The Hawk and the Comic Book

“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”  ~  T. S. Elliot

“Certainly work is not always required of a man. There is such a thing as a sacred idleness, the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected.”  ~  George MacDonald

“Like silence after noise, or cool, clear water on a hot, stuffy day, Emptiness cleans out the messy mind and charges up the batteries of spiritual energy. Many people are afraid of Emptiness, however, because it reminds them of Loneliness.” ~ Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

That T. S. Elliot quote blew me away. I know exactly what he is saying there. Hope, love, faith, and thought, these are not things that you can do. You simply have to be there. No effort can take you there. Read that last sentence again, it can be read in more than one way. Writing about stuff like this is always awkward at best, and Mister Elliot put some grace to it. Dude, like that is like soooo cool, dude. I find myself in Flow sometimes at work. My first therapist, Marilyn Bauer of Key Largo, did her graduate thesis on Flow Consciousness. During one of my initial sessions with her she told me that I live on an archetypal level. True that. I knew that back then. That major, nearly calamitous, depressive breakdown then breakthrough happened a mere six years after my head trauma and NDE. You readers may not understand how brief a time that is after having been smack dab in the middle of Nothing Much, Emptiness, whatever. Timelessness and simultaneous time are foolers. I’ll leave it at that. As I was driving home after work yesterday, passing the buffalo pasture at 45 MPH, something burst through some rather tall roadside shrubs to my right. It rocketed across the road, about 20 feet beyond my front bumper, not more than 10-15 feet above the tarmac. It was moving fast enough that I could not see what it was until it passed low over the guard rail to my left. That’s when I saw the dark wings and the red tail, which was cocked up just so. Yeh, a red-tailed hawk. The semiotic rush I experienced upon recognition was literally breathtaking. When I say semiotic I mean that the birder’s goal of identifying a species was seamlessly entangled with my archetypal proclivity in that the glistening of the  symbolism associated with the beastie occurred simultaneously with identification of the species, and a rush of meaning flashed  out from within. Semiotics speak of the meaning attached to the symbol. It’s pretty dry stuff that I learned from reading Umberto Eco, who was a professor of Semiotics or something. Philosophy, anthropology,  media culture, and comic books which he loved. No, really, he loved comic books so much that he wrote a novel about them. Anyway, the red-tailed hawk symbolizes the approach of a messenger from above, swiftness of thought, and sudden precision when it goes in for the catch. What that means to me is an unfolding awareness. I’l take it to work with me, and I’d best keep it under my belt. It is a personal thing that is hard to describe; ya had to be there.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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