Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 214- On crows, or almost certainly something Eric disapproves of

Just for fun:

Dear Mr. President,

Like many Seattlites, I have a special relationship with crows. I'm sure this is not a uniquely Seattle matter, but certainly one that has been explored by local authors and academics. I certainly didn't feel the same way about them when I lived in other cities. My irrational side, which looks for magic, or at least a deeper meaning, in just about everything, believes that crows are good omens, auspicious signs of a good day. This confuses, and deeply annoys Eric, my neighbor and close friend, who has a much firmer grip on his rational self than his silly bird-brained neighbor girl. Since we are hanging out at our neighborhood bar, looking for something to write about for our weekly writer's group meeting tomorrow night, I've decided to use him, and our ongoing argument about crows, as my inspiration for this letter.

Eric has become part of my urban family through two close friends, both of whom have a talent for finding and befriending really great men who challenge my own cynicism and mistrust of the opposite sex. He's my brother now, stuck with me if he likes it or not, even though we lost our closest link to the Peace Corps. He, mostly, finds the things that I do perplexing and absurd. Write the President every day? Ridiculous. Read ingredient lists on food? No fun at all. Imagine the outcome of my day might be portended by the appearance of birds? Downright preposterous. But, for whatever reason, he puts up with me, and I am glad for this. It's good to have people in your life to remind you to have fun. He doesn't really approve of the amount of time I spend, in general, angry or upset about things outside of my control. Some nights I find this attitude disturbing, but tonight, with devastating floods in Pakistan, effective, comprehensive energy legislation looking like a fantasy and less than $20 in my checking account, hanging out on a comfy couch and listening to the bar tender's friends sing really bad karaoke is, while not exactly productive, at least keeping me from locking myself up in my apartment and declaring myself done with life in general.

Outside of my superstitions, crows do tell us a number of things about shrinking natural habitats, and the ways that urban man and wildlife will interact in the future. I generally like the idea of an animal that has adapted to human presence in such a way that they've even mastered traffic lights, enough to use them to their advantage- it comforts me that our sprawling existence, while problematic, might not be the end of the world for every non-domesticated living creature. We've got to do more to protect wildlife, to reduce our destructive impact on the natural world; it's just nice to know that some creatures are tougher than I give them credit for.

I know, today you're talking about troop draw-downs in Iraq, the future of American small businesses, and Virginia's legal challenge to the new health care legislation. You've got bigger concerns than me and my crazy superstitions. And I'm glad you do; I'm 24, I don't have my degree, and I'm not able to Save The World, yet. So I do silly things, like listen to drunk people singing old-school country songs (and Lady GaGa,) and look to the presence of the wild in my utterly urban existence for hope that, even if you or I, or my entire generation, can't save the world, the world might save itself, a little, too.

Respectfully yours,


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