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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Invisibility And The Meaning Of Life


I had not considered the enigma of invisibility until this week, while we patrolled the garden looking for rain-damage to our drought. I came upon this creature --Norma took a photo:
I: Well, hello there! Get through the rainy night all right?

It: Yes, thank you...I mean, uh, why are you asking?

I: I thought it only polite.

It: I mean, why are you talking to me?

I: Because you're a living creature.

It: Nonsense! I am some punctuation. One of those Roman things.

I: Roman thing?

It: Yes, Et , in Latin cursive, O and t were contracted to write And as &.

I: You're an ampersand?

It: Well, obviously. Trouble with you humans is no imagination. Think about it!
I: Ah, I see. Wonder why it hadn't struck me before.

It: It's because you jumpy humans spend so much time thinking up unpleasant things to do. Other animals accept our camouflage because their calmer imaginations are capable of it --and they'd rather not attack mighty forest beasts like us squirrels. When threatened, we keep perfectly still and the illusion is complete.

I: How do you remain still?

It: We meditate. We ponder the meaning of life. Think about where you have seen me.

I: Well, when you were growing up last summer, I saw you a lot atop our almond tree.
It: And now you see me carrying the almonds I buried off to my shelter in the laurel bough. I also socked a lot of walnuts away from under your neighbor's tree. That's the meaning of life.

I: You mean...you mean...

It: Yes, life is nuts!

I: You'll get no argument from me.



27 comments:

  1. I rather think there should have been a drum roll following this, Geo.
    Going to see an EP cardio guy who I think may know more than me, and I swear on my 2nd cousin's bible I'm going to do more listening than talking. Or that's the plan.

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    1. Mike, my EP doctor, Padraig Gearoid O'Neill (might be Irish, y'think?) has kept my bionic bits tip-top for over a decade and once did an ablation on me when I had some rhythm problems --during which, I sort of woke up and told him he might be causing muscle spasms in my chest. He listened and corrected. But mainly I listened to him and learned amazing things. Trust you'll have a good experience too. Best hopes, Mike.

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  2. Replies
    1. Indeed. He's a brave little guy too, Emma. Norma had to get about 2 feet from him for that top photo, but he didn't bolt until she was done.

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  3. He or she is a wise little neighbor. We humans are too jumpy! A calm imagination is a wonderful idea.

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    1. Reality has indeed gotten full of jitters, Tom. Lately the idea of climbing a tree and eating nuts all the time doesn't sound too bad.

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  4. No real comment to make, except that I just sat smiling at your wise little ampersand.

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    1. Thanks, squirrels generally respond well to smiles.

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  5. The squirrel may have a point. We have many many Ampersands running about our property but they haven't stood still long enough to share any wisdom with me. I've been practicing disguise though, for lo these many years. When I worked I disguised myself as an underwriter. Had quite a few people fooled with that one.

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    1. As you are accomplished in risk management, it would be hard for ampersands --squirrels who weigh practically nothing and have no respect for gravity-- to find some common ground with you. They don't understand the dangers we humans face. They didn't talk to me until I quit trying.

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  6. It all comes down to the simplest things. Nuts it is.

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    1. It was Thoreau who wrote, "Simplify, simplify, simplify." I believe he may have been part squirrel.

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  7. I'm wondering how your ampersand could hear you - he seems to have lost his ears.

    Sitting in a tree eating almonds sounds like a good time to me.

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    1. Alas, my doodle omitted the ears --a minor detail; squirrels seldom listen anyway. They do, however, dig up the garden for buried supplies. Squirrels have short memories and often lose their nuts.

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  8. What did the tree have to say? Does it think life is nuts, too? For the birds? All about the roots? Do you think the squirrels and the trees communicate?

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    1. Good questions all, Chicken. Right now trees are going through their annual adolescence and mostly say "Leaf me alone", but when they get to bearing nuts, they welcome birds and squirrels who carry them off --mainly because these creatures drop or misplace about 1/2 their harvest and that's how nut trees propagate. It's communication in Nature which is the language of the universe.

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    2. Where's a "like" button when you need one?

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  9. Hahaha, Geo:, the true meaning of life!
    Will send that story to son, who is an aficionado of squirrels (and they of him - might be because he always transported a few nuts for them in his elegant jacket while strolling through a special Munich parc). So you have red squirrels? In Germany we have them too - English have turned to Grey.

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    1. I suspect there are squirrels the world over --to teach us to be cheerful, and scold us from the trees when we are not.

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    1. And you are most kind. Thanks Suze.

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  11. HA! You've got that right. Life definitely IS nuts. (But ain't it grand?)

    Have a super weekend, dude.

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    1. Susan, it's certainly a grand adventure.

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  12. Replies
    1. From your posts, even this nut can detect your great love of life.

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  13. Although sometimes we do begrudge them the hazel nuts, scampering ampersands are an unfailingly cheerful sight. May we all catch the squirrel vibe. xx

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    1. Squirrels are surely little reservoirs of life-force, sensible, beautiful and disinclined toward military escalation. So long as they exist, we can't consider ourselves at the acme of evolution. The ladder towers above us and they are better climbers.

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