Tuesday, May 23, 2017


photo by Carl Jackson

Over the weekend I went with The Bird Photographer to Point Fermin near San Pedro to watch the peregrine falcons feed their fledglings. Like I said in a post I wrote for Cerebral Palsy Foundation last month, I wasn't aware of the incredible variety of birds that are among us nor their fascinating habits, until I started hanging with him.  The picture above is what's called an "aerial transfer" from the male to the female. That's a small bird, I believe, that the male has just caught. He heads back to the nest with that in his talons, the female flies out with not a little ruckus, he drops the prey in the air, and the female catches it mid-air and takes it back to the nest. It's insane except it's not. It's nature.

I don't feel like extending the metaphor, but I'm nothing if not an endless weaver of the metaphorical. Think precision, ruckus, prey, nourishment, nature, nurture, violence.

I'm struggling to deal with Sophie's new normal that might not be normal. She isn't having many seizures as the CBD seems to be really helping with those, but her general well-being isn't so great. I have no idea what's going on, and if I hadn't been doing this for so long, I would be up all night trying to figure it out. Figure it out. There's no figuring out, sometimes.

If something can be done about the situation, what need is there for dejection?And if nothing can be done about it, what use is there for being dejected?
Shantideva, 8th century Buddhist master 

It's weird to be conscious of and actually feel the enormity of the task at hand and the accompanying fatigue. I'm struck by how everything is the same, by how we're constantly learning and unlearning and re-learning.

The personal is political, isn't it? Isn't it?

I feel, still, great anxiety and even greater anger when I think about our government and the man we're supposed to call President. What a piece of shit. It looks like the country's "budget" will be balanced on the backs of the sick, the poor and the disabled. Hundreds of billions of dollars handed from one oligarchy to another so that the masses can build the weapons of war that will be used to destroy the masses in other countries. What a load of bullshit. I think it's safe to say that the funds Sophie receives from the government, procured through an aerial transfer that is much like the peregrines' pictured above, are not a sure thing. Whether the cuts come or not, the fact that they're argued about by those in power, the fact that we must continually justify them, fight for them,  beg for them is cause for a sort of irrevocable anxiety that ripples out of the body, my body and into the air.

Read THIS.

* Peregrine falcons are the fastest animals on the earth and can reach speeds of 240 mph. At one point, due to the effects of the chemical DDT, they were on the endangered species list. The entire American peregrine falcon population experienced drastic declines due to the widespread use of the pesticide. It caused their eggshells to weaken and break and led the babies to die before hatching.Thanks to the Endangered Species Act, their numbers have soared. (source is U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). The Endangered Species Act is currently under the chopping block for the Trump Administration.


  1. I am so pleased that you're spending time with the bird photographer and he is opening up an entirely new perspective on the world for you. I am also furious that this same old fucking fight continues on over and over again. Those of us without power are conscripted to justify our mere existence and continue justifying it in order to gain scraps from those in power. I sincerely cannot wait until the ones in power are us - the mothers, the women, the once-disenfranchised. I hope that when we are finally in power, we remember what it is to be part of something bigger, and we treat it with the reverence it deserves. The picture is gorgeous and is an incredible reminder that we are only part of all of this. Love.

  2. The Bird Photographer must truly have some bodacious camera equipment and talent. I would like to have both of those things. Alas, alack, I do not.
    The current administration is a total load of shit. My younger brother has been on the glide slope of Alzheimer's for 11 years. He's in a memory care unit paid for by Medicaid. I have no idea what will happen next to him, or for him. That total shite Mulvaney has no idea what he's talking about with bringing people back into the workforce. I read his new definition of "compassion" today and just wanted to hit something.

  3. Politics saved the peregrine. A political success akin to that does not seem at all likely these days.
    What a great photo.
    And the post too, of course.

  4. the photo is amazing. And we will catch one another. We will.

  5. That picture is out of hand! WOW!

    As for Trump, I felt the same surge of anger, reading about his transfer of Medicaid funds to military projects and border control. (Specifically that mythical wall.) I can't believe this is what people really want -- a wall at the expense of medical assistance for those who need it. But maybe they do.

  6. Elizabeth- keep speaking truth. Keep writing wisdom. Keep sharing poems and pictures. It makes a difference. I know it does. And what Beth said- we will catch each other. She should know, that catcher of life.

  7. That picture is incredible.

    You have so many people that care about you. To catch you when you fall.

    "We are all just walking one another home".

  8. It is so hard to not know, to live in that space of not knowing what and why and how. I am holding Sophie in my heart, and you too. Dear Elizabeth, I wish I had better words.



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