Surrounded by death and I don't care

I live on a farm, and it seems that every bird in the U.S. chooses to build its nest in our trees, or in the rafters of our barn and garage.

Based on what I’m seeing, birds oughtta be extinct. Baby birds just can’t seem to stay in their nests.

As I walk in the driveway, or in the garage, I occasionally feel the “crunch” as I step on a baby bird’s dead body. I have to be careful, because they get slippery when squooshed.

Working out in the barn, I’m between reps. It’s a pastoral moment of reflection. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a tiny meteor falling from the rafters.


They fall with depressing regularity. Hardly ten minutes goes by without another life being tragically lost.

When I was mowing Saturday I saw a heavy wind blow against one of our trees, and the baby birds fell like rain, hitting the cement of the driveway. They exploded like popcorn on impact, and made much the same sound.

They crunch under the tires When I come home and leave, and they dry up into little frisbees in the hot sun.

I sweep or scrape them out of the garage.

Occasionally I come across them still alive, yet doomed. They squirm about with their little broken bodies.

When I first moved here, my wife and I were horrified. We would try to replace birds in nests even though they were hurt, and we were filled with sympathy, and uncomprehending of the horror of all this death. All this wasted young life.

But, as far as Nature’s concerned life is cheap, especially baby bird life. “Make lots and lots. Don’t worry if we have too many, their disposable. The flies and worms will get them.”

And, living out on the farm, I’ve become jaded to death. As far as every living thing is concerned, life is cheap, as long as it doesn’t belong to you and yours. Sometimes not even then.

It seems that every animal meets a public and ignominous end. A deer breaks its leg and suffers weeks as infection slowly kills it. It hobbles around in a circle, falling, getting up, falling, getting up. Days go by and the world in general and myself in particular are unmoved.

I wonder idly how high all the dead bodies through history would cover the world.

Those birds that survive youth die hard as hell. Raccoons, squirrels, groundhogs, rabbits you name it. When they bite the dust it tends to be a long suffering process. The lucky one get killed by predators, and die quickly. Everything else takes a long time.

I am unmoved by the suffering because of its inevitability. I realize now, that I was wrong in my earlier civilized horror. It’s a facade, a lie that society has foisted upon us. It may be hidden away in hospitals and nursing homes, but our ultimate destiny is probably little different than that aforementioned deer, or the birds. We will suffer a long time and when death finally comes after us in its lazy indifferent, but inevitable way, it’ll be welcome.

That was very poignant Scylla

Sometimes I’m convinced you’re two different people.

Methinks thou dost protest too much, Scylla. You don’t sound indifferent to me. But far better to be rationally thoughtful about death than indifferent or horrified.

We are much more freaked out by death and sex and illness these days because we—in our Big Cities—are removed from these things. One ot two hundred years ago, most people lived on farms, and those who lived in cities had no privacy whatsoever. People were schtupping away in the next bed. Cows and sheep were having hot monkey sex in the fields. Animals keeled over dead with regularity; babies were born (and often died) at home; illnesses were treated at home and families buried their own.

So, Scylla, congrats on your historical perspective! In some ways, your life is much closer to 1900 than to 2000.

Feeling a bit down today, are we?

Dr.Tranq recomends a week of sitting on a sunny beach.

Not at all. Quite the contrary in fact.

Whoa! You’ve just completely scrambled my brain.

[sub]Even as I recognize the inevetability…[/sub]

Hey, shit happens. The thing to remember about death is that it will come to us all and it is part of life. Nature had started with giving life, no reason to hate it for taking it. Yeah they suffer sometimes, but it will soon end. It will be over. And then it can start all over again and again. Cheers.

Scylla, life is a wonderful thing. It should be treasured. Likewise, death is inevitable. It should be capitalized upon.

Stuff the dead birds into old shirts, and build gruesome scarecrows with them.

Aww, geez, Scylla. Now I’m all depressed. :frowning:

Hmmm. So weird, in so many ways.

Ok–this made me roar with laughter (I know I know, I’m a sick puppy). How about this though: you could collect the little carcasses and make diorama’s out of them. I’m thinking a scene of Washington crossing the Delaware or the car race scene in Grease would be especially poignant.

All I have to add is that, if you sing the thread title to the tune of “Jimmy Crack Corn,” it’s pretty funny.

I have never understood the fascination with death. Some people seem to think that death is a punishment when others would like nothing more than someone to kill them. The strongest I feel about it is mild indifference:)

Oh, look at all the jellyfish, washed up on the beach, slowly dehydrating in the pitiless summer sun!

Hmmm–I wonder what it is those gulls are flocking over down there…

Maybe if you’re really lucky, you’ll get to go to one of those beaches where rare sea turtles lay their eggs! Of course, most of the new-hatched baby turtles will be eaten before they even make it to the sea…

Getting grim, are we?

Nature’s indifferent to life; it’s the survival of the fittest which propels life into higher stages of existence which you happen to throne upon… you bastard!!

And isn’t that the fault of the parents!? That they don’t keep their babies in the nest?? That they don’t discipline them to stay kaput?? That they have low intelligence that would lead them to place a nest in a location which is susceptible to wind sheer and predators!?!?

[sub]sorry - I’m bored[/sub]

Great, now I’ll have that going through my head all evening.

Surrounded-by-deaaath, 'n-I-don’t-care!
Surrounded-by-deaaath, 'n-I-don’t-care!
Surrounded-by-deaaath, 'n-I-don’t-caaare!

The Reaper’s gone away!

The Buddhist philosophy is quite appealing to me. The “First Noble Truth” is, life is suffering. I’ve noticed the interesting and somewhat counterintuitive effect that, the more clearly one sees and understands that, the happier and more meaningful life becomes. At least, that’s how it’s worked for me.

The barn swallows all around when I was growing up didn’t fall with quite the regularity reported. Of course, those that did were likely quickly moved away, as we had a variable population of decidedly non-house cats roaming the property, whose hunting instincts were quite intact.

And now I have the same ditty running through my head.


OK, let me ammend that prescription:
…on a sunny beach, with your head stuck in the sand! Eyes closed! And no peeking!

Almost every thread title I write is either a pun or an obscure reference. I can’t believe you got that one.

We need more lyrics.