A Hawk Waits

The patience of The Wild always impresses me.

Especially when waiting for a meal.

I’ve seen creatures from the very small to the very large become quiet, become so still they are whispers against the wind…

then move with a ferocity and tenacity which is terrifying.

One of my proudest (read “most vain”) moments was realizing I could move faster than a wild animal could follow.

Part of which came from realizing what types of motion their eyes were designed to capture, something which goes back to my studies of Jerome Lettvin’s Frog’s Eye Concept, a fascinating discovery probably lost in time (MIT 1959 What the Frog’s Eyes Tells the Frog’s Brain).

Basically, we see what we’re trained to see.

In some ways, this is obvious. A trained surgeon sees disease where untrained people don’t, a trained plumber sees a leak in the making where the untrained see a sweating pipe.

Take this a step further and we learn our training affects our decision making; the brain changes incoming sensory data to fit expectations, likewise, our expectations cause us to only perceive certain data.

Adds a whole new level to Believing is Seeing, doesn’t it?

I make use of Dr. Lettvin’s Frog’s Eye Concept in The Inheritors

The Librarian closed the hatch. She reached over and opened it again. “Bertrand?”
The Librarian’s pale, hairless, babe-like head and pulsing eyes poked up through again. “Yes, Resa?”
“You can see after images, can’t you, when something’s hot enough?”
“Yes, Resa.”
“Can you see anything here?”
“No, Resa.”
“Are you sure? I think…I thought…someone was here, something which produced enough heat to keep me warm in the night.”
“No, Resa. Who do you think it was?”
She hesitated. “I thought it was the Christian Devil.”
“I would not be able to see it, real or not, Resa.”
Resa focused on Bertrand’s eyes, looking to see if the Librarian joked or not. “What do you mean, you wouldn’t be able to see him, real or not?”
“That creature’s origins are from a belief system different than our own. It cannot exist for us because we have no reason for it to exist.”
She nodded. “Yes, of course. You wouldn’t react to him. You have different mythical systems and no meme to contain it. The Frog’s Eye Concept.”
“Dr. Jerome Lettvin. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 1959. “What the Frog’s Eye Tells the Frog’s Brain.”

As noted earlier, Believing is Seeing.


Busy Days in Raccoon Town

We are known by the Old Ones.

In our backyard, they gather for their feasts.

Being known by the ancients can be wonderful.

And wonderfully terrifying.

As I noted in The Shaman

I drive back from the Y, late Fall, late morning, and come around a curve as a frog hops into the road.
I swerve, drive on, complete the curve, pull over, stop.
The frog continues its journey into the road.
Others will not care if this one completes its journey or not. Some might see its movements against the wet tar of the road.
Two cars come around the curve in my rearview mirror.
I get out of my car, trot back up the road, find the frog dead, crushed and flattened, three-quarters of the way across.
I grieve. I should have acted sooner. I know what is important and what is not.
I cry, ask Frog’s forgiveness for not taking care of its shadow.
Sunlight comes over the hillock blinding the curve, shines on the grasses opposite me, steaming where the frog might have been.
A mist rises.
Coming forward.
Old Ones.
The First Ones.
The Ancients.
The True Ones of which all else is Shadow and Myth, a harmony of human and animal energies so I can understand.
A’blig’moodj, The Frog Prince, the one of whom one of my teachers is a shadow, walks forward, holds its hand up to me.
Behind him, beside him, Wolf, Bear, Stag, Eagle, Lion, Hawk, Moose, Whale, Dolphin, Salmon, Oak, Ash, Thorn, and more lost further back in the mist.
A Council of All Beings.
A Council of All First Ones.
A’blig’moodj’s mist forms around me. It takes my hand. I hear it inside me. “Do not grieve, Gio. This one was old and could not survive another winter. It is good he comes Home now.”
I fall to the pavement, shaking, terrified. To be in the presence of such energies. My bodies can not stand.
A’blig’moodj lifts me, holds me, stands me beside him. “You are known to us, and we thank you.”
It returns to The Ancients.
I crawl to my car, unable to drive, barely able to breathe.
To be known by The Ancients.
And live.


Mr. – umm, I mean – Ms. Hawk

We are graced by the anonymous Mr. Hawk.

You may wonder “How can one be anonymous and still be a Mr. Hawk?”

Well, part of the problem is my assuming a gender and being incorrect.

Let’s start again…

We are graced by the anonymous Ms. Hawk.

Who, once we are corrected, happily shares her name, Angeline.”

Looks like an Angeline, now that you know, doesn’t she?

Perhaps the unisexual Ange?

Ah, well…perhaps not.


The Return of Opie

The Mighty Ops has been missing from these posts for a while.

We’ve known both Opie and Opalina have been about.

They leave calling cards.

You don’t want to know.

Shy yet ferocious, The Mighty Ops takes on all challengers.

Discretion is the better part of valor, of course, and still…

Don’t get between Opossum and their meals.

Remember their war cry – Beware my piercing teeth, Two-Legs!