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Something Wonderful: Releasing the Hurt Hawk

The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes.
The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those
That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.
You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him;
Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;
Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.
Hurt Hawks by Robinson Jeffers 

HT: S. King

THAT WAS yesterday via King. Morning brings this via Hyland:

Many years ago near the final question of a final job interview for a position I needed but didn’t really want, for some company that did something unimportant in Prague I was asked by the hiring manager that old question about what kind of animal you would be and why. I had read about different answers to this question and in which scenarios to use different animals, but at the moment I simply exhaled all the wind out of me and slouched down in my chair. I no longer wanted the job. The question was silly and I had partially forgotten which choice was best for this middle manager gig, so I sat in a petulant silence that made her and the department manager feel a bit awkward.

“Well, what animal?” She finally asked.

No longer wanting the job I turned to honesty instead of pretenses, thinking it would disqualify my candidacy.

“I don’t know. I guess a hawk or eagle. A high-flying predatory bird.”

“And why?”

“There’s a Buddhist saying that you can’t take a holy man away from the top of a mountain.”

“Okay. So why a hawk?”

“Well, these birds can fly higher than some mountains. They can see in all directions for hundreds of kilometers, yet they’ve also evolved with binocular vision to see the tiniest detail on the ground. They can distinguish a mouse from a rock from hundreds of feet in the air. They move fast and have few predators. They dominate the skies, can see everything all at once, both big and small, near and far, and move quickly toward any direction. I think I would feel free up there.”

Everything Is Clear From Up Here – The Good Citizen

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • CW December 31, 2021, 8:06 AM

    That looks like an osprey. Just amazing that it realized the dude was trying to help it. Or, perhaps it was just fatalistically waiting for it’s fate. Either way, a happy ending.

    • ghostsniper December 31, 2021, 8:40 AM

      That IS an Osprey. I saved one once from 40′ up.
      It got trapped in a cupola in a house under construction that I had designed on Useppa Island. The wildlife folks from Sanibel were there but nobody wanted to venture up on that 12/12 pitch slickery metal roof. I threw a handkerchief over it’s head and grabbed both legs while it’s wings flailed. It gouged the hell out of my arms and bit me twice requiring a tetanus shot. The wildlife folk wanted me to bring it down so they could tag it. But I let it go as soon as I got it out of the cupola cause I don’t believe in all that tagging stuff. Steward them but do not enslave them. You can see that cupola in the link below. Would you go up there and do that?


      • Humdeedee December 31, 2021, 8:57 AM

        That’s no McMansion, Ghost….beautiful.
        And to answer your question, I couldn’t do it – I get queazy on a ladder, but I’m sure glad there are people like you who will take risks to succor our fellow occupants who share our planet.

      • Mike Austin December 31, 2021, 9:37 AM

        Nope. God gave me vertigo for a reason.

      • Tom Hyland December 31, 2021, 10:31 AM

        I’ve climbed such heights on ladders… and much higher when I used to hang-glide above the peaks of several Western mountains. I gave up the flying only because of a queasy stomach in the turbulence. The key to control in such conditions of height is a steadfast clenched sphincter muscle. The tighter the sphincter… the more calm and measured the control. Allow this to be your compass and you will leave the quivering cowards far behind.

      • julie December 31, 2021, 11:02 AM

        Wow, Ghost! In my dreams, I’d be the sort of person who could afford to hire you to build my dream home, and then I’d have a stipulation in the will that it must always belong to someone in the family.

        • ghostsniper December 31, 2021, 11:27 AM

          Dreams don’t have to be expensive Julie. 🙂

          • julie December 31, 2021, 12:15 PM


            If ever the opportunity arises (highly doubtful, but then you just never know), I’ll let you know 🙂

  • Dirk December 31, 2021, 8:30 AM

    I’ve learned that animals and birds are far smarter then most think. After life’s experiences believe sciences intent was to establish man’s domineering roll, that animals are a lesser creature.

    Thing is I like animals far more then people, I gain great pleasure watching animals in their natural environment. Something to be learned from every animals existence.

    Great vid, good way to start me day.


    • Mike Austin December 31, 2021, 9:40 AM

      Animals were created before us, they have known God longer and they were the first to announce His birth. I have found more truth, honesty and love in the eyes of a dog than I have in any human.

  • Tom Hyland December 31, 2021, 8:56 AM

    Thanks for posting this link, Gerard. Many others will thank you, too whether they write or not. This is one of the best articles I’ve encountered in a while. I’ve said this often the past two years… “These are the truthiest of Times.” Never before has there been a moment in history when people willingly wore their fear and ignorance plainly upon their faces. And then their behavior and follow-through obedience to all things propaganda-wise cemented their deal. Such stunning mindless choreography has been displayed that I’m surprised the “Mein Fuhrer” salute hasn’t made a come-back. Be a hawk. The view is marvelous up here.

  • Bear Claw Chris Lapp December 31, 2021, 10:01 AM

    I to follow the Dodo on twitter but missed that one. Thank you Gerard. Have a Happy New Year.

  • Lance de Boyle December 31, 2021, 12:17 PM
  • Simon January 2, 2022, 12:48 PM

    The osprey video reminds me of a strange encounter, (of the third kind?) that happened to me many years ago.

