In Motion: Bellingham, Poetry, San Juan Islands, Ted Talks

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Worm vs' Centipede!

I encourage you to take walks.  Whoever you are and wherever you live, you should take walks.  It is one of the few places in life where we are away from our home, office, TV, computer, phone.  Take nothing with you and just walk.  Before there was an iPad, or even electricity humans spent many hours just doing non-electric activities like reading, building things, knitting and playing cards. 

I'd like to suggest that our human brains need down time to process the world around us.  That one hundred years is not enough for us to adapt to electrical life, not after the millions of years we spent without it.  Seems a non-electric hour is the least we can do to keep our humanity.  Besides, if you did not take walks you may miss a ring-side seat at natures awesome spectacle; real life drama that takes place all the time, all around us.  Animals and insects living together and sometimes fighting for survival.   

I was out walking with my son towards the Whatcom Falls trails when we noticed a centipede fighting a worm on the sidewalk.  We discussed the possible strategy of the centipede and the hopeless efforts of the worm, fighting without jaws, claws or poison. 

Prior to our walk my mind was heavy in thought regarding my personal situation.  Recently divorced and unemployed my prospects do not look good.  Hope has carried me through the last four months but lately I've been a bit down.  I feel like I am living on the edge of a knife!  As if my next move needs to be a good one or I'll go "down with the count" and live out of my car or something.  The fear of figuring out what to do next has frozen me.  In nature I learned that creatures when cornered will either fight, flight or freeze.  I am frozen.  Should I go back to school and give up on returning to the television industry and get equipped for another field?  Should I get an entry level job in a new field and try to work my way up?  Should I move to another city or state for an opportunity?  I'm on a pivot point trying to figure out the direction of my next step that will re-align my life's vector. 

Staring at the worm wiggling for it's life as the centipede chomps off a third of its body-- I felt like the worm.  It moved me almost to tears to watch this silent episode unfold.  The centipede seem to be having trouble getting it's jaws around the worm to cut a clean piece off.  It used its feet and long body to get the worm at a better angle for cutting.  Such drama!  The worm was just out crossing the sidewalk, heading towards the grassy fringe of the forest, when the centipede, hungry, full of favor cuts the worm almost in half and drags its head (or tail) back into the grass to be consumed!  I went home and wrote a poem about it, then spent the rest of the week in a daze.

Just this morning, while out on my morning walk, I decided to go back to school.  After months of researching my options, I arrived at that conclusion.  I need to be equipped, polished and tooled up for the next stage of my life.  While pondering that choice my mind drifted to the attack witnessed earlier that week.  Worm vs' Centipede.  I don't want to be a human worm wiggling along life's sidewalk unprepared for a centipede attack. 
All we can do is be prepared. 


Worm vs' Centipede

Sweet centipede, you killed your cousin the worm
Those 100 legs and plier jaws cut off the tail (or the head)
dragging the rest back into the grass jungle
from which you pounced

Worm wiggles in pain
that same useless motion used to fight for its life
Wormy blood  exits out from the severed tail (or head)
Such magnificent drama unfolds on the cement desert
that is the sidewalk  on the edge of my block!

I hurt for the worm, gasp at each bite to it's body
I understand the centipede, natures attributes makes it the easy victor
I walk home in gray mourning
Pondering the events that nature takes for granted


Washington State Centipede





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