Merry-Go Round of Life
In the gray area between humans and nature, prey and predator, during some time in our lives, we will all collide. Linda Hogan, a Chickasaw descendent, and author of the essay “Dwellings”, writes about the very connections that she believes makes up our world and our entire being. Bits and pieces from the earth and all of its inhabitants when they are woven and intertwined together can create the appearance of a nest. Linda Hogan uses a nest as a hidden meaning to show the intersections of earth and its passengers on the ride through life’s cycle.
While working at a rehabilitation facility for birds of prey, Linda notices two fetal mice paralyzed on the ground while hungry ants gnawed away at them. After witnessing this attempt of a massacre, she comes face to face with the challenge to choose the lives of the helpless newborns, or let the mouths of their determined predators devour them. Without hesitation she spares the new, and already painful, lives of the mice. Hogan states, “Death and life feed each other” (58), making this one of the strands braiding our nest of life ever so tightly.
“Inside these rooms where birds are healed, there are other lives besides those of mice. There are fine gray globes the wasps have woven together, the white cocoons of spiders in a corner, and the downward tunneling anthills” (58). Linda describes that inside these mass dwellings, there are also individual separate homes as well. If one of these dwellings is affected, the community as a whole will feel the results. For example, September 11, 2001, New York City, an act of terrorism killed thousands of people, and caused damage to their “nest” that they called home. Not only did the friends and family of the victims feel helpless from this deliberate attack, but New York City as a whole, was impacted. In an even larger perspective, the entire United States and the world felt and still to this day, are choking on the aftertaste of...