aciesanima: (Default)
Sat on the deck yesterday when a storm rolled in to break the heat of the day. Such was the atmosphere that I let my mind settle and threw around a few phrases that started grouping themselves into what follows:

Ocean-Sky
There's an ocean in the sky.
Clouds betray currents that underlie
Sweeping swathes of grey
And sapphire seas of day.

There's an ocean in the sky.
With waves and swells and tides.
Sunset ripples that mesmerize,
With reflections trapped inside.

There's an ocean in the sky.
Though soft and indistinct,
It speaks in flaming streaks,
Voices ringing through the peaks.

aciesanima: (Default)

It starts with a gentle rumble like the far off ocean,

And builds to a sweeping wall of clouds.

Tension rises and ghostly feathers prickle

In expectation of the oncoming relief from a still, hot day.

 

Like waves the front comes washing over,

Spilling over my skin in whispers.

The clarion calls of thunderheads ring out

And shake droplets from their billowing forms.

 

Smatterings of liquid sky dot my shoulders,

Slipping down my arms along invisible lines.

Thick swathes of iced air tease pinions

That will never catch or hold them like I long for.

 

The drumbeat of rain dances across the deck,

Whips around my perched form.

Showered by clouds,

That’s how hawk on the porch is cleaned by the sky.

aciesanima: (Default)
A repost, again, from my Tumblr in response to this post.

This is Custard.

I bought him for a ridiculous price from the local pet store who kept him in a tiny 30cmx30cmx50cm cage with four other birds. In the picture you can see his tail, ragged and with injured feather shafts from that atrocious living condition. If you know your stuff, you'll note the feather pins sticking from his wings- both of which were trimmed to the coverts, I kid you not. Had I the money I would have bought every bird in the place. I took Custard.

I had Custard for barely over six months.

In that time he blossomed under proper care- he proved to be a wonderfully intelligent, outgoing tiel with a fantastic capability to mimic and 'mix' his sounds. He would in fact 'DJ' to practice them: he'd hold a foot up to his beak and talk as if holding a mic. In a matter of weeks he learned to say "Morning" and a contact whistle. He remains, to this day, one of the most inspirational little birds I've ever had the pleasure of living with and caring for.

Six months on, my life hemorrhaged. After trying to rebuild from my parent's sudden and emotionally messy divorce, my father and I decided to move to our current roost to ensure my sister's mental recovery. The move transplanted us five hours from our current location and my father and I completed it in less then two weeks. And entire house, six years of living, moved in a fortnight by only he and I.

I was worried Custard, in his youth and still relatively poor health, might not take to the sudden change. He settled in like nothing had ever happened and would wake me, every morning, from the foot of my bed with his latest 'mix' of sounds and words.

At that time, my school went on its annual ski trip. After being undecided as to whether I would go or not, Dad encouraged me to. Later I'd look back on this as one of the bitterwseet decisions of my life: that trip gave me a huge boost in confidence and gave me time away from the then emotionally stressful environment of home. It would also be the death of Custard.

We had moved in with my father's cousin who we regarded as an Aunty. She had recently lost her partner and was still processing her own grief. But in no way does that excuse her for doing what she did.

I was away for a total of five days. Before I left, I cleaned Custard's cage completely, a scrub out and refit of all his perches and feed/water dishes. I put in a new seed bell to keep him entertained and moved his swing about for a bit of variety. I explained to Dad and my sister his usual rituals, how much to feed him and how to go about swapping out his food/water.

My Aunty would have no part in it. Before I left she said to me, to my face: "Give him enough food for the week, because I'm not going to take care of him for you. He's your responsibility. Think about that."

As it would turn out, my father would be called away for the rest of the month to settle the ongoing legal battle with my mother and my sister would be faced with a rather vicious bullying incident, meaning that whilst I was gone it was only she or my sister to deal with Custard. My sister tried, she really did. But most days, she'd come home, eat an early and cry herself to sleep.

