Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bailing the Boat - February 2, 2010

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?


  1. Other that the two legged variety, our dog, cat, fish,and two birds complete our family. All are pretty demanding,and all are a significant part of our daily rituals. Probably they meet my needs better than I meet theirs. Ramses ball chasing adds joy to my morning coffee, and evening tea. Romeo's out of cage time adds insight to my emails and birdseed to my keyboard, and the fish, well serenity I think. Perhaps all would be better off in their natural habitat. Instead though, our relationships with them remind us that the earth is theirs too, and that we have to share what we have. I think that to an extent, technology has allowed us more time to build companion relationships with animals that we could not afford when we relied on them for service alone. The challenge for us humans, is not to let technology reduce relationships with other.

  2. Dear J,

    There you are again today speaking of technolgy and animals. You speak of the challenge of how to not let technology reduce relationships with the other, and what's so cool, is how technology helps expand our relationships with the other. I guess it lies with each of us how to expand the heart and hopes to know that we belong on this planet, in this universe.