Love and Peace and Pride

So, yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything but a business memo. “I received your report, and your application has been reset. You should be able to access it now, but if you can’t just lemme know ’cause I’m your girl.” OK. Fortunately what I need to do to get things to that point is a lot more exciting, and often unappreciated and misunderstood, but I am grateful to know that my brain is not totally fried at this point. I can still think. I can still learn things. I can still get from broken to fixed, or…I know a guy.

There are things roiling in my head these days, coming to a full boil some days, simmering on most. I should leave my brain to science in hope that someone someday can figure out why there has always been such turmoil and tumult in there. My doodness, it’s a mess up in there.

Usually, when I feel the compulsion to write – and for the past few days it has been that, a compulsion, niggling on the inside that just won’t go away, an itch I cannot scratch without expelling the toxin somehow. I suppose it is a toxin, because it does not agree with me and elicits a reaction and involuntary purging. Not always very pleasant, but it’s how I’m wired, it’s how I roll, it is what it is.

For the past couple of years I’ve been watching a live stream of an eagles nest in Juneau AL. It has been fascinating, watching this apex predators treating their young ones so gently, with talons that can rip apart a lion’s hide tenderly holding a fish down for the eaglet to be fed, beak to beak. It’s touching in an odd way, and it has strangely brought me relief of some kind watching that, relief that universal law is not inextricably cruel and harsh and static.

This year, however, things changed. The nest, which has been utilized since around 2004 I believe, was not the primary incubation and brooding site. The eagles decided to use an alternate nest, only a few hundred feet away. Smaller nest, and lower to the ground. Nobody knows how or why they make such decisions, but it’s an eagle thing and I wouldn’t understand.

Anyway, this year there were two eggs, and mama eagle sat dutifully upon them in the rain and the heat and the sun and the darkness. Eagles have an incredible sense of gender partnership, and daddy sat on the nest just as much as mama did. They had some innate sense of timing, so after a couple of hours they would exchange duty stations. One would fly in and the other would fly off, and they alternating bringing food back to the nest.

Finally, an egg hatched. It started with just a little peck on the shell that could barely be seen, then *presto* there was a tiny little spot of grey fluff with two bright eyes. I am told their eyes are not fully open at the moment of hatching, and it takes a couple of weeks for their eyesight to be completely functional. They are just little squeaky bobble-heads, usually hidden under a parent’s huge wings and body mass for a bit longer, but they’re taking in the new world.

A couple of days later, the other egg hatched. It was exciting for those of us who have been watching this nest because last year there was a second egg that never hatched. So, now we have two bobble-headed eaglets, hungry and trying to figure it all out. Mama and daddy knew exactly what to do, out of instinct and because they have both produced several broods and nursed them from hatch to fledge. Nobody has to explain to the what to do or how to handle things, they just know. They don’t read books or watch videos, they don’t try they just do.

Almost from the beginning, the older eaglet seemed to have a bit of an attitude with the younger sibling. I am told it happens often in eagle nests, but it’s unsettling – there was more than enough food, and more than enough shelter for both eaglets but the older and stronger one seemed to take on a maliciously dominant role. As the eaglets got a little stronger and bigger, the older one began “bonking” the younger one, and pushing it away from food. This was not a good sign.

As they got a bit more seasoned, the sibling rivalry became nearly toxic. The younger sibling was bullied by the older, and the battle became malignant. One day, the older bobble-head attacked the younger one, and it was apparently brutal. Fortunately for me, I did not see it live, but when I tuned in everyone was chatting about the horror of what they had seen. I could have replayed the video to see it, but chose not to. Seeing the chatters asking if the younger baby bird was still breathing and moving was all I needed to know.

I have not been back to the live feed. I understand that eagles don’t have emotions about such things, but thinking of the younger eaglet set upon by its older sibling is stuck in my head. The younger one defenseless, mauled in an unprovoked attack that has probably killed it by now, triggered so many horrid feelings of victimization and memory of times when I was defenseless and mauled in unprovoked attacks has been more than I can stand. Those were generally not physical attacks that put my life in danger…or did they.

The eaglets had been named Love, the elder, and Peace the younger. Love killed, or at least tried to kill, Peace. I figure Love has finished the job by now, but for me it doesn’t matter. Yes, I understand that nature is often cruel, but I wonder if that’s Natural Law or the product of something environmental. Nature or nurture, as the old argument inquires. Can peace exist where there is love? I have begun to wonder – love is tumultuous, and often constitutes the motivation for resultant bad behavior. Perhaps we don’t know what love is any more than an eaglet with a brain the size of a hangnail.

When I have thought myself to be in love, there has been happiness and excitement, satisfaction (at least for a brief time), flashes of joy, but most often there has been struggles for balance and efforts to carve a path to somewhere that has not been defined. I don’t remember there being much peace. There were peaceful instances, short periods of time where there was no rancor or work to be done, and we considered that relaxation. Relationships are hard work, and that doesn’t seem terribly peaceful most of the time. It seems like hard work.

Perhaps I should review my core belief on what defines peace. Perhaps I should review my core belief on what defines love, but I’ve always known that I don’t know what that is. I’m just not sure I’ve been able to focus on the feeling of loving when there is so much of that hard work to be done, no time for being in the state of love. I constantly fear that outside of sex, there’s really no reason for the capital R Relationship of fantasy and cultural idiom.

With all these battling emotions around love and peace, I had almost forgotten it’s Pride day here in the place I live. For several years, I have been unimpressed by Pride festivities – been there, done that plus it’s June and it’s hot. The past couple of years it’s been cancelled due to pandemic, and a couple of years before that it was all held in October when it’s cooler. Whatever. Y’all have fun, now. I will be here in the air conditioned crack house that I call my apartment.

Aside from having done more than my share of Pride celebrations over the many years of my life, I have no desire to have the rest of the lesbians in my corner of the world remind me that I am a n old, fat, and generally unattractive person that nobody wants to be intimate with, emotionally or physically. I get it. I am good enough for you to tell your problems and seek solace, but never good enough to date or ask me how the fuck I’m doing. Many years ago a gay male friend of mine called it being the “village priest”. He was in much the same position, and said that is what he felt like – the village priest who people came to for a turn at the confessional, seeking absolution or comradery, but when it came to anything more *poof* not interested. Whatever, y’all. Like I said, y’all have fun now.

Back to love and peace. I am beginning to wonder if either of those can be anything permanent, or even stable. They both appear to be circumstances of the now, and not only cannot or will not be continuous. At this point, nobody has anything that I want so I’m at peace. When I want something – attention or care or what not – I am not at peace. I think I would rather have peace. It’s easier on the heart.

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

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