This past Sunday I tried avoiding responsibility.
I was walking to brunch with my wife & mother-in-law, and it happened I was on the opposite side of Ninth Avenue. Out of the corner of my eye I saw what appeared to be a pigeon, perhaps with a broken wing, flutter a few feet and land in the middle of the avenue. I thought its demise was going to be moments away and thought “oh dear… at least it won’t suffer very long.” But there wasn’t enough traffic and a woman walking her dog picked it up, and it flapped away over to the curb. By now my wife & mother-in-law had crossed the street and my wife asked me what was going on. I was ready to walk away and go get brunch, wanting to assume the dog-owner would take care of the situation, but sometimes my wife serves as my moral compass. I told her a pigeon appeared to be injured, and started calling information on my cell phone to get the number for the Wild Bird Fund rescue organization, in order to pass the situation off on someone else.
My wife said, “Let’s go see what we can do, if anything.” Visually, I couldn’t make sense of what I saw. It looked like an extra long two-tone pigeon. It seemed stretched out, and the dog-owner said, “These two pigeons seem to be stuck together,” and sure enough, when I squatted down and assessed the situation (at my wife’s encouragement), there was a gray pigeon and a beige pigeon joined together foot to foot. I saw the two feet joined in a small tangle of thin thread. I tried pulling the thread apart with my hands. Nope. I looked up to see 8 to 12 people gathered around observing. Spontaneously I called out “Does anyone have a knife, or something I can cut with?” Some guy said yes, and while he got it out I pulled at the threads to get a clearer working space. The beige pigeon was flapping her wings a bit and another woman from the crowd stepped forward and gently cupped it, to keep her still. The guy handed me the knife (a switchblade, incidentally!) and I cut the tangle apart. The woman holding the beige pigeon stood up with the bird in her hands and asked, “What should I do?” I told her to put the bird down on the curb. The bird happily flew away. My wife told me later on the small crowd applauded as the bird took off, but I didn’t hear it at the time. Unfortunately, the grey pigeon appeared to have a broken neck, and was dead. I assumed when they had been co-joined and trying to fly about, somehow the grey one got injured. So I wrapped it in a bag I found in the corner wastebasket and “buried” it there, walked off the brunch and scrubbed my hands thoroughly before I ate.
This incident stayed with me. I am not retelling this to paint myself as any kind of a hero, because I wasn’t. I was ready to walk away, even though I kinda felt I “should” get involved. I started thinking about having to keep the bird until a shelter opened on Monday… about the delay to eat… about how hassled and inconvenienced I thought I would be… but my wife pointed me back in the direction I needed to go…. and so at least one bird was saved. That was sweet.
And all that hassle & inconvenience I anticipated? Well whaddya know, a helpful crowd formed around the incident and assisted me. (Man, that guy had a switchblade!) So it was all actually pretty easy! Took 5 minutes tops. I spent too much time thinking negatively.
I believe in following my bliss. I believe I need to take care of myself, to be able to serve the universe. And I also believe the universe sometimes taps you on the shoulder and says, “Hey, you can take care of this.” And I believe that, because I believe the universe takes care of me all the time, and since I believe we are all “one with the universe,” sometimes we get little assignments to do. And it is our responsibility to do them.
As Teddy Roosevelt once said “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
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SPECIAL NOTE: The Practical Mysticism Expo is coming on Sunday March 27, 2011 • 12noon-5pm • One on One NYC, 34 W27th St., NY, NY • 11th Floor • $10 entry fee includes access to all 4 lectures • Individual Sessions Available for an extra fee, including tarot/angel card readings, psychic readings, mediumship, palm readings. This expo was created by several gifted friends & myself. More details will follow at www.practicalmysticismexpo.com