My Aunty, true to her word, did not feed or otherwise care for Custard. When i returned, she handed me his frozen, lifeless body wrapped in a plastic bag with a look of "I told you so."

It doesn't matter 'who owns' it. If the animal is in your living space, if it's been entrusted to you IT'S YOUR JOB TO CARE FOR IT TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY.

aciesanima: (Default)

Questioning constructions of reality and the interconnection of my spirituality


Religion is what binds one to a way of acting, a way of thinking, and a way of living. It is heavily dependent on an individual's perceptions of reality.

 

This is what a two year course in Studies of Religion taught me. So what does this mean to me?

I was raised with no specific religion. One could maybe say I was raised in a mostly Christian home; the belief of God or at least the presence of a greater driving force has never been alien to me. This was not forced, but rather utilized to aid in the integration of morality, ethics and self-awareness in my young self. I attended Sunday School, prayed when I felt the need but at the same time was exposed to the ideas of souls or spiritual force in everything.

Coming from a farming background, the concept of animals having complex feelings and yes, even souls, was never strange. This did not bother how I viewed cattle for the table. If anything this inlaid in me a sense of reverence for all life; I have never not consumed meat without thinking back to the life the animal had sacrificed so that I could further mine and given a small thanks. It is just instinctual for me to do so. Likewise, my Polynesian heritage brings to life a semi-totemic belief of 'natural spirits' or manifestations of the forces of the natural world.

In addition to this strange kind of monolatrous religious upbringing, I was instilled with the respect of others as equals. On the religious front this permitted a certain kind of open-mindedness about spirituality. I have tried not to judge others on the basis of their religion just as much as I try not to bias my opinions based on physical appearances, age or gender. Instead I place great importance on the respect another shows to the world around them, including myself and their own self, and their actions.

Throughout my almost 19 years of conscious existence I have lived a mainly monotheistic religious life, I was deeply Christian for most of my early High School years, but with a belief that God manifested not only through liturgy or transcendent experiences, but through the natural world. God, to me, was literally in everything. Later on I had lessened my devotion in that particular faith and was an unannounced agnostic, as I still consider myself to be [or, at least for the time being.]

Things have always been complicated, I guess, by my therianthropy. The dysmorphia of this condition has never really bothered me, but I have always noticed a rather large gap between my instinctual perceptions, reactions and thought patterns when compared to those of others that my upbringing alone could not have generated. I was always aware of a difference in perception, but it never truly bothered me. As a child I was just regarded as 'eccentric' or even 'very mature for her age', to myself I couldn't see that much purpose in worrying myself endlessly over it [a self-confidence a fairly stable, loving and open upbringing instilled, of which I am forever grateful]. Of course, there was the occasional moment where I caught myself thinking "Mouse looks tasty" or confused by a 'human' concept, like materialistic purchases, that even the most practical of 'normal' people can comprehend. My pragmatism is a key definitive feature of my therianthropy; like any animal I only take to survive. I equip myself with the ability to do so. I do not deny indulging in any luxuries; certainly I exploit those such as music and art, even the internet- fuel for my curious, creative mind.

This pragmatism carried on to my spiritual life. I understood the Christian liturgy and teachings, but disagreed with the perception of myself as 'ruling over' the natural world. This created a lot of conflict once I became wholly aware that my soul, whatever it was made of, whatever part of my psychology it constituted, was not the same as a 'normal' person: I'm a damn bird. This has never gone to my head- I don't think I'm superior or substandard to anybody. I'm not 'special' or 'gifted' in the egotistical sense any more then every person is. Rather I'm 'gifted' with a very unique 'special' perception of the world as a bird living a human life.

What problems this has caused for my religious beliefs. There is nothing in the Bible about anything even remotely like therianthropy unless I was ready to announce I was possessed, of which I was sure I was not. In my Biblical experience, 'possessed' people seemed driven to do a whole lot of damage- or in Bruce Wayne's wise butler, Alfred's, famous words they "... just want to watch the world burn.". I, on the other hand, just wanted to live life as integrated into the natural world as I could.