    It was early morning in the Fall of ’77 and my then wife and I were driving from Houston BC to a little place where we lived in those days named Horsefly in South Central British Columbia.
    It was just first light and My wife was at the wheel and I was slumped up against the passenger door trying to catch a few more zz’s before we stopped for breakfast at a diner down the road.
    The particular section of the highway was a sort of two lane causeway running through a low lying area that was mostly poplar and bog on either side with much evidence of beaver activity.
    As we were driving along I caught movement out of the corner of my eye of something swooping down in front of us , followed by that dull thud of something hitting the windshield.
    My wife remarked on it and said she thought it was a bird and it had most likely been killed. We drove on for a couple of minutes but it nagged at me enough to turn back in case it was hurt. We found a suitable place to get turned around and had no trouble finding it as it lay in the middle of the road. I got out and as I approached I realized that it was a large bird but couldn’t immediately identify it as it lay face down on the road. I carefully turned it over with my foot only to realize that it was in fact a large owl that appeared dead. I stared at it for a few moments only to see it open its eyes and stare at me with a focused gaze. At that point I knew we couldn’t leave it there and I had miles to make that day so I bundled it in my coat and got back in the car and we proceeded.
    It lay still for quite some time and soon it started to move its head around checking out its surroundings and staring up and locking eyes with me. We drove on for about a half hour and I guess with the heater going and gathering its senses about it the owl recovered and became restless.
    We stopped the car and I got out and laid my coat down on the pavement and unwrapped the owl from his bonds. He managed to get himself up and stood there on the coat, turned and stared at me momentarily before he flapped his wings and ungracefully took flight. I watched him as he gained momentum and he then flew on downstream and disappeared into the dense brush of the early morning fog. I stood there for a few moments deep in my own thoughts and as I proceeded to get back into the vehicle, the owl had circled back and flew a low overhead arc above us and across the road and on into the brush where I heard all kinds of crashing and commotion. I continued to get back into the car and left it all with greater powers than me as to what had happened and as to whether the owl would survive.
    We talked about it some as we proceeded down the road and didn’t think much of it throughout the day’s travel.
    It was a busy day for us with many stops along the way and late night found us about twenty miles north of the town of Williams Lake BC travelling south through a little hamlet called Wildwood and out on the road was a lone person with his thumb out. We stopped and he got in the front seat by the door. It was late and I tried to make a little conversation with him though it didn’t take me long to realize that he was pretty stoned. I finally managed to get a response out of him and he requested that I take him to a hospital. I talked to him for a while and came to the conclusion that though he was messed up, he wasn’t really in dire need of medical attention beyond being patient and coming down off of whatever he was on.
    I suggested he didn’t really need a doctor and that we stop at a restaurant in the upcoming town but he was persistent that he wanted medical help.
    We pulled in at the local hospital and proceeded into the emergency room waiting area and in those quiet days it was empty . A older middle age woman came out from the back and smiled and asked if she could help us. There was a slight awkward moment of silence and she looked at first me and then him and at that point I realized that he wasn’t going to speak so I explained to the nurse that I had picked him up on the highway and he had requested he be brought to the hospital.
    He still wouldn’t speak though he’d had no trouble talking to me back in the car.
    At that point I mentioned that I felt he was under the influence of something though I couldn’t say what. Well she started to frown and I could see this was going nowhere so I turned to him and said that he was on his own and I headed for the exit door. I barely got through the door when he came barrelling out, pushed past me and ran off into the night.
    That was that and I climbed into the car and we headed out on the last sixty miles of our journey home.
    We didn’t talk much on that final lap, as it had been an eventful day and we were both exhausted and wanted for sleep.
    As we drove along and finally hit the secondary road for the forty mile remainder of our trip, I started to feel an oppressive cloud settle in on our space; something I couldn’t quite put my finger on but menacing still the least
    We continued on for some time … my wife driving … both silent … both caught up in our own separate thoughts, but the feeling of doom wouldn’t leave me and a crushing sense of panic started to engulf me.
    I remember telling my wife to stop the car and I guess I said it with enough force that she did immediately.
    For some unknown reason of which I will never understand, I felt compelled to reach under the front seat on the passenger side beneath my feet and there I found a small bundle. I quickly unwrapped it and inside was a small dead owl.
    I remember flinging the door open and jumping out into the night and running down into the ditch on the side of the road where I carefully placed the bundle in the grass behind a fence post. I then ran back up the bank and into the car and hurriedly told my wife to ‘just go’.

    I’ve never had quite as intense an experience as that in what is almost fifty years later, nor do I pretend to understand what it was really all about.In fact, I’ve never put it to paper but the video of the osprey somehow compelled me to attempt to describe it .

    The air cleared immensely after removing the owl from the car and we drove home in relative peace.
    What I didn’t mention here were two things: One that we had two toddlers in the back seat on that trip; and Two that the younger one, my son Cody died in an unfortunate accident less than a year later.

    Some things we just can’t look to for explanation … My only conclusions and guiding light is that there is much more out there than we as mortals can perceive.
    We are only part of a much greater thing.