In Ohio, we did not have boats, we had horses...
...Well, we change, but we do not change much.
Done with bailing, I stow the gear
And cast off.
Snorting, the engine churns and comes alive!
And with arched neck she steps out over the water.
I wonder then if human kind has not fundamentally changed with the onset first of agriculture and herds which brought us the horse, and then technology which brought us motorized boats, cell phones, and the new iPad. Did we use to look at horses truly as mere objects as we do with our computers, or do we enter into the maze of intersubjective relationships with both machine and being with much of a difference between the two? So, if we have not changed much, then were we so heartless with horses before or do we love our gadgets and gears overly much? Somehow I believe that patting a horses neck and learning into her sweet neck, her responding in turn with snorts and leans, is more connecting to this earth than turning on the computer. But it also carries much more responsibility to enter into the dark barn with all those lives staring at you, depending on your time and your resources and your compassion to love them as your neighbor. A computer we put out at the curb side and head off to Office Depot with a traitor's gleam in our eye as we replace the new with the old. For many this is not so easily done with an animal, though for some it seems to be as we treat ourselves and other beings as machines to do our bidding, and if they don't, we cast them off and head for other shores.
Perhaps poet Mary is inviting us to think of none of that but of this: We all move over the waters of change, over the living waters that know no distinction of self.
What animals have claims on you and how do you treat them?