I went to great falls today, and walked out to the overlook on Olmsted island. Two vultures with small, leathery, red heads and black, cloak-like bodies sat perched on a craggy outcropping of gray-green rock amid tall, bare-branched trees and the rush of rapids, perfectly accentuating the menacing air that hung about this almost alien landscape.
Why alien? Unfamiliar yes, but it is no fault of the land that we have not gotten to know it. How quickly we pejorate the unknown; an easy excuse for lazy minds. To understand the seemingly foreign is to become acquainted with yourself, and in so doing to broaden your sense of security and well-being in your own individuality. The more you can recognize as being of a kind with the idea of you, the more robust your self will become.
As I walk around the tall, pole-like trees, up the hill and across the canal from great falls, I feel this connection, this kindness. Everything looks at me. I look at everything. We see ourselves all around.
Amazing to have a mind that can choose the narrative; frightening too. A scary story indeed to be a lone self, one man desperately protecting the fleshy sack of bone and blood that allows for his existence. One misstep from oblivion. Enemy to all things. Even allies are suspect and temporary in this perilous context. Much better to feel my sense of self spread out and embrace all the formerly alien aspects of existence.
This post is part of my throwback Thursday series. It originally appeared in March 2016.