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Archive for July, 2021

Juniper died today: euthanized after losing a leg to necrosis.

Such a tiny and humble creature, he would have been invisible in a crowd of his own kind. What made him visible was that we chose to bring him, specifically him, into our lives as a companion.

Juniper is a quail: a homely bird without distinctive coloring. All white and quiet, we acquired him for $10 and change. At the same time, we purchased two colorful lovebirds costing well over $200.

Juniper lived but 6 months, tops. The vet costs today ran $219: a poor investment, one might argue. It all depends. What value do you place on a life once that life becomes personal?

We recall the great and heroic lengths taken to save the last US President (who denied the very seriousness of Covid 19). He, ironically, received care that millions who perished did not and could not receive.

Was his life more valuable; more consequential?

Are the lives of celebrities really more important than those of our grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins and dear friends? We know the answer.

Social valuation is part of the theater of the absurd. Existentially, life, all life, is priceless and terribly fleeting. It’s our heads that deal in comparative valuations. Our hearts, however, do a very different kind of math.

We live at a cultural inflection point in a topsy-turvey world engaged in wholesale human devaluation. In fact, and insanely, we are witnessing the mindless devaluation of the entire natural world on which we depend for our very existence.

We are witness to bitter and foolish conflict over whose lives really matter ( e.g., Black, Blue, immigrant men, women and children, or white inconvenienced citizens). These are times that call for thinking women and men to take serious stock and make wiser choices: choices that affirm the dignity of all life.

We need fresh eyes on the matter of life and our world, and, dear brothers and sisters, urgency is very high.

Today, as we said goodbye to Br. Juniper, I happily bumped into the recent book by Pope Francis, “Let Us Dream”. It is a post- pandemic meditation, and a prayerful cry for a correction in thinking – a call to reaffirm essential values, and to “ decenter” ourselves, moving away from self-preoccupation.

The Pope admonishes us to take action and to come to terms with what it means to really care for all our brothers and sisters ( all men, all women, all children, and all the created that carry the imprint of the Great Heart that inspired and inspires them).

So, today, the day after Independence Day in the US, we personally grieve the passing of our little friend who lived so very briefly: a life otherwise dismissed as inconsequential as measured by the World’s standards .

We are nonetheless personally richer that he was a brief part of ours as we affirm the dignity of his journey among us.

© The Harried Mystic, 2021 and Br. Anton, TSSF. Unauthorized use or distribution of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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