Of Birds, the Homeless and Me: Something to consider

My quandary with pigeons, with birds really, is that while they are, in some aspects, beautiful, especially in flight; they’re so damned dirty, albeit unavoidably so, at least in urban settings where, from time to time, they seem to weaponize their waste, occasionally against me, albeit more often against my car and most frequently on the tenth floor window sill of my apartment, a space near a tiny garden set in a ledge my wife and I have planted in a nook outside our kitchen window where it abuts another little window at the side of our dining room.  A place where pigeons enjoy nesting and giving birth, and to which they enjoy returning after they’ve hatched.  I wonder if it’s a form of passive aggression, passive aggression like that inherent in so many humans whose lives seem to have been wasted and who find themselves figuratively littering the streets of their more fortunate brethren.  Of people like my wife and I and our friends and acquaintances.

Litter, the weapon of choice of disenfranchised humans and birds alike.

Doesn’t our reaction to them say more about us then it does about them?  Doesn’t it reflect our all too comfortable hypocrisy?  Our inability to accurately reflect introspectively?

Many decades ago, in an amazing oxymoronic piece, oxymoronic because her voice was so beautiful and the theme so dark, Joan Baez planted the seeds for what I write today, she planted those seeds in my soul when I heard her ballad entitled, “Their but for Fortune”.  It helped me become a human being, a human in the positive sense of what we should be rather than what we are.

Something to consider on a beautiful day in a city in the sky, on the central range of the Colombian Andes.  

Something to consider anywhere, … really.

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

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