feel a sense of alienation, an estrangement. You feel banished, exiled. You either capitulate, accept defeat, simply resign yourself to the new situation or you can adapt. Or, you can refuse to adapt, refuse to give in and, instead, roll the boulder up the hill. The latter response constitutes a kind of fighting back, a resistance in the face of the inevitable, a refusal, knowing that when you arrive at the top that the boulder will roll back down again. But you are not in the least daunted, for you will walk right back down again and attempt to roll it uphill again. 

When I saw my little feathered friend that morning on my way to work, I took one look at it and summed up its life as described above. I was standing on the platform of the Columbus Circle subway station waiting to transfer to the B or C train. I was concerned about the welfare of the little fella, seemingly trapped as it were in the underground of the subway system and away from its natural habitat. But as if reading my mind, it took one look at me and said: "I appreciate your concern, Ric." (Unbelievable! How did it know my name?) "Do not be concerned about me. Look at me. I do not plant. I do not harvest. I do not store away produce in barns. I do not worry about what I will eat or drink or what clothes I will wear, and yet I am doing fine. I am being taken care of by you know Who." At that point my connecting train pulled into the station, and the little fella flew off about his business, leaving me to ponder his words of wisdom.

[photo art by Ric Couchman]