As my studies progressed and I was able to experience and investigate a wide range of different spiritualties from a wholly Socratic viewpoint. From the various religions I explored, I encountered certain bits and pieces that intrigued and 'resonated' with me, as my teacher so put it. Islam, even from my Post 9-11 viewpoint and unintentional, almost subconscious bias bought about by media misinformation and lack of true understanding, struck me with its gentleness and utter devotion and its lack of a quest of proselytizing that generated an interreligious understanding. The Sufi concept of the two faces of Allah, and His representation through Divinity, Humanity and the Natural world rang a chord. The interconnectedness of Buddhism and it's gentle pursuit of a delicate, fluid balance seemed to me such a fantastically simple concept evident in nature and the upbringing I had experienced- as did the equality so central to the Buddhist practice. Upon revisiting Christianity from this viewpoint I gained a new appreciation for its core of selfless love for the Other. This seemed, to me, to be the 'true' Christianity. Indigenous Australian spiritualty, it's concentric arrangements and animistic [to give it a fairly loose categorization] beliefs and non-linear expanse of time likewise reflected the importance a connection to natural rhythms and the land itself I had been bought up with.

Outside of school, I joined my sister part of the way into an exploration of Wicca [she went on to decide to investigate further, I went as far as curiosity took me- nothing past general investigation]. I looked into totemic and shamanic lifestyles [I have always lived life with knowledge of a family "totem", "Otherworld", ancestors and 'spiritual guides' thanks to my Polynesian heritage and early lifestyle]. For some reason, complete Atheism has never occurred to me- sure, I acknowledge and understand and even investigate scientific explanations for life and consciousness [I freaking love dinosaurs!] but there are some things that I think rationality can't comprehend. Love for example [but I digress, that is not the point of this soliloquy.] I am even, as I type, looking into Kemetic Orthodoxy. Heck I'm not afraid to admit I've even held a crystal, sat and meditated on my 'chakras' and tried to feel the 'energies' in a exploration into this New Age craze [I learned a bit here about false prophets/religious figures and discovered an affinity for amber].

Despite this, I still do not really know where I fit in. I'll attempt to explain 'what binds me' in as a simplistic manner as possible [as can be hoped at 0336hrs].

Above all reigns interconnection: Whatever drives the universe and the life within it connects and is present in everything. Whatever I do effects everything else, no matter how small an action. Everything around me has a purpose, myself included, and nothing is a mistake. Destiny, whatever it may be, is through our own making as well as that of the actions of others. Time doesn't necessarily travel in a straight line- it loops and spins back on itself. Anything alive and aware has a soul, no matter how minute [yes, this does include plants]. And in my personal belief, there are more 'realities' then this one that sometimes we just might touch and call 'supernatural'. Imagination has the power to create because you can kill a man with your thoughts and likewise create an entirely new world of perceptions. Each breath, moment, experience is sacred in its own right. Your awareness must rest in the 'now' otherwise your perception gets skewed. This is not to say dismiss the past, or ignore the prospective consequences of your actions; it means acknowledgment of both in order to act now.

And as a bird? There is nothing more sacred then the life of the prey- hunt with respect and awareness. Flight does not make you superior- it simply makes you as much as hopping makes a wallaby and swimming makes a shark. The sky- oh the sky!- and the sun that warms your feathers, the air that lifts you, the earth that provides and the water that nourishes, all are one and yet the other, and all are celebrated by living right. What greater power is there then the power to live?

So here is my dilemma: at the moment, I live a life in between. I acknowledge a driving, unifying force without giving it a particular name. I live practically, and as simply as possible. My religious practices are a compilation of many different aspects, collected like a Bowerbird's treasure. I partake in habitual meditation [in the sense that I take time out to come as fully into awareness of the moment by breathing as I can], I keep myself as mentally and physically clean as possible, I monitor my morality and ethics and act accordingly.

