Sunday Night Philosophy With Wild Turkeys

The KingI don’t believe in the idea that we have an ultimate purpose in life.  I don’t believe that any of us are here for any reason other than that our parents had unprotected sex (intentionally or not) and we are born and live and breathe and subsequently find ourselves experiencing, at some point, some existential panic.

I have never asked what is the purpose of life.  Not once.  Not seriously.  Not when I was suicidal.  I wasn’t troubled with purpose so much as I was troubled by a willingness to continue feeling so much damn pain.

We exist because we were born.

I understand that it’s not that simple for others.  (To be completely honest I have to rephrase that: I know that others don’t see the simplicity for themselves.)  People want reasons.  Reasons to live.  Reasons to love.  Reasons to recover from trauma.  Reasons to keep creating when it seems completely irrelevant in the greater scheme of things.

People seek answers.  I think they’re all right in front of us.

turkey chicks

The answers are always in front of us but we aren’t always ready to see them.  We aren’t always evolved enough to read them, to understand them.  So some people look for guidance with religion.  Some with meditation.  Some with dangerous recreational drugs.  Some people join communes with megalomaniac leaders.  Some give up meat.  Some become celibate.  We make gestures of humility to the great unknown hoping that the answers will write themselves across a cerulean sky.  We hope this will part the great misunderstandings of our life.  We hope this will tell us what to DO.

not intimidated

I find my meditation with the wild turkeys.  I find it in a lot of places, but right now I am gravitating towards them.  Every chance I get I drive down this road where I have seen them before and hope I’ll see them again.  And I do!  I know how others see them: they’re ugly and scary and ridiculous and dinner.

Not to me though.  To me they’re spirit lifting.  They make me laugh from a pure place which is amazing because I’m not the poster-child for purity.  I think they’re beautiful and funny and weird and wild and ugly and primitive and worldly and fundamental and full of the values of family and community.

Have you ever been warned away from baby turkey chicks by a group of male turkeys?

They connect me back to my primitive humanity.  They make me forget questions about ethics and unemployment and worth and a possibly doomed future.  All I think is that nature is magnificent.  Nature is weird.  Nature is a freak-genius designer!

Turkeys and vultures must be THE top two creatures that only a mother could love.


And me, Angelina.

I’m a mother, after all.  I don’t see myself as separate from the turkeys.  Can you just imagine how turkeys see humans?  What vile devil are we to their primitive eyes?  I know they are drawn to my Vespa against their will – the shine! the wheels!  the noise!

Seeing the wild turkeys of Santa Rosa is the same as meditation to me.  It’s the same as checking in with a pastor or a guru or any interpretation of how life should be and finding that none of it matters more than keeping your eyes open and appreciating the full spectrum of the human experience every chance you get.

Sunday with turkeys

My biggest reasons for living are the inconsequential details that are like mice in a house of kings.  Seeing a big-ass bird parade himself in front of my Vespa in a message of intimidation and warning – it’s nothing and yet at the moment it’s happening it is so magnificent that if you let all your expectations of life go – it will fill you the way no wordy answers can.

The pageant of life is worth everything.

The pageant is our meaning.

The pageant is our language.

The pageant is this minute right now.

It’s breathtakingly simple.

You don’t have to find it in wild turkeys.  You can find it anywhere.  It’s about stripping yourself of grand expectations and accepting that this moment right now – this matters more than anything else ever will.



One comment

  1. Lonnie says:

    It was very uplifting to wake up and find this waiting to be read! The pictures were great – the detail of the turkeys’ faces, necks and feathers – they are beautiful creatures. How is your hand today? Is it better? Today is the first day of school here, the sky is overcast, roses are blooming and the quail are scurrying early before it gets too hot (predicted high today of 105). While I knit winter sweaters for the grandchildren, I shall ponder the differences between existing and living, the joy of moments and moments of joy, and the nature of answers.

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