Travels With Maggie: The World Beneath Our Feet/Paws
So Very Obvious
It was there all along but I hadn’t seen it.
How many times has that been the case in my lifetime?
Maggie, of course, was the first to notice it . . . or rather, notice them!
Ground spiders . . . I don’t know the scientific name for them . . . thousands of little black spiders racing across the open field, the same field Maggie and I have walked across daily for two years . . . and yet I had never seen them before.
That was a week ago. Now I see them every single day but before . . . not a sighting although I’m sure they were there all along. It’s not like some alien species suddenly dropped down from space in the form of a relatively defensive spider; no, they were always there but I simply had not seen them. In truth it’s hard to miss them if you’re actually looking for them. It’s as though the field has movement on a windless day, waves of black skittering over rocks and through grass stems. The reality of that field was there all along and yet I had been blind to it all.
I had seen the subtle color schemes in green, five, six, seven different greens, Nature dazzling all with her intricate mixtures and hues. I had seen the clouds overhead, soldiers marching, ballerinas dancing, animal shapes and faces, gently riding the jet stream to distant ports beyond my sight. I had seen the chickens and goats, pigs and horses, hawks overhead, a bald eagle, deer streaking in the distance, and flashes of color in a distant field as a farmer tended to his crops, but . . .
Right beneath my feet, so obvious for anyone looking for it, I had missed it all.
My Truth Before That First Sighting
Now if you had asked me, previously, before the Great Spider Sighting, if I had enjoyed my walks, been enthralled by my walks, and found value in my walks, I would have said “affirmative” with no hesitation. If you had asked me what I had seen on those walks, the truth of those walks, the visions according to Bill, I would have told you of the hawks and eagles, shifting shades of green and bleating goats, farmers and evergreens and drifting castles in the air, but not one word about spiders.
Maggie’s description of those walks would have been quite different, for I suspect she has always seen those spiders. Her perspective is a bit different, height being a major factor, but also she has no pre-conceived notions. She has no modernizing to affect her vision, no educating on what is to be expected on a country walk, and no expectations. Maggie simply is. Maggie simply sees.
So which truth is real, and which is false?
Maggie and I look at the same exact scene, but she sees so much more than I see.
Such a strange phenomenon!
Prosecutors and cops are professionally skeptical about eye-witnesses. They are always looking for collaboration because of this very real phenomenon. What I see differs from what you see, even in the case of a robbery or shooting seen by dozens of people, and it is because my “sight” is filtered through seventy years of experience and education and pre-conceived notions. It just happened last week in Seattle, just as it happens daily around the world. There was a case of multiple shootings on a city street. Confusion reigned moments after the shootings, dozens of cop cars arrived, people running for cover, running away from the shootings. One witness said he saw a black man running away from the crime scene. Another said he saw a suspicious “Arab” walking north. In truth it was a white shooter, still on the scene, black-out drunk trying for a carjack, his motivation forever lost in ten shots of vodka. Dozens saw it all play out, and dozens saw something different.
Maggie would have seen the truth for what it was.
I Don’t Know What It All Means
I truly don’t. One of the popular catch-phrases in today’s world is “fake news,” and I understand the impetus behind coining that phrase, but I wonder, in a way, isn’t all news “fake” based on its source?
An internet sensation can be watched at this time on YouTube, a KOMO News program called “Seattle is Dying.” It’s a look at the drug problem in one of America’s great cities, and it is a sobering and profoundly sad show to watch. It does not paint a pretty picture of the Emerald City.
Many have commented on that documentary since it first aired. The Mayor of Seattle, Jenny Durkin, was asked for her opinion, and she said the film painted a very narrow view of Seattle, and her opinion was that Seattle is a very robust and healthy city. Now I live sixty miles from Seattle, and I’ve seen many of the things that film showed, and I personally think the Mayor is delusional.
So who is correct? Why is my view of Seattle so different from the view of the Mayor of that city?
We can play this game daily with anyone we meet. Sit down and have an in-depth conversation with anyone and you will eventually see the same phenomenon: they see certain “truths” differently than you do.
So I really don’t know what it means.
I do know that during our walks, the forest is not green. It is various shades of green. I know that the sky is not blue, but at any given time several shades of blue. I know a brown chicken is not completely brown, that it also has scarlet highlights, and I know from a distance my hair looks gray and yet up close there is still brown showing.
Perhaps it all means we have to look closely for the truth. We have to be willing to set aside preconceived notions and myopic thinking and actually search for universal truths . . . absolute truths. But do they even exist? An absolute truth is defined as one which is true at all times in all places. Is that even possible? One man says “all men are equal,” while another points to a dictator-controlled country and says “no they are not.” One woman says “love is the answer,” while the victim of spousal abuse might say “love hurts.”
Who is correct? What is true?
I really don’t know.
If you really want to know the truth, ask Maggie. She’s much more reliable. Me, I struggle, just like everyone else.
2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)