The chicks died. Eight thousand of them. And you almost died too. You may be
breaking the way so many fragile eggs broke, vulnerable as the bird nation to the
poisons that erode the essential structures of our lives.
It is not enough to grieve, but to know this grief, its cause, its devastation, its
imponderable effects upon everything it touches. We make a poison and cannot
control its spread. It is a power with a mind of its own. It wants to be itself, and
everything it touches dies, quickly in some cases, or over long, long stretches of
time, a human lifetime, or longer, we do not know. And those, like yourself, who
never made the poison, who stand against it, who cast a sacred circle to protect
what is inside, who become the trees against an ill wind, still succumb. We can’t
protect the circle and the wind wasn’t asked where to carry the powder. It wasn’t
asked where to set it down, or how to free itself from what it would never take up
on its own.
What is the choice? To take the grief into ourselves, or to take the poison into
ourselves, or both, on this terrible path we are asked to carve toward a different kind
of knowledge than the kind we have been taught to gather to us and to call power.
Knowledge is power, we were told.
This is not power. Look how the white powder has made a powder of our bones.
Look how the egg dissolves at the slightest tremor. Look how it cannot protect
or sustain what it loves.
The challenge is to become the pelican though we have never entered the territory of