I remember when “to discriminate” meant to distinguish fine degrees of difference, as in “a person of discriminating tastes.”
I remember when “disrespect” was not a verb.
I remember when “to grow”, as in “to increase in size” was intransitive and the only transitive meaning for “grow” was “cultivate” – as in oranges or daffodils, or hair.
I remember when there was no internet, and when a computer was something that would fill a room. This means I also remember when a manuscript meant pen marks on paper because there was no such thing as a word processor – Gasp! Horrors!
Last week I bought my son a paperback copy of Suzanne Collins‘ The Hunger Games at Vroman’s bookstore on Colorado Blvd in Pasadena. The store is more or less on the way when my husband and I make our weekly visit to his dad at the assisted living facility. It’s a store where Ray Bradbury still holds a book signing every year on the weekend that falls closest to Halloween. The store seems to be thriving… but I wonder whether it will continue to do so in the face of changing technology.
It makes me feel a little sad.
Sometimes I feel like a dinosaur, old and slow, lumbering down the dusty path to extinction. At other times I am a bird, a winged and feathered dinosaur-descendent, soaring above the world.
Perhaps I would be a heron. I like herons because they are patient hunters who get to stand picturesquely beside still water, participating in the art of reflection.
Herons also do a pretty good soar from time to time, without having to spend all day at it like eagles. (Why do eagles always get to be the metaphor for success? All they’re doing up there is shopping for mice, and from the mouse’s point of view it’s going to be really bad news.)
When I am being a soaring bird, I look down and see the whole world spread out below me, stretching into both past and future and connecting them into a meaningful continuum. Things become linked, as old skills are put to new uses. So the dinosaur survives by transforming itself in little ways and finding new occupations.
- Spotlight On Ohio Birds (abirdersnotebook.wordpress.com)
- Webcams offer up-close views of great blue heron nest (northcountrypublicradio.org)