What I guess concerns me the most is that no religion has ever really 'called' to me. No God, or god, or gods have ever 'claimed' me or 'spoken' to me. Even in the depths of my Christian years, God only ever whispered to me when I was out and about in nature. In a hall full of praise and worshippers I felt too caught up in it all. The Christian God came to me in the breeze, through the love of my dog or the embrace of a friend more then a voice or vision from on high. At best I fear I'm very Buddhist at heart but likewise, shamanistic. Like anybody I guess I long for a place to rest my head- in the religious sense. I want a place to belong to. The online therian community was a godsend- just because I'm self-sufficient does not mean I don't long for contact. I yearn for the ability to hold open dialogue with others of similar mentality, to share, contrast and expand my opinions.

 

I am, after all, an inquisitive bird.

aciesanima: (Default)
Default resting position:


She takes conversation very seriously:


Chilli is rated -10*c weather-proof:


Well, this has been a post with more fluff then is normally necessary. I resume my normal textual posting.
aciesanima: (Default)
*Another copy from Tumblr. I realize I've kind of neglected this place, sadly. >v< Expect a good lot of posting upcoming to compensate*

Long-ass rant ahead on canine behavior and lack of understanding. You have been warned.

This is a very commonly asked question, especially when your dog looks like mine- she’s big, very fluffy and despite being quite lightly built looks like she belongs on the bonnet of a Mack truck in silver because of her fur. To make things a little more difficult, she’s also got a very good bark; a proper, big dog bark, and she uses it.

She can be a bit aloof and distrusting of strangers with over-exuberant pups but she just values her personal space and, like most beings, doesn’t like to be crowded suddenly.

This is balanced out by her overall personality: she’s friendly, willing, very intelligent, protective and above all, loves with all her heart. She remembers you even if you’ve only met her once and greets you with a fiercely wagging tail and a genuine excitement at being reunited. Despite never raising pups [she’s spayed, so it’s not going to happen] she has a very strong ‘mothering’ instinct and understands even human young need to be treated gently. I’ve taken her to many public places and she’s encountered many people in many different situations; and I guess this is where the origin of this rant comes from.

Often the first thing somebody says to me after silently indicating their intent to come and meet my dog is: “Does your dog bite?”

My answer is, predictably: “No.”

But every time I answer it, I’m lying.

Before you jump to any conclusions or assumptions, lend me a moment of open-minded thinking. Of course my dog bites. She has working jaws with the capability to crush bones, she chews burrs out of her fur [or tries to] and believe you me, she can demolish a chop in seconds flat. I classify all that as ‘biting’. So why am I lying?

The person is not really asking whether my dog is able to use her mouth properly, but rather “Is your dog likely to be overly aggressive or bite a stranger out of fear?” I don’t think many people know that’s what they are asking, so I’m going to take a moment to confess something that might alarm a few people: I have been bitten by my dog. My dog has bitten my father.

“She should be put down!” My grandfather would say.

“What in all hell for? You have no idea of the context.” Would be my reply.

And it’s true. Context, like any good English teacher will tell you, is worth everything. Without it, truths and facts alike can be warped to utterly disfigured ghosts of their pure states.

Here’s a little more context: I was bitten pulling my dog from a dog fight.

That’s not quite enough is it though? How about this: I was bitten pulling my dog from a fight over food.

Better, but to give you all full understanding of the situation: I was bitten pulling my dog from a fight started when another dog tried to steal her food. She was doing as any dog will: defending her meal.

She was defending. There’s the crux of the matter.

From day one, I have taught my dog that if I’m so bold as to pat her whilst she’s eating not to get defensive and to understand that I don’t want to take her food off her; as tantalizing as raw mince and an assortment of other things that make up her diet may seem. Her tolerance is almost impeccable: I can touch her almost all over her body whilst she eats- with the exception of her face. That’s perfectly reasonable. I don’t like to be poked in the face when I’m eating, do you? I can also call her away from her food or take it away mid-meal provided I give a moment’s warning. Though it may be frowned upon, I rough-house and rumble with my dog all the time. She ‘play-bites’ by gently touching her mouth to me, or at the very most gently putting her teeth around me. But I only do so because I’ve had her from day one and understand her; perhaps more importantly, trust her enough to do so. My mothers dog on the other hand I would never trust to do so simply because of her different personality, and so I don’t. I substitute actual rumbling with vigorous games of tug-of-war and other games.

