Tuesday, August 21, 2007

There is just something about birds of prey

There is something about birds of prey that is intriguing. In this country we very nearly chose the turkey as our national bird. It's hard to imagine but then not so hard when you think about what the turkey represented at the time: abundance, prosperity, the promise of a future far away from that which was left behind. Furthermore the wild turkey was considered a wily, intelligent animal, adaptable and somewhat elusive. Hard to imagine this if you have ever encountered the inbred domestic variety. The turkey as a national bird didn't happen in America, we chose the bald eagle instead: a raptor, and a big one at that. Nobody eats an eagle, an eagle is the predator, not the prey. I've seen them, photographed them though not very succesfully. A large raptor like that, at the top of the food chain is quite naturally an endangered species. They take on the toxins, the karma so to speak, of all god's creatures by virtue of their feeding habits. The top predator is a highly specialized animal who lives by the sharpness of his eye, the speed of his dive, the breadth and crushing strength of his talons.

Much of what Sheryl and I do is wily, elusive, intelligent, refined or esoteric. We're wild turkeys and sometimes I want to be a raptor. The hardest lesson I've learned as a healer is to know when to back off, wait, be gentle or be subtle, to pay more attention and listen more carefully and then to heed what I hear. I love this work but sometimes it's hard-- to sacrifice my egotistical desire for instant gratification for the good of the client: for their empowerment and well being. Who am I? I'm neither a raptor nor a turkey. I'm nothing. The power is in my transparency, and not in my overpowering presence.

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