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  • My first teacher was a clay owl.
    The owl, symbol of Athena, gave me secret tutelage as a pre-verbal, visual, icon.
    Although, according to the medicine wheel, I was the sign of the otter, this other ancient symbol claimed supremacy.
    I was aligned with the owl.

    Here, at one month alive on the planet, so much was already determined.
    I would know how to read before I went to kindergarten.
    I would have lived in Poland, had ice cream in Switzerland and visited Yugoslavia by the time I was 4.
    I would need glasses by the time I was 8.
    But I didn’t get braces, because other things were more important than perfect teeth.
    I still and will forever look at the Nation of perfect teeth that I am surrounded by and feel a wisp, and more, of “What If?”

    I had a happy childhood, and an interesting childhood.
    I was an often serious and moody child, mercurial.
    The owl had it’s pull and sway over me.

    And I came of age into a burning world.
    The cities were burning, people’s minds were blown, or on fire.
    Music had gone electric and people were experienced.

    Then the Age of Aquarius was over, and the country was led by a cowboy.
    We switched metaphors.
    And we keep changing metaphors in a game of checkers where chips move across the red and the blue squares.
    It is an endless game where the goal is to gather the chips of the others and rule the board, no nuance in this game of mental trench warfare.

    Yesterday a jobless man opened fire on people in New York City.
    All this tells me is what we know already.
    We need a society to function, and we need a functioning society.
    The cure for civilization is more, not less, civilization.

    Life is not black and white; it is endless shades of grey.
    We need to become purple, not in our prose, but through compassion.
    Red and blue are the remnents of an un-civil war that lingers.

    99% vs. 1% is a loosing equation.
    100% is needed.

    The owl told me that, a long time ago.
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