Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Reflecting on Reflecting

This is a photo I took on a different day, but I thought I would add it here.

I loved the part of speech class when the instructor had us take an hour, to go find a spot, and sit by ourselves and answer some “big questions:” Who am I, why am I here, etc. By nature I am reflective, but it’s been a while since I’ve sat with and written my responses to these specific questions that he provided to us. I also like that he had us think about and write about our values. He had us think of favorite characters in movies and/or books, and again to see what values we admired in these characters. It really provided a new way to help guide me on “why am I here.” It actually makes a lot of sense to me in a different way. I knew some of the characters I liked from the past, but now I have a better sense of how they represent what I value in a new way.

Two of the eleven questions:

Who am I? On this day, June 30, 2010, I am in a constant state of self-discovery. I am whole, but I am also a sum of my experiences, past, present, future. I find myself in nature and through my words, through sharing and connecting and remembering.

During the past year, what has my life stood for? During the past year, my life has stood for appreciating the fragility and wonder of life. Not a day goes by that I am not in awe of some aspect of nature and my connection to her. I sit now beneath this great tree, on this grass with leaves and twigs and earth; I look up to the sun as it shines light on the leaves and the wind brushes against my whole being. I feel calm, grounded, quieted, humbled. And then…a little bird flies circles around me and I follow him with my eyes and turn my head and follow, round and round and round and round... He makes me dizzy with love and happiness, and I laugh aloud to myself, to the little bird, and the tree.

The beauty is we can come back to these questions at different points in our lives.


One note. When the instructor asked a couple of students that arrived back early from reflecting what they thought about the exercise, one girl did not like it at all, and I don’t think she wrote responses to the questions. I felt bad for her because she almost looked terrified. She was clearly not in a space to open up to these questions. As I had noted before, many of the students were younger, anywhere between 19 to 25. For some, this was second nature and for others it was their first time doing something like this.

I took this photo at a park. This is a type of Manzanita.


keiko amano said...


On the first photo, are they crows? They must be a family. The left bird is looking clearly to the left, and the center bird, down below. And the right bird must be a boss. He or she is facing toward you. The shadow makes it hard to tell. But I bet the right bird noticed you and wondered what you were doing.

Looking at your second photo, it looks like the photo I had taken before. Manzanita. Yes, I recall the name. Myrtles also have such smooth trunks. And right now, the barks of eucalyptus trees are peeling off and showing their smooth trunks. The other day, I helped one of the trees in his effort. And today, I stepped on the pieces of such barks mingled with pinkish eucalyptus leaves. On a shortcut pathway at a corner, I made a small music.

About reflecting, I guess some people do not reflect much, and the people reflect will reflect in different ways. You’re lucky to be able to reflect on reflecting. Because without such abilities, I don’t think we can make wonderful discoveries and communicate about them.

Rebb said...

Keiko, Yes those are crows. It could be a family, either biological or in the mafia sense. This is one of the scenarios that inspired my blog post, “Crow” (link below).

Have you seen the little pink flowers that form on the eucalyptus trees? I tried to sketch one in pencil one day when I didn’t have my camera. Ah…eucalyptus music.

You’re right some people do not reflect much and that’s ok. Yes, I like reflecting and reflecting on reflecting; and reading reflections. Thank you.

“Crow” blog link is below, but I will also just copy the poems that I wrote and one follow up comment that I wrote.


February 19, 2010, 8:37 am

Crows are the comedians of the bird world,
the bulldogs of the dog kingdom.
Crows are the organizers. Knowing
where to be, they create hangouts and territories
among the local fast food joints and
office buildings.

I happen upon a pack of four
in the McDonalds parking lot.
A stand off for a French fry or some other crumbs.
I sit on an outside bench and watch.
There are three or four in the tall pine trees
set in the street island doing their crow thing,
cawing, giving signals, flying to and fro,
from the pine trees to the parking lot and
back again.

And sometimes when I walk along,
often I’ll hear one start to speak. I look
up to find where he’s perched—usually
at the edge of an office rooftop, or a high
tree branch. Sometimes he’ll swoop down,
land—if there’s food—nonchalantly walk
up to it, not paying me any mind, unless
I make a sudden move. He walks like a mob leader,
no nonsense, struts his stuff.

Sometimes when I walk along and I
hear the familiar caw, and I look to find
him—with his crew,
scheming a plan,
I let out a hearty cackle,
let it rip through me
because these comedians,
these bulldogs of the world
make me laugh like no other,
and oh! it feels good! to feel
my body rumble and laugh with Crow.


Crow picks
busily away at
the prize
in the road
Nothing will stop
him or stand
in his way
The car whirs by
but Crow stands
his ground
doesn’t budge
from his prize
in the road.


It is definitely interesting how we all have different takes on Crows. Just today I started thinking more about them and they are really quite multi-dimensional in my world. This is what I jotted in my notebook because I see them in so many different ways depending on what there up to:

I see Crow as a shape shifter, a Shaman. I hold him in high esteem, and that a creature can both bring me laughter and make me look on in awe is a blessing. I've come to see Crow in his many guises. He is most elegant when alone up high in a tall pine tree. Over the years he has entered my awareness and only in the past several months has the realization come that he has become a sort-of power animal for me in this life. Perhaps he has something to teach me about life and death.

keiko amano said...


I love your poems about crows. A Mafia? Did they come from Cicily? Hahaha. I'm kidding.

I couldn't find a hilarious Japanese news clip that was taken in Sendai (North of Japan), but I found a BBC news. Have you seen it?

Rebb said...

Thank you, Keiko. I’m glad you like the poems. Hehehe. I love your sense of humor.

That was a great clip of the crows. I’ve never seen it before. It made me laugh and was so funny when he walked into the crosswalk and then hopped back. They are so determined. Thanks for sharing. It put a smile on my face.