Miracle. All of It.

elephant-city

If you were an elephant living wild in a western city…

  • You’d have one two-fingered hand swinging from your face – a hand as sensitive as tumescent genitals, but which could smash a wall or pick a cherry. With that hand you’d explore your best friends’ mouths, just for the sake of friendship.
  • you’d smell water two miles away and the flowers at your feet
  • Grumbles from trucks and cabs would shudder through the toxic ground, tickle the lamellar corpuscles in your feet and ricochet up your bones…You’d hear with your feet, and your femurs would be microphones
  • As you walked 10 miles for your breakfast you’d chatter with your friends in 10 octaves
  • You’d have the happiest kind of political system, run by wise old women, appointed for their knowledge of the world and their judgment, uninterested in hierarchy for hierarchy’s sake, and seeking the greatest good for the greatest number.
  • Elephants know, from distances well beyond the reach of ordinary senses, that other elephants were on the way…from 50 miles away
  • Why do elephants seek out other elephants?…because they like other elephants.
  • When a bereaved elephant mother carries her dead baby round on her tusks, or trails miserably behind the herd for weeks, her head hanging down, she’s grieving. When other elephants sit for hours around the body of a dead elephant, they’re mourning. When they cover an elephant corpse with soil or vegetation, or move elephant bones, they’re being reverential. When they cover a dead human, or build a protective wall of sticks around a wounded human, they’re showing an empathic acknowledgment of our shared destiny that we’d do well to learn.
  • You’re a city elephant. You’ll inhabit the city much more intensely and satisfactorily than most of its human denizens. All your senses will be turned fully on. You won’t, like most woefully unsensual humans, using only your eyes.
  • If they’re people, they’re embarrassingly better people than we are. They build better communities; they live at peace with themselves and aren’t, unlike us, actively psychopathic towards other species.
  • Be careful, though. You’re likely to end up dead because someone wants a couple of your teeth.

~ Charles Foster, excerpts from “If You Were An Elephant” in The Guardian (Jan 19, 2017)


Notes:

  • Digital Art Image Credit: Larger than Life by H3NDRIX121
  • Inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
  • Related Posts: Miracle. All of it.

Comments

  1. Greed=death and distruction. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was delighting in the wonder of the essay, until the end. What the hell are we doing?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. wonderful. until the end.then so sad. i love this perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How interesting!! Great find.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The magnificence of these animals draws us in. The fantasy is so appealing. The reality so shocking.
    What a wonderful piece!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I would not mind being an elephant–except for the tooth bit….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m infatuated by these magnificent creatures. It breaks my heart to think of even one being killed for something so trivial as a tooth. Right up there with black rhinos and their horns. Devastatingly sad…

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Reblogged this on RULE13 Learning.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on Jots from a Small Apt. and commented:
    Our place and space in this World is no more nor less important (or threatened and encroached upon) than the societal nature of…Nature itself. Can we protect and provide? Yes. We. Can.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Words carrying both a powerful message and metaphors for other messages. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Tracey Carnahan says:

    Now this is a powerful piece…the part about old lady elephants really spoke to this old lady.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Such wonderful creatures. And what a nice post. We humans are such a detrimental species.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love this. And I love that you posted it. Elephants are my tribe.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you for sharing this, David – and thanks to Raye for reblogging it… which I shall also do!
    Would that we could live life as the elephants do…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Reblogged this on A Delectable Life and commented:
    A thought-provoking piece indeed. Why can’t we be more like elephants?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. First prize! I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

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