The fight was started quite simply- the dogs we were living with at the time were two PoodlexBorder ColliexBelgian Shepherd rescues, one of which had a serious attitude problem and quite frankly bossed anything she could around. My dog [a labradoodle if you want to know] doesn’t mind sharing her space with other dogs, she loves the company so long as they are respectful. The other dog was not. She decided to muscle in on Chilli’s dinner and Chill reacted as is easily predictable: she defended her meal.

It was, really, quite spectacular and alarming. But never for a moment did I fear that Chilli would kill the other dog- and she was never doing to. All she did was throw the other dog away and then square off to enforce the fact that that was her meal. The other bitch went her again and the fighting thus ensued. I pulled Chilli out for fear that the other dog was not going to stop and in the moment of panic she felt at something unknown grabbing her, twisted around and bit my arm.

The change was instant: she saw it was me, she realized what she’d done and she took herself into the corner of the room and sat there without me saying a word. I didn’t scold her, not even slightly. The dogs were separated until the other bitch calmed down and then life went on. The bite broke the skin slightly but due to the fact I was wearing a thick jacket, did not require any medical attention. My father was bitten in exactly the same circumstance- the same dog tried the same thing again.

What is the point of all that ramble? To attempt to reinforce something that I fear is looked over by a lot of people: dogs bite for any number of reasons.

A nervous dog in a stressful situation will bite out of fear, a assertive dog will bite to put another in its place or defend what they perceive as theirs; a dog trained in protection will bite and hold on command, a hunting dog will bite a target to kill and a retriever will bite to complete its command and return the target to his/her human.

Perhaps the next time you go to ask “Does your dog bite?” maybe it might be better to ask something like “Has your dog ever bitten anyone?” and then, if so, “Why?”

Or even: “Is your dog friendly?” “Is your dog alright with me saying hello?”

You might even want to assess the dog yourself before thinking of asking those questions- does the dog look comfortable in its situation, does it look nervous or afraid? Does it have a toy or is it eating something it might want to defend?

All dogs bite. You just have to ask Why?



aciesanima: (Default)
*copied across from from Tumblr to give this thing a little more substance*

Not much but ramblings about my last incident call-out I need to note down somewhere before they fade. TW for death, suicide [not mine] and nonhuman stuffs if it ain’t your cuppa tea.

Last Friday I was approached by one of my DC’s and asked to be part of a six-strong crew for a Search and Rescue. Now I’m still the probie of the brigade so I felt a little excited to be asked this but at the same time calm and serious- this was a situation where somebody was potentially lost, hurt and enduring some seriously bad weather [wind gusts of 60kph+, rain starting early and setting in hard, turning to sleet in flurries]. It was also possible that they had gone out there with less good intent. That was the only information we’d received and until we got to the search area that is all we would know.

So I rolled out of town at an ungodly time, into the Cat 7 and off we went. As we came on air, so did the team handling the SaR, relaying info for us. It… It wasn’t a lost bushwalker. The person had been gone from home since earlier that month and their car had been at the search area for a week at the least. We were under the control of Police Rescue, to be aided by a team from the SES, two dogs and PolAir.

I was pretty excited for the dogs, mainly because that’s my life goal: working with service dogs, be it in the Police or the Defence Force. I was also pumped for PolAir- they’d be showing off some serious flying skills doing low-and-slow over our heads, quartering, dropping for close inspection and as it would turn out, a recovery, all in some hectic weather. But the circumstance was not to be forgotten.

