Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

20 September 2011

elephants




I do love listening to NPR
in the morning.

Only on NPR can you have the experience
that I had today, while driving.

There was this story about elephants,
and the way they communicate.

It appears that they make a low resonant noise
when they have some kind of distress,
and that noise can be detected from very far away,
and can act as a warning to distant members of their herd
of danger.

What I got from the story
is that no one knows for sure how it is that elephants,
so far away,
can know that one of their number 
is in distress.

I propose that they feel it in their feet --
Frequencies and messages can be detected
in the natural world
by natural beings that are not crippled like us --
most animals use their entire system
to communicate.

I'm sorry to say I can't find a tape of this elephant story that I heard this morning,
strangely.
Perhaps I heard it in my feet;

but

I can find recordings of the stories that followed it,
and they were stories about the U.S. congress,
fighting over the budget.

The president thinks we should tax the wealthy more;
and the various factions in Congress
are making their usual noises,
arguing that taxing the wealthy is not the answer,
no, 
we should cut spending.


So much chatter,
like the monkeys up in the trees --
but wait --
it's an insult to monkeys to say that.
Monkeys, it appears, are quite wise.



Our leaders keep chattering, 
but no one is listening,
not with their ears or their feet or their hands or their minds.
Everyone just chatters along with the others, 
and not one stops,
except occasionally
when someone dies.


Humans are, perhaps,
the saddest of the earth's creatures,
the most inept,
because even now,
even as
the sound of our collective distress resonates
through the earth,
no one's stopping their rushing around and chattering
to truly listen
to it.
If we would only listen,
with the mentality of the herd creature that we truly are,
well,
perhaps we'd actually find a way to help each other.


But no one is listening,
except, 
perhaps, 
for the elephants.

2 comments:

laurak@forestwalkart said...

that was REALLY good!!
i've always thought...to myself of course...that our collective thinking...can do great things. most people...like you say...don't listen. they THINK they're listening...but not really. and i admit...when it comes to the (ridiculous) bickering in washington...it IS hard to pay attention to. all the continuous chatter starts to just sound like background noise after a while.
it's too bad we humans aren't more like the animals...perhaps we would understand each other better...we could actually USE all our senses...and not just hear with our ears...but with our feet and hands...and mind.
that collective consciousness...

great post...

Makropoulos said...

Thanks, Laura! Based on your beautiful blog, I know you're always listening, and looking, at the beautiful world around us -- it is good to know there are folks that share these thoughts because I do think that, working together, we can actually counteract the ones who don't listen.