I figured out far too late, as I continued to rub a nebulous area adjacent to my scalp, that he might have meant to say, “Duck.”
He insisted, however, that the confusion had to be all mine. It was hard for me to dispute the facts and facts only. He was up there, balanced, and I was down here, toppled. Language is constantly subject to changing conditions, after all. The tawny owl was able to follow the dirt I kicked up into a cloud, as it was carried away inside of a current, swirled by a whirl, uplifted into a maelstrom, and bounced butt to cheek up against the dancing free radicals of the nether realms, either the fourth or the fifth most basic building block of the multiverse, who are forever far out there ready to pounce on every itty-bitty wisp that spins. Tell me what can match a free radical zoom for zoom once locked into the zone? Like, duh. You may believe that unintended consequences are the fourth most basic building block of the multiverse, and not a subset of mistakes, clearly the third most basic building block of the multiverse, which is your right, even if, in the end, you turn out all wrong. But, still. A twist leading to a tilt is nowhere near a twirl, right? Try to control that and find out where it takes you. What part of groveling in synthetic dirt is difficult to comprehend? It would take a shit load of denial to stop that runaway locomotion. Every which way I turned, the evidence remained overwhelming.
I said, “Ow.”
“Free your mind instead.”
“What’s my mind got to do with losing my grip?”
“You’ve got dirt coming out of your mouth.”
I may have repeated, “Ow.” But what really I meant to say was, “Ew.”
I had been striving for some period of hard time, with all of the abundant knocks endemic to the trek, to grasp at the Thee Tawny Owl Institute of High Flying and Rising Consciousness how to severely twist my neck for purposes of advancing movement farther on down the road. As such, things were not always looking up. The road did not shoot straight and my head did not rotate sufficiently on a swivel. Signals became crossed, and at odds. I suffered along with the rest of my species from failures due to obtuse myopia. I was apt to be caught by slow speed from behind. I was made regrettably aware in just that way that skunks were nearby. Affect gashed cause, often.
It was never any intent, however, of any consciousness at any level, to go so far that neck and head fall off any edge of any chopping block into any abyss. Don’t ask me how that graceful limb turned into a stump. That’s where I lacked not only balance but a context. It’s hard to make do with less.
Foolishly, I tried to curry favor with the tawny owl. Shouldn’t a little bit of that grace and majesty rub off due to mere proximity? I felt strongly as if my dulled senses could make a comeback under more sparkling conditions. If not here and now, when and why not? Fawning is never a pretty sight, though.
“Don’t you think I should be seeing better around that next bend just about anytime right now or soon,” I asked?
“It’s gotta be hard for any head to lift too high and see keenly with those itty-bitty eyes you got stuck on so shallow that’re weighing you down.”
“I believe that my twisted posture is improving, though.”
He said, “I’ma stay up here laughing my ass off.”
The tawny owl had kicked back in the redwood tree near my back door before there was a back door, or a house to hold the back door upright, before the old growth trees in the redwood forest were indiscriminately slaughtered to make way for striped parking stalls super-sized to accommodate drive-by’s and thru lanes. He witnessed the eerie arrival of the first passable robots in the neighborhood, the seductively high yields they promised by flinging crooked low impact statistics at hard and fast blank walls. He watched them organize, multiply, cut more trees, poison more ground, blend in, divide. The blank walls were held up by drippy glue, whittled sticks, ammunition, and bobble-headed, loony tune faith. Bobble heads filled up fast and furiously on fuel before tumbling. When one erection fizzled, the next in line popped right up like a thoughtless balloon, no biggie. The human enablers were grateful to have such a swell bunch of new friends right next door willing to play monotonous games that induced a general anesthesia. Those inefficient trees just got in the way of the straight lines mapped out by riding lawn mowers. They sealed their own fate. What else was a clueless human enabler supposed to do except ride?
The high flying birds were always able to fly higher than the human enablers but the seed peckers like the adorable yellow warblers suffered tragic losses. Most of the heavy lifting took place out of sight and out of mind, in deep darkness while the human enablers were asleep. There was a lot of sleeping. Eating, too. Denial became a major seller in the food, fuel, fat, and equity markets.
I said, “I still try to get my head around that one at least half of every two or three times you clue me in.”
He observed, “That bump looks like it won’t stop growing anytime soon.”
Unlike the tawny owl, I was not, am not, and will not be able to take gravity for granted at any time soon in space as I know it. My training had started out pretty humdrum, with basic stuff like balance, alignment, honesty, trajectory, truth. I learned a lot by playing around in real living dirt with many worms but I might have stuck too hard and fast to coloring within the lines. I believed I was doing a pretty bang-up job of it too, sort of, even as the neighborhood became infested with cuddly vermin while I snoozed. But I still have an awfully hard time distinguishing between a rigid human enabler with protruding studs and starch and an enterprising robot in a soft robe and kapok padding who is laying pipe and wire. I was never going to make the steep grade shooting in any arc to Mars on a SpaceX excursion that way.
The tawny owl reminded me,”If you can’t be here now after coming from where you been and dig it while it’s happening without falling over out of balance, what are you doing still where you’re at?”
I said, “Whoa, fucking whoa.”
He said, “I hear ya.”