We were tasked a 4km track heading down a gully to the escarpment edge, and let me tell you: There are certain times in the bush when being short works to your advantage. This was not one of them. I was pushing through scrub that was mostly chest height, but on occasion it was over my head. The ground was a sharp slope, rocky and filled with rotting logs and little hidden gullies. Most of the time I wasn’t actually walking on the ground, I was suspended a few centimeters above it on twigs and slick leaf-litter.

But I wasn’t complaining, I love that kind of bushwhack. I love working as a team, moving forwards, keeping an eye out for the search subject and each other. It got better yet: the dogs were moving freely, doing what they do best and PolAir was sweeping overhead.

Not even halfway into our search sweep I saw PolAir sweep overhead for the umpteenth time in the morning. Flight like that was not searching, it’s the flight you see pulling out teams fast. It said to me: pack up and head out, we’re done here.

Minutes later the call came through to the search team leaders and we did just that- turned and started the trek back up the slope.

When we returned to the rally point we all knew what had happened. Nobody had said it directly because nobody needed to: the search subject had been found. All teams, ours included, were released but one to do a body recovery.

As we headed home our Crew Leader was filled in. The search subject had been located not by the ground team, but by PolAir at the base of an escarpment commonly and bitterly ironically used by BASE jumpers as a launch point. It made me think of what it is to jump.

I learned a few things that day. Some lessons like it’s a rule of the brigade that if you pack to keep yourself running on a day’s worth of trekking, including enough to support another person entirely [because I have a larger pack and don’t mind carrying more. Workhorse complex or some such bull, I just go where you tell me to, with what you tell me to], you’re only on the ground for the morning. Those that pack for a light few hours of easy grade track, they get that day of grueling scrub-crawling.

On the drive back to the station house I started thinking: at one point or another we stand on the edge of a cliff and toy with the idea of jumping. I’ve continued thinking these past days on that and realized that the search subject jumped- but for a closing act. The BASE jumpers jumped- but to live.

Why would I jump?

Sometimes I’m afraid to jump because the wings I have, the wings I need, aren’t there to catch me. But I’d still want to jump.


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Sometimes I feel really uncertain about my [planned] career choice.

Things that kept coming up over my school years were a strong sense of social justice, compassion and empathetic reasoning. I always felt drawn to the forces, namely the Defence or the Police, but in some ways I am frankly scared to pursue my planned careers within those respective forces.

Why? Well, not just that I'm a physically smaller female [only 5'2] looking to go into forces traditionally dominated by physically imposing males, but the amount of 'hate' they both get. I understand where the hate comes from- honestly, I really do. It's what causes the criticism that worries me: do I risk my own integrity to pursue something I feel dedicated to?

I feel as if by going into these forces that I run the risk of being tainted by their internal failures. I fear loosing myself to a greater framework that contradicts my own base morality.

Within the Defence force, there's a lot of secretive rape culture and very strong sexist inclinations. I can take sexist BS until it crosses a line because I'm frankly used to sexist slurs every day, it's just a part of society sadly. But they are often small and not intended by the user. The line is crossed when they are used with intent- then you've opened the court and it's game on. Then the rape culture: half the problem is the victims being shamed into silence. That alone is bad, but the further idea that my CO's wouldn't take an incident seriously disrupts my entire operational capability. If I can't trust my CO, if I can't respect them, then I will have serious issues following their orders and likely act of my own decisions.

There's much of the same within the Police, but a more serious threat of falling into a subconscious god-complex over the civilian populace. Being a cop does not mean you're above the rest of the community- it means you are, in fact, almost below them in the sense to support them and protect them. But the ongoing claims of police taking law, becoming fanatics and distorting it into their own purpose and acting accordingly is a dangerous risk to me. In that instance, the officer becomes the criminal.

I'm also afraid of stereotyping: the butch female cop or the try-hard chick with the dog to compensate for her small stature.

I want to be a cop because I want to protect and serve the community around me- I don't want to bust skulls or take names. If being in the RFS* has taught me anything is that I love being involved with the community despite not being an overly social person, I love working to keep it safe and to help people.

