Mittwoch, 14. Juni 2017

Face of stone - and when to kill and when not to kill

 A strange endeavour. A strange venture. A strange adventure, it seems, and a lot to learn for me still about life... and death. I was on my way to the ironforge, and thought I would do the hike down the Hohenstein crags. I wanted to shoot some photos to boast where I had ridden down with my bike... using social media can do that to your ego... ;-). But the hike started a murky one and turned out to be of grave importance.
 There was a light drizzle, but I liked the rain in my face, cool, but not cold. I liked the solitude of the woods, the silence and the signs of life going on everywhere.
 Deeper down the slope I ventured. Lightly I trod, even if my bag was laden with tools and steel alike.
 The gnarled beeches hold the ground with strong roots, infested into the ground with vigour.
 Mist-ridden was the dale... rising above the manor of Ahlhausen, which since the medieval ages was the domain of the masters of our ironforge.
 I went on more carefully, for the trail was quite exposed upon the crags...
 Funny, though... with a bike this feels more safe to me...
 I like this trail even more in the murky mood of a drizzle. It has some fairy tale aesthetics to it that is hard to describe...
 It is dark and exposed and unforgiving... but in the dark and gloomy weather it became an enchanted place.
 Down the crags the trail meanders...
 ..down into the valley, where the river sings.
 Halfway down there are some engraved rocks. The carvings are contemporary, of course, but to me they are no less interesting for that.
 It is as if this face of stone emerges from the rock... as if it keeps an eye upon you. Someone who meant no ill did that, and he did it surprisingly well.

 To my eye, the carvings add an air of mystique to the place. But then I am prone to an atmosphere of the mythical in the first place... ;-)

Ever down I went. There was something lurking in the atmosphere of the woods, something eerie and weird.
 And then I came across this youngling bird, apparently fallen from the nest, which I cannot even tell what kind it was, it was that battered. It was still alive, but barely so.
 And it was hard for me to see it suffer. I was contemplating to put an end to its pain with a blow of my hammer, but then it simply did not feel right. But on the other hand it did not feel right not to do so. Certainly I would not want to suffer in death, and certainly did I not want the bird to suffer. I thought long and hard whether I should put this on my blog, too. So spare me any hate comments, I do not feel too good about this in the first. This was a dilemma I was faced with I had never been faced with with that brutality, that openly. There are animals suffering far worse for our nourishment. At least this bird had had a fair chance for a life in peace in the woods. And this was the point where it occurred to me I simply did not have the right to intervene. The life as well as the death of each individual belongs to the individual. This bird belonged to death, but not entirely so. I could not help it any which way to survive much longer, without a wonder. My presence stressed it even more, it was plain to see that, but it was hard to go away. I wanted to help. I could not. Memory of the deaths of my grandfather and my father came up, they welled up inside me. Then it was I also stood beside their "sad height" and wanted to help-but could not. Even then did I want to put an end to their suffering, did I want to ease their pain, but could not. If you belong to death, there is no way you could escape. And noone can do anything against that fact. The strong survive, the weak die early. This bird fell from the nest, and this is sad in itself, but it is a way of life, not death. It is absolutely brutal, but it is the truth: That way it would be food for a badger or a fox, and feed them, so that they become stronger. Humans have detached themselves from that chain. We are the worst of the bad guys in nature, and yet we are full of fear and hate. This bird was dying. Everything I could have done, would have been wrong. So I did... nothing at all. I just turned away. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life, and the feeling of guilt will stay with me for  a while, but I hope the wisdom will come to me eventually and I will live to learn the lesson, for a lesson it was. No, I will not come to master death. Noone will, and noone can. Death is wild and cruel, and unfathomable. That makes it fascinating, but also fearsome. But it is an integral part of our world. There is no conciliation and no making fun out of it, but it should not be feared in spite of everything, for it is an integral part of our world. The death of the bird feeds the fox, the owl and the badger, the buzzard and the insects. It is connected to the whole process of nature. I know there is a soul. In everything, even the rocks, different to others, but still the rocks have a life of their own. They crumble, they change, they are ground to sand, and every rock has its own characteristics that contribute to the way they exist and erode. From sand over the aeons rocks are born. Trees are born, and live, and fall, and new trees sprout forth from seed and sapling, digging gnarled roots into the direst of places, and they crush even rocks to hold fast to life. Every tree has its own way, its own characteristics. Every animal has, every human. There is a power running through it all.

No, I still do not know whether it was right or wrong what I did not do. I have to live with the consequences, be they good or bad. Still I am not the wiser for the lesson I got. I know the bird´s soul is a part of the soul of the universe. Call it God or Goddess if you so will, it is not touched by your names. Death comes to us all, and He is not touched by the name you give "him" at all. Many are the names we humans give to what we cannot fathom. We hope to achieve that we can fathom the things to which we give names, but still the meaning of a rose far exceeds the name or even the description. Art is due to this, and philosophy, and literature, and, yes, religion. And yet, that we want to fathom binds us in turn-with the name we have given to it, so much in fact that these days millions and milliards of innocents will die for the quarrell over power and three names. 

I hope for this bird. I hope it is now part of the whole again, with no fear of the inevitable, an integral part of the law of the universe, the first cause of it all (names again, see?), unfathomable by man or beast. 

When to kill, and when not to kill? If it is that difficult a matter if you were not even responsible for this particular death, how much more difficult would it be if you were? If you aimed a gun at someone and tried to end a life willfully? Maybe because the one over there was told a different story? How can one tell it´s the "right" name one is fighting for? Without knowing more about?

I would be pleased if you all took no offence in the graphic photo. I just had to. I can´t apologize. The times need it, or so I think. 

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