24 September 2012

Wide Angle Vision

This morning-
A Doe lay struggling on a hill a few feet from the small highway.

   Someone had flashed their lights at me as I rounded the turn that brought me onto this scene this morning. I'd slowed down and saw her on my side of the road. Another woman in the opposite lane had gotten out of her jeep. She was standing there, just looking at the mother deer's struggle. When I pulled over, the other woman got into her vehicle and pulled away. I stood there for a short while, wringing my hands, waving traffic away from the area, wishing that a miracle of God's light would descend unto the situation, that I could, in my stress and panic pull a miracle for this Beloved animal who was suffering. Suffering because of human ignorance, narrow mindedness, closed vision or simple uncaring enough to slow down or stop for this creature to cross. A man stopped and got out of his jeep. He had an iphone or similar phone that looked like it could connect to the internet.

         "Can you call a wildlife rehabilitator?!" I called to the man.

He didn't answer nor barely muttered a thing to me. Within moments, the local police arrived, and the man left.

I stayed with the Doe, having quickly resolved to center myself into a place of calm so I could be in the Light for Her.

Her tongue was laid out flat in her open mouth and she was panting rapidly, and every time a human moved too close to her, she struggled with her own weight and tried to get to her feet but her front legs collapsed beneath her at the knees.

          The officer that rode on the passenger's side of the car got out and approached me after the driver got out and I'd exclaimed, "Can you call the wildlife rehabilitator?!"

And he'd darkly replied, "No rehabilitator is gonna come for this deer. We're gonna put 'er down."

And I'd said, "Please don't kill her! She only has a broken leg! It can be fixed! PLEASE call the wildlife rehabilitator!"

The first officer had shaken his head disgustedly at me and repeated, "We're not gonna do that."

 I repeated, "Please!"

 He huffed, "Then You deal with it!" And got back in the car.

      That's when the second officer got out to talk with me. Some of what was said was this-

     He had said to me, in his efforts to convince me that, "Nature is cruel."

     I firmly retorted, hot tears streaming down my face, "THIS isn't 'nature', this is humans."

     He softened a moment and said, "Yes, you're right, humans did do this."
     I said, "Look, she's nursing Her fawns, still." Her udders were still bearing milk and her teats had been obviously nursed upon recently.

       "Yes, I can see that", the officer said.

       "What about Her fawns!?" I wailed, "Now they're going to be orphaned!"
       "They'll survive, it's fall", he said.

      I'd gently bent down to touch the rear thigh of the doe, slowed down my breath and for a moment found myself able to connect with the Love of Mother/Father God/the Creator. I have felt this Love before, but not in times of deep grief and stress such as this. I didn't realize until later, when I was long down the road, that when I felt the connection with Source, as I had my hands laid upon the Doe, her distressed panting had calmed and ceased for that moment.
 I wanted to find a rehabilitator, run and make a call, something, anything- but I knew what he was going to do as soon as I walked away.
        "Men don't understand- but Mothers understand Life," I told him, all the while tears stinging my eyes. I asserted one more time, and I let my eyes connect with his, "This creature could be healed." My Badger Medicine makes me one-of-those that does not give up on the critically ill. My connection with Source informs my Knowing that ALL Healings are possible...

          His mind would not be changed.

He said that her back was probably broken, that he had been doing this for 27 years and even a deer with one broken leg would run as far as they could from a human. Her back legs did seem to be paralyzed.

         "Will you please wait until I've gone?" I asked. He slowly nodded. The air around the scene seemed to grow still, suspended somehow.

          I watched him in my rear view mirror as I slowly made way up the stretch of rural highway. He had paused for what seemed like some time, until I had lost sight of him, looking at the suffering doe. He turned his head very slightly in my direction, surely to see if I had disappeared...

I saw that his hand was placed, though very lightly, on the holster of his revolver...

         I was late for a class, that turned out to be cancelled anyhow once I got to the place. It hadn't mattered anyway, and so I did not rush. And already knowing the answers before I asked why my day had started this way, reasons that must be kept close to my breast for now, one reason was that I have been wanting to write this post About the Animals for many months, now and have not been able to get past my anger to do so.

        Deep Grief brought me here.

The Dis-Integration of Humans and the Earth

I am driving along the road. Dotted along back roads and highways, even in town- Animals Bodies-some flattened and disfigured, some mangled and bloody, some tails still twitching...

        I am never accustomed to this, the sight of slain animals in the road. I watch the wheels of cars in front of me and behind, roll over them again until they are ground into the asphalt. I ask myself, When did humans become so anesthetized to Life that they can not see these creatures when they were alive, and that they do not see them now? Occasionally, I must pull over and remove the body from the road, give it a place amongst the bushes. The crows and the turkey vultures can not even benefit from the slaughter, as the meal is still in the place of danger.

Go to my fb page to read this NOTE about BLACK BEARS:

       In spring, I watched a truck, driving ahead of me, run a chipmunk over. In pulling over to see if I could help, discover that the chipmunk had a mouth full of seeds. I am certain the chipmunk had young ones in her den. It was just trying to make it home to feed its family.
       Almost every squirrel that is killed is doing the same, trying to bring food home.
       I ask myself, How many animals are orphaned at critical stages of their lives because of the narrow, self centered focus of most humans?
       This summer, I have passed the stiffened body of an 8-Point Buck lying by the road, week after week, until the stench of his death saturated the air.
       I have seen the oval forms of Painted Turtles smashed on the center yellow lines.
       There have been more, and too many to count, like the beautiful Black Racers (snakes) ground into the asphalt.
       I slowed my vehicle down for many Black Racers, most recently I observed how difficult it was for this snake to negotiate the asphalt, moving with labored efforts, and how it did live up to it's "racer" name once it was able to get off of the road and onto the more rugged landscape of the forest floor.
        "People aim for them," someone once said to me.
        In my anger and grief at times, I think I'd like to "aim" at them!