I want to be a MWD** handler because I like to work with dogs, I have a good understanding of how they think and frankly I'd be happy to stay just an LAW*** and never get promoted if I spent my days training and working with a dog. I'm not doing it to compensate for anything, I'm doing it to utilize what I'm good at to do what I feel drawn to: I work well with animals, I understand them, so why not use that to work towards protecting and serving?

It's going to be a difficult decision to make just to choose a force, but the more pressing one is if I'm strong enough within myself to withstand the internal faults of each respective system. I don't know yet, and perhaps I won't know until I'm in there. It's a big leap.

-Ales

*Rural Fire Service. Often referred to as just 'brigade'.
** Military Working Dog. Not bomb dogs in my case, actual security and guard dogs used to protect the bases themselves, control crowds, etc.
***Leading Aircraft Woman. Second lowest rank in the RAAF. MWD handlers rarely get past Sergeant.

Fledging

Apr. 22nd, 2012 11:25 pm
aciesanima: (Default)
A re-post of a slightly older work just to get some more stuff up here.

Sometimes people wonder strange things. I do occasionally- like why birds fledge at all. If you look at it from one perspective, they have all their basic needs catered for them: secure home, liberal supply of food, safety and unquestioned territory. I understand there are instinctual reasons to fledge like the natural diaspora of young to prevent interbreeding. But there is also a little more to it.

Some of you might know what it is like to want to fly, to experience the air in all its wonder. But I believe not very many may know what it is like to need to fly.

When I look up at the sky, it's more then just a canvas of blue and white. I see where clouds are lifted by thermals, scattered by high altitude winds or flattened into layers by a steady atmosphere. But what I feel is far more important.

I feel the tenseness in my shoulders and legs, prepared to spring aloft at a moment's notice. I feel my balance tip forwards in expectation of a rush skyward. I feel as if I could step onto the windowsill and spring aloft into the winds splaying the cirrus as easily as one would break into a jog. The sky to me is more then air. It's a path filled with currents as active as the oceans, complete with waves and ripples, undertows and rips. Only at the last moment do I remember my physical humanity and pull back from a dangerous leap into space and out a second story window.

The sky possesses a dangerous kind of allure. At times it's enough to drive me to tears, others it drives me with its presence. The nearest thing to a religious attachment I have in life is my relationship with the sky; constantly reminding me in a Buddhist sense that nothing is permanent. But in keeping with that tradition's mentality, I put myself up for a great lot of suffering through my attachment. There is a reason I use the term 'heart breaking' to describe the condition of the sky: heartbreakingly blue like a pool I'm forever barred from, heartbreaking in its subtle turbulence.

For me, to be denied the ability to fly is like being told you can only move along the world at sea level- not being able to take steps higher or dive down lower. I'm restricted to moving about in two planes. As afraid as I am to make such a metaphor, in a sense I feel I've been crippled. This brings me back to my original question: why do birds fledge at all? The answer is simple:

There's never an option not to.

For a bird with all physical capability to achieve flight, grounding is a fatalistic decision. It's a form of stasis, and in a world ruled by such dynamic changes, it means death.

The human form may not be naturally flight capable but it possesses one thing to its credit: a soaring imagination. The ability to imagine, coupled with keen intellect and dexterity, means that if I try hard enough I can fly. Planes, hang gliders, wingsuits, skydiving. Some might consider it outrageous, attention seeking or even suicidal when I commit myself to doing these things. But I'm not. I'm not in it for the adrenalin kick or the high proximity passes. I'm doing it to get back to where I belong.
aciesanima: (Default)
Ok. So I made myself this stupid promise. Kind of like that silly New Year’s resolution that never happens. What was it? To write a kind of journal thing every week. I for-see great failure.

