it’s all about the terror


I don’t know how smart a chicken is.

If you watch them for a while, you have to come to the conclusion that a chicken is a pretty stupid animal.  They don’t seem to give much thought to anything except eating, drinking, and pooping.  They’re just not the smartest bird I’ve seen in my minor league bird watching lifetime.

But when you’re chasing a chicken around the yard, trying to get them back in their coop, they seem pretty crafty.  They zig, they zag, they evade.

A chicken can make you feel pretty unintelligent while you’re chasing them behind the picnic table.

Maybe a chicken is smarter than I think.  It would take something pretty brilliant to make me feel like I was a dullard….of that I’m sure.

We had some full-grown chickens before we got this batch of chicks.

Something was picking them off one by one in the night.  We came to the conclusion that it must have been an owl or a hawk…something big enough not to leave a trace of any chicken in its wake.

I don’t notice these chickens looking to the sky for the bigger bird that’s sure to kill them.  Maybe they do it when I’m not around…but to me, they seem unaware and unafraid.

We’ve had a number of break-ins lately in our area.  From what I hear, it’s some gang members from Greenville who’ve decided to migrate north and hit up the easy targets in NC.

I never worried about locking everything up before they started kicking in people’s doors.

The old cliché is “ignorance is bliss”….true statements that get used to death become cliches….but it sure is a lot easier to migrate through life expecting the best.  What’s the other cliché?  “Expect the best, prepare for the worst”?  I don’t know how you prepare for every random event.

I guess that’s what the insurance industry is built on.  Fear is an easy sell.

Thinking about these random break-ins got me wondering about how terror works.  It’s not just the event that leaves the real mark…it’s the lasting expectation of what might happen in the future.  We forget that the owl swooped down to kill….if it didn’t get us…but we remember that something bad could happen at any moment….even if we can’t predict or define what “bad” is.

Who would have thought that something benign like the Boston Marathon would be a target?  Runners have no politics while they’re running…it’s just the running.  It was effective terrorism because it made no sense. It changed our expectations of what might be possible.

That’s the thing about “effective terrorism”…it takes the “who would have thought” moment…and turns it into another opportunity to fear something that “could happen”.

I am going to miss those “who would have thought” moments when they’ve all disappeared.

After the Boston bombing, a lot of people shared this Fred Rogers quote.  I’ll close with this video because I really believe that in spite of all the fear and trepidation, there is a core of goodness in most people…we just have to figure out how to make it come out.

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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