        But sharing that energy of ignorance and anger is not what my Beloved creatures of this planet need, not what the Mother has in mind for Her Healing, nor is it the Energy that I came here this time to Embody.

        So, instead, I pray and I act, which means,
        I follow my Heart, which means "the Animals".

       Yes, I drive slowly, but more than that, I live with what is called "Wide Angle Vision".

        I was very happy when my son and I went to the Coyote Tracks Wilderness week (Children of the Earth foundation www.cotef.org) that this concept of Wide Angle Vision, an awareness of the world that I had been living with as one of my inherent senses, was being deliberately taught in these survival schools, as part of the programs. It is Wide Angle Vision that the humans have lost and need to find again in order to reintegrate themselves into Life with the Earth. It is the loss of this "vision" that has brought this planet, and the creatures and plants that we were originally meant to live with and care for, to this place of destruction where the human collective now finds itself. It is more than seeing, it is expanding the senses beyond one's own personal boundary.

From the online article, Outdoor Action Guide to Nature Observation & Stalking by Rick Curtis
II. Wide Angle (Splatter) Vision vs. Pinpoint Vision
" We tend to use focal vision about 95% of the time and wide-angle vision only 5%. Animals use the reverse (5% and 95%). To use wide-angle vision you want to take in all the information from your peripheral vision constantly then focus down when needed. Concentrate on the entire picture, mentally blocking out information to focus down.
The primary thing that gives you away (or an animal) is movement. Focused vision doesn't pick up movement whereas wide-angle vision makes the eye reactive to movement. When you notice movement then focus down to that object. And once focused, keep tracking that animal visually very closely so that you don't loose it. Keep this process in mind! This is how the animals look for you. Anything that is out of the natural order, movement, shadow, or noise attracts their attention and they focus on it.
At night using wide-angle vision utilizes all the peripheral areas of the eye which are more sensitive to low levels of light. This improves night travel and seeing animals. It will allow you to notice nighttime animal movement. Flashlights cause focal vision which restrict your sensitivity to movement. At night a wind will blow things in one rhythm. Anything moving contrary to that rhythm, check it out with focal vision. "

read full article here: http://www.princeton.edu/~oa/nature/naturobs.shtml

Learning how to widen perception, to open to the fullness of Knowing that we humans share this world with many many other species and lifeforms, and that we as human beings are not any more important than any other... I think many humans have learned this a bit from direct observation of how our egoistic choices have affected what we believed to be the most insignificant of lifeforms, and the chain of effect of desecration upon human life quality. We are all in this Life together.

When one begins to Live Wide Angle Vision, one finds that the deer do NOT "just jump out in front" of the car. You will have Seen them, meaning Sensed them, be it the subtle glint of their eyes in the bushes or through the thicket of leaves of the roadside trees. You will Know that they are there, before one hoof steps onto the road. You will See the Squirrel, being ever so small in size, as a large presence, enabling you to slow down- and honk your horn, which will send them off back to the safety of the woods (or enbankment or sidewalk or tree...).

So, yes, I drive pretty slowly, even with Wide Angle vision. And I stop, and sometimes stop traffic, for the Painted Turtles. I always pick them up gently and carry them over to the side of the road to which they were headed. Their little claws feel so tickly and sweet on the palms of my hands. Occasionally, one will look at up me as I am transporting. I imagine it must be thinking, Hey, what's happening here? And when they arrive safely across the road, Well, that was certainly strange! :)

I leave You for now with some methods I have developed for myself to avoid harming my Wild Sisters and Brothers:
  1. Slow Down. Driving too fast for whatever reason ("missing an appointment", being "late for work", or heaven forbid not being "on time" for a movie or dinner date) not only places Innocent Animals at risk from humanocentric ego behavior, but can put you, your loved ones or innocent strangers at risk of injury
  2. Use Wide Angle Vision to become aware of what's around you. You will be very surprised at how much Beauty is All Around.
  3. When you do have an Animal in Your Awareness on the Side of the road, about to cross your path, Slow Down and Honk Your Horn! It is very effective. It startles the animal to retreat back to the roadside.
  4. When on occasion I have met a Deer who was not much taken aback by the horn honk, I have gently pulled my vehicle to the side of the road, gotten out, and Waving My Arms Wide, sharply Called out, "GO BACK!" And saw the Deer, or a whole Family of them, retreat into the Safety of the Woods. Several times, the very next cars coming behind me, were driving SO Fast, I could see that the Deer would have been in the road at that time, had they not been turned back.

TIP: Animals will run in the OPPOSITE direction- AWAY from You. I know this from my days spent Goat Herding at  my teacher, Susun Weed's Wise Woman Center. If I wanted the goats to go AWAY from the road, I did not run behind them toward the road, I had to make a circle around them, get in the road myself, and wave them back. If I had run behind them, they would have kept going forward- into the road, where I did not want them!

In Light,
In Love and Service to the Great Mother, Gaia,
the Elemental Beings,
 and All Creatures of this Planet
where I make my Embodied Home,
as a Starseed on Earth,
Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.