Looking Up

Carol A. Hand

Looking up
Watching the eagles gliding high above treetops
in the hazy cloudless sky
on this Sunday morning
the beginning of July

Enjoy peaceful moments while you can
before fireworks signal warning
“The rockets’ red glare, bombs bursting in air”
don’t symbolize “freedom,” but reasons for mourning
the never-ending costs of war

Crouching Child by Carol A. Hand

War – I do not cower as a child anymore

Carol A. Hand – photo by Jnana Hand

Peace – I look up and stand steadfast, an elder
My spirit one with soaring eagles
knowing no matter what comes
I’m not standing alone


it does not mean to be in a place
where there is no noise, trouble
or hard work. It means to be in
the midst of those things and still
be calm in your heart.


41 thoughts on “Looking Up

  1. This afternoon, as the sun finally began to show itself, I found myself gazing up at a buzzard soaring amongst the white clouds in a blue sky, it was a beautiful, peaceful respite from the ear-straining noise of an industrial sander in the room next door!

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  2. I’ve never seen an actual Eagle,,,but I know where your words are coming from, and, along with the British Nat Anthem, The American Anthem is pretty bad in it’s meaning too… Stay well Carol, best wishes from over the pond xxx

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comments, Pat. I’m not sure Britain’s anthem is as bad as the U.S. anthem, although they both share a focus on fostering nationalism and vanquishing enemies. But I know we still reach across the big pond with open hearts and minds, and I’m grateful for that. 🙂

      Given that you’re a vlogger (with over 100 followers the last time I checked!), I thought you might like a short video of a bald eagle soaring: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i94QoqvmgrM. (Not quite as short as the 21 second video I posted of Pinto…)

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    1. What a wonderful comment… So, first I think, “impossible” and then “Why should that be? Because we are conditioned to accept a state of war as normal and we’re not fighting the conditioning, i.e., the source, but the symptom.”

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        1. Ahhhh! (deep sigh!) Ever since I was pre-teen, that question has haunted me and shaped my life, for better or worse. Unless someone is grossly psychologically abnormal, no one likes to be hurt, or to hurt others. I would take that as a given. And yet, from childhood on up to today, at 70 years, most of my reading, history and observation has dealt with the problem of pain – pain inflicted and pain received – the one constant throughout our history and one’s life. We live in a pain inducing environment whose mindset is primarily that of the predator and prey. Even the most intelligent and aware individuals I’ve met accept this as normal. Religion explains it as the work of Satan. Darwinism as the “food chain” in the evolutionary process. Most see the flattened squirrel on the street, consume their burger and watch their news about another bombing and dozens dead without ever thinking about the cause of this. Every problem – if we just could admit it was a problem – has a source cause. Before we can ever move forward as an intelligent, sentient and self-aware species we need to come to grips with the problem of predation: an evil imposition or a natural process? Clue: if it was natural we would not be discussing it, and no one would be opposed to death and destruction. It would be the predator seeking and capturing its prey, nothing more. No emotions around it, it’s how it is. But we vacillate around it, meaning we’re not totally comfortable with it. The problem, I perceive, lies in our acceptance of the predatory mindset. Somewhere in the infinite cosmos, there are minds analyzing lesser minds, watching us, waiting for us to choose on this primal thing: the rejection of predation and the choice to become empathetic beings.

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        2. Your comments bring to mind two research projects, Sha’Tara, Stanley Milgrim’s work on people’s obedience to authority, and Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison experiment (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment). Zimbardo wanted to know “… what happens if you put good people in an evil place.” Here’s a link to one of the videos that discusses these projects and raises crucial questions about the need for people who model resistance to authority and group-think: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRtZJId5AiE).

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        3. I had watched the Stanley Milgram experiment documentary already – didn’t know about the other ones. So, “somebody” designed these micro experiments. Who designed the macro experiment involving all of earth? Who’s the authority controlling the authoritarians who in turn inflict their will upon a subdued majority world-wide, and since civilization began? What is going on here? Are we actually dealing with a Matrix whose survival depends upon the subjection and torture of entire races of sentient beings? What if? My Teachers called them the “Time Lords” and claimed they mind-controlled most of this universe. How evil are they I asked? “Think Morgoth Bauglir, or Sauron” they replied, knowing I’d make the connection being a fan of J. R. R. Tolkien writings. How do we defeat these Powers, I asked? “Evil can only be defeated through acceptance of compassion as a way of life, such leading to the re-connection of the lost sense of empathy. It is a personal choice, one that can never be successfully implemented collectively. To become compassion one must also choose self-empowerment as her or his own life’s path.” To deliberately choose to walk alone is never a popular choice among a species as gregarious as are the earth type humans, thus explaining why they have never been able to break free of their tendency to choose, and submit to, sociopathic leaders for themselves. Whatever the inducements or possibilities in self empowerment, who chooses to walk alone? As the Scots would jokingly say, “Damn few and they’re all daid!”

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        4. Important questions and apt conclusion. Whatever the inducements or possibilities in self empowerment, who chooses to walk alone? As the Scots would jokingly say, “Damn few and they’re all daid!” Life on the margins ain’t easy but it has so many unanticipated rewards,,,

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        5. I love this discussion and hope Carol doesn’t mind. I don’t think we’ve evolved much beyond our predatory ancestors. It’s only been some thousand years since we were living in caves, fighting for sparse resources, hoarding and hoping to survive the winter. I think that primitive nature appears today in the greed and competitiveness, the hoarding of money and stealing of resources. And I believe we have within us that old instinct in the core of our brain, often activated by fear, whether rational or not. We are also compassionate, capable of great altruism and personal sacrifice. The difference is our ability to reason, to evaluate past actions and make new choices., to decide to change, to care, to expand our sense of brother and sisterhood to larger and larger circles. We have the immense power and responsibility of choice. We could end all wars tomorrow if we would all simply decide to do it and that’s a tall order. But each of us can end our personal participation in cruelty tomorrow, and that’s easy. As David Mitchell said, “We are each drops in a limitless ocean, and what is an ocean but a multitude of drops.” ❤

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    2. Such a powerful vision of what could and should be, Diana. In our own ways, I know some of us do celebrate peace even if we can only meet in a virtual space. How I wish we could give thanks and celebrate accomplishments as communities – births, rites of passage from youth to adulthood, successful harvests. Celebration ceremonies were a crucial part of many indigenous pre-colonial cultures before federal legislation made them crimes.

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      1. Rituals and celebrations as a community are powerful. I love to see more of them, both traditional and newly created. ❤ Peace required a great deal of courage and the more the merrier. ❤

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  3. If only, hah!… if only people thought about this; if they realized the terrible loss they incurred when these communal events were declared illegal, or abandoned for the unhealthy but abundant fodder of legalized religion, media propaganda and cheap entertainment.

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