Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Death be not proud

When we were cleaning the gutters last fall preparing windows for the winter, Jed made a gruesome discovery.

A nest near the bathroom window had been abandoned with three birds still inside. Their skeletal remains sad proof that their mother had not returned to care for them.

But it was proof of nothing more.

It didn't prove they were ill.

Or that she was.

It didn't prove she cared more for her survival than theirs.

I could only guess as to what happened. Maybe she came to some sudden harm; a windshield of a car, the trap of a wiley cat, a predator bird. Or perhaps it was just her choice of a nesting place - next to our growler - that was enough to set her on the edge of wits. (I know it does me, sometimes).

Jed called me into the bathroom quietly, asking me to take the now mummified remains out and dispose of them so he could continue to work. The kids were sleeping so I didn't have to hide my somber task or perform it quickly.

I took a picture.

Later, I posted it to flickr under "friends and family" not wanting to incur the ire of strangers, but wanting to share this life event; death.

I'm not sure why I thought of it today after the New York Times posted an article about Dr. Tiller's family closing the women's health care clinic he was brutally shot down for operating.

Other than it was something I had wanted to supress.

Just as there will be people coming out of the woodwork to forecast the ramifications of closing of Dr. Tiller's clinic -- there will be people who lament the future of women's health care; there will be people who see it as no more than a black eye for their mission to end medical abortion -- there will be people like me who don't know what to think.

People who are sad that it had to come to this.

We don't speak of death when it comes unannounced. We often don't speak of things that make us frightened. We hide behind words like life and choice as if we can have either whenever we want them. We don't speak when we are afraid of repercussions.

I know I don't.

I'm just one person.

One person who has wrestled with her own understanding.

Her own fears.

Her own disbelief at what she is seeing.

From both sides of the debate.

I am only one person with one small voice.

One person who is asking you to please find reason in her words.

And find reason in your own, too.

We shouldn't be afraid of the truth.

But we should remember that the only truth we really have access to is our own.

And sometimes our truth is based on a lie. Or a fear. Or misperception.


Fairly Odd Mother said...

Wow, just wow. Powerful photo, powerful words.

Kcoz said...

yes that photo is compelling, causing one to wonder the story behind it.