To start off with, I am one very confused bird-person. The journey of self-discovery, or self-identification is never ending it seems. I’m still a bird, but I’m wondering if perhaps I’m just not an extent bird- if I’m something dead and gone or the root of the theorized avian tree. Most people on here mention some kind of connection with pictures of their theriotype or phenotype but pictures of my supposed ‘type just don’t seem to hit any particular chord. Sure they’re all stunning and as gorgeous as the next bird but nothing special, and along with a few other things discussed below have left me to some serious pondering. If I’m not a Little Eagle, then what the heck am I?

Then the big question: Am I even therian? I considered it for a month or so, tried just being human, but it quite simply just didn’t work. I tried walking, talking, thinking, eating, acting like any “normal” 18 year old would. It was almost physically painful, every moment. I couldn’t concentrate, I was irritable and downright depressed. I reached the conclusion that if I was just human, I have something seriously wrong with me.

So I moved on: what if I was something extinct, something of the dromaeosaurid line. I haven’t counted out Dromaeosaur itself, and also included almost everything up to Rahonavis with the exception of Utahraptor because of the size. I still haven’t completely discontinued this line of thought due to the nature of some shifts mentioned in Nomad’s “Deconstructing the Raptor” thread on the Werelist, which have been occurring far to frequently for me dismiss as merely coincidental cameo shifts. One recent occurrence of the dromaeosaurid nature was on school camp, when I went traipsing through the bush with a few friends following the creek bed up as far as we could then back again to the riverside camp. I had a fairly strong mental and phantom shift which consisted mainly of myself running ahead and around of the others, mostly rocked forwards onto my toes-ducking and weaving, leaning almost completely forwards. Jumping across things much to the chagrin of my nearby friend who watched me jump up onto a downed sapling we were crossing and proceeding to proclaim with a chirrup: “Bouncy!” and then bounce up and down on it before hissing as she shoed me off it. Then I jumped up onto a fallen tree and crouched there to wait whereupon I “came to” and realized I was holding my arms with palms facing, tucked up to my side. I assumed a more “normal” stance as the rest of the group caught up. One of my friends commented later on what she described as my “tacking back and forth like you where hunting something-sometimes us.” She thought it was funny. I thought it was confusing and went to get myself more tea.

Leaving that as a hesitant possibility, I’ve moved onto serious consideration of the comparatively more recently extinct Haast’s Eagle, Harpagornis moorei, of New Zealand. It is closely related to my assumed ‘type, the Little Eagle, and the Booted Eagle. Supposed to be the ancestor of the Little Eagle/Booted Eagle isolated to New Zealand, whereupon it experienced one of the fastest recorded cases of evolution shaped by island giganticism [the opposite of island dwarfism as seen in the Bornean Pygmy Elephants] to a size large enough to kill children and fully grown Moas. [13ft relations of the modern emu and ostriches but much larger and heavier.] So there is some correlation there at least. But once again, the sheer size of Haast’s makes me uncertain though I do feel a connection with the theorized vertical take off [theory based upon reconstructions of leg muscles that would have aided in a near-vertical take off jump from the forest floor, as well as enough gripping power in the talons to puncture the pelvis of a moa or man]. Yet another possibility.

And then, finally, the original Little Eagle. Maybe I’m just one small eagle with dreams of genetic grandeur? I still fell small, not quite diminutive, but small. I don’t often feel the need to tackle kangaroos or emus, or to chase down some protoceratopsians- only sometimes. I guess I’ll conclude this week’s ramblings here- and partake in some of that wonderful activity known more commonly as sleep.
aciesanima: (Default)
Let's see if I can get this thing working, shall we?

I can't promise to be consistent or engaging, but I love to put pen to paper or finger to keyboard as it is and to explore what others have written.

Things you will see me writing about:
Transspeciesism, birds, flight, the sky, possibly some fiction should I ever dust off my skills, some poetry [mostly freeform] and whatever else I can string into a coherent sentence.

I'm friendly, don't bite [often, and not without good reason] and I'd love to get to know this site better.

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aciesanima: (Default)
Ales

December 2012

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