Saturday, November 22, 2008
My Own Demise
In second grade we learned about dodo birds. "Dodo bird" is a term people often use to describe someone who is not intelligent; Or at least, that is the meaning it has adapted in time. I learned that this comes from the birds causing their own extinction. Portuguese sailors stumbled upon the island, Mauritius (the only place dodo birds were seen) and since the dodo birds had never met humans before, these flightless birds didn't know to run away.
"The sailors mistook the gentle spirit of the dodo, and its lack of fear of the new predators, as stupidity. They dubbed the bird "dodo" (meaning something similar to a simpleton in the Portuguese tongue). Many dodo were killed by the human visitors, and those that survived man had to face the introduced animals. Dogs and pigs soon became feral when introduced to the Mauritian eco-system. By the year 1681, the last dodo had died..." (source- I couldn't remember the years)
Ever since the age of 7 I have kept the dodo in the back of my mind. I am not sure why it's stuck with me so strongly, but sometimes the term is brought up and I inform the surrounding people of the dodo's tragic story. Some people already know it, but many do not.
This morning Aaron and I were on the telephone and we were discussing how his acting class had all been telling each other the colors, flowers, animals, ect. they associated with each other as a class exercise. There was little consistency to the responses he received. In a way I feel this makes a lot of sense. Aaron different major strengths that can easily overshadow each other depending what context you know him. Many people have this, but often we know a certain portion of them so well, that we forget. And as we grow our identity becomes more and more refined because we stop testing the limits of our "selves" that have been built for us...
So I asked Aaron what color, scent, mode of transportation and animal I would be. He said bright yellow (which I thought was odd for a variety of reasons- he said he just tries to think of the happy, bubbly me), some sort of wildflower, MG and the dodo bird. I told him that was mean (the dodo bird). What was that supposed to mean? He was leaving to go sleep or eat or something at this point so I didn't pester for much of an explanation, but if I'm honest with myself, I suppose, when relating to him, I know how I am the dodo bird. This is not because I'm dumb, but rather I chose to trust. I have seen what you have done. I acknowledge what you have done. Now I look past it and give you a chance to be loved again.
The question is, am I destined to meet the same ending as these gentle birds? Why must the sailor(s) be so cruel? Just because they were "...easy prey to the Portuguese invaders who would club the bird to death as it approached them seeking friendship..." (source) doesn't mean they should have done so. And who are the sailors? And if they know I am this way, why must they still prey?
And when does it become too great of a risk for me to trust. After all, it is terribly tiring to remain closed off all the time. I find no reason to hide on the other side of a wall. I was not placed here to hide away. I am here to be, to be here. I want to love and to care and to trust. I am willing to forgive.