Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Living Animism: They Grow Up So Very Fast...

A Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis) & devoted parent.
A Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis) & devoted parent.

Who are the persons in your neighborhood?


I woke some time around 2 a.m. While struggling to return to some semblance of sleep, I kept being disturbed by some sort of peculiarity with the laptop which keeps causing it to illuminate its screen despite the fact that I turned the screen brightness all they way down to off. Perhaps it is the nudge of a muse. Or a plaintive cry for attention from the abandoned. Or something.

So I shall take a short moment out of this night hour & return to the anecdotes I threatened but have yet to produce. But first, I must have a very-brief-rant. Very brief. Promise.

/run rant 

Late last night I sought out some small bit of minutiae which has no particular relevance here except that in the process of seeking this generally unimportant information, I stumbled across a piece of writing relevant to animism. Or was it "animism"? Regardless, the content, nay, the premise has been chapping my hide ever since.

The website author had a special tabbed section devoted to said "animism" wherein they described how they practice said "animism." In short, animism, or animistic practice, in that individual's worldview, consisted of sitting in their bedroom in the dark, drumming themselves into a trance state & waiting for visions of cliché animal spirits. With some groovy rhythms & healthy visualization, the usual sexy predator types that are so easy to anthropomorphize & airbrush on the sides of vans or silkscreen on t-shirts will come visiting that practitioner's psyche to verify & validate all that stuff they read about the human symbolism of said creatures. 

Velvet Ant. Self reliant.
Velvet Ant. Self reliant.
What chaps my hide is this: No one EVER says, "Yeah man, I got into this super deep trance state & was visited by this velvet ant spirit who who taught me all about self reliance..."

And if animism is about relationship... it begs the question: when you want to be in relationship with your partner, children, friends, co-workers, team mates... do you go shut yourself in your room & drum them into your mind's eye?

I will call what the author described a highly modern/western-ized permutation of quasi-shamanic practices, but I won't call it animism. Unless they really went out & spent some quality time with those sexy predators & then went inside later & did the trance work to dial them in from home. Trance work is like long distance calling -- it's alright, but you need some face time too. Unfortunately, I don't really think that's how it happened. 

I could say more, but...

/end rant

Feeding younglings, June 19th.
Feeding younglings, June 19th.
The anecdote for this wee hour of the night/morning relates to the Western Kingbirds (Tyrannus verticalis) who raised their younglings in our carport this June. When we arrived, we quickly discovered their nest & found that we were something of a disruption to their already established routine. So, being the latecomers, we deferred to them, modifying our activities to keep clear of their household. That meant changing the door we used, walking around the house instead of through the carport, parking & re-parking the car several times a day to keep it out of the sun & sweltering heat, etc. 

But what a joy to watch those two devoted parents! What a delight to perch on the edge of the bathtub & peek through the bathroom window to see the babies grow & grow & grow! 

Unfortunately, our rhythm was interrupted by a sudden emergency & upon returning from yet another unexpected hospital stay, I was disappointed to discover that the babies had left the nest in the short time we were away...

But therein lies the simple, gentle lesson from the Kingbirds: They grow up fast. So very fast. Give them your best & cherish them. Every single moment you get.


Kingbird babe, June 23rd. They grow up so very fast...
Kingbird babe, June 23rd. They grow up so very fast...

8 comments:

Heather Awen said...

amen

Heather Awen said...

Oh could this be added to the next ABC, Birds, at animist jottings?

Moma Fauna said...

...and to avoid any appearance of hypocrisy, i think trance work is groovy. (dreamwork even moreso.) i just won't substitute it for or use it to the exclusion of immersion in the corporeal world. i think it's better saved for the disembodied. make sense?

Moma Fauna said...

Gah, does Brian host this next month's carnival?!? I had something planned for the birds topic. :/ Well, I have a few days at the very end of the month when I return to a dual parent household. Use this as a placeholder & I will see what I can manage.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Ah, charismatic megafauna animal spirits. Happens all the time.

I still flinch when I see kingbirds. Or hear them. When we lived in that outlier of the Chihuahuan Desert that is Cañon City, Colorado, there were lots of them, and my wife used to rant loudly about how they ruined her sleep.

the wild magnolia said...

splendid Kingbird photos. never been tranced.

Moma Fauna said...

"Charismatic megafauna animal spirits," oh, that sounds so much more sophisticated than "sexy predators." Besides, they aren't all predators, but they do all seem to be charismatic megafauna. I will be pocketing that one. ;)

As for the kingbirds, so sorry M found them displeasing. I have never found them to be disruptive -- the "White Footeds" (mice) in the tinfoil take care of that for me. :/

Moma Fauna said...

Thank you! WIll have some major catch-up on the blog visits once I return to AK -- hope our past month have been pleasant & recuperative. As for trancework... eh, works for some, not so much for others. I say, do what works. ;)

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