Some days, the words pour out on the page, the ideas are everywhere just when you can attend to them. But most days, the mind is a blank page with no tease, just the freeze of fear that nothing more will occur. Some days it won’t. Most days, the trick is to start putting letters on the blank page. Every day is storm season, when I never know what disaster is around the bend, which is why I keep spilling letters onto the screen, papyrus, vellum. I do like the feel of vellum. The disaster changes form, but the most common storm is found in the blank page.
A dog had puppies at the airport yesterday. Some found it adorable, others abhorrent. Two lions, two tigers and a jaguar escaped from a German zoo. How are the puppies and the lions, tigers and jaguar related? Do they have to be? Are events in my life related? The puppies need not fear being consumed by the German escapees, because they were born in Tampa, FL. Florida has its own mix of wilderness crawling. The United States Geological Survey, USGS, estimates that tens of thousands of pythons live in the Everglades. Not just pythons, but Burmese pythons. Is the wilderness making a come back, despite our best efforts to destroy and tame it? Are we witnesses to a power struggle between what some call civilization and the only universally recognized woman of ultimate power, Mother Nature? Whom are you cheering for?
Me? I am secretly hoping the pythons win. Does that make me a bad person? Maybe. I don’t want them to kill anyone. OK I would be OK if the pythons consumed some Palm Beach County part time resident, but I am not encouraging that. Even if I were such a goon, would the pythons listen? No, which is why I want them to win. They live with their own wild singularity of purpose, which seems to be, as best as I can discern it from my laptop computer, for the purpose of just living. Just living strikes me as such a lovely life purpose. The USGS says that boa constrictors and northern African pythons live in or near Miami. I love Miami too. There is talk about python eradication, but no likelihood that can be successful. Do snakes want to eradicate us? Do snakes vote and organize in ways we humans cannot figure out? Did they ever want to fly over from Burma or Africa any more than the dog wanted to give birth in Tampa International Airport? Or the lions and tigers and jaguar wanted to live in German cages? Is life about getting what we want?
Mother Nature has her own opinion, which humans seem to spend countless hours trying to discern and bend. Mother Nature has her romantic, wild side, and her destructive, unforgiving face. I have been in a hurricane or two. Some hurricanes are kinder than others; natural fury unfolds without discernible aim. Does aim matter? I want the pythons and Mother Nature to win because that gives me hope that humans are ultimately not able to destroy their home, that something greater can save us from ourselves. Yes, I understand that Mother Nature might kill us all in this struggle. Is that better than humans killing everything? Can we learn the lesson of just living? Can we escape the fate of turning all life into merely a blank page without letters?