Friday, March 18, 2011

Hawk Roosting

One of my favorite poems - by Ted Hughes:

Hawk Roosting 
I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed.
Inaction, no falsifying dream
Between my hooked head and hooked feet:
Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.
The convenience of the high trees!
The air's buoyancy and the sun's ray
Are of advantage to me;
And the earth's face upward for my inspection.
My feet are locked upon the rough bark.
It took the whole of Creation
To produce my foot, my each feather:
Now I hold Creation in my foot
Or fly up, and revolve it all slowly -
I kill where I please because it is all mine.
There is no sophistry in my body:
My manners are tearing off heads -
The allotment of death.
For the one path of my flight is direct
Through the bones of the living.
No arguments assert my right:
The sun is behind me.
Nothing has changed since I began.
My eye has permitted no change.
I am going to keep things like this.

I've felt kinda shitty for the last few weeks, which has partially contributed to my lack of uploadage. I feel bad, because I have my other "daily" blog which has been updated far less than "daily," and I haven't had the time to appreciate my dear readers - read their blogs, etc... Ah, more and more things for me to feel bad about!

But I'm sick of feeling shitty. So I thought I'd write a post about neutralizing it.

What do I mean by "shitty?"
  • Suddenly having a ton of stuff to complain about
  • Lack of energy
  • Feeling burdened and overwhelmed with things to do
  • Feeling like things that suck are "all my fault"
  • Wishing I was someone else, or prettier, or skinnier, or smarter, or more confident (insert other "not enough" remarks here)
  • I'm certain there are many, many - even endless - other ways for us to feel "shitty" 
Now where are all these things stemming from? Me. I am in control of myself, and I allowed myself to experience every one of these feelings. None of it is the fault of anything in the external world. Many people have the "anything but me" mentality (see video below), but I think this is flawed. The way to happiness is to recognize that you are in control of yourself.

Atmosphere- "Scapegoat"

Now, to blame yourself for these awful feelings, I believe, is incorrect. "If I wasn't so stupid, I'd just be able to stop feeling like this." That's blaming yourself. But, to realize you are in control is to realize your intelligence and the intelligence of everything around you: "I'm happy to experience this suffering, because without it, I would never know true happiness."  You need to know the light to understand the dark and vice versa. Not to mention that life would be pretty boring if it was just one long stretch of perfect happiness with nothing to overcome.

Then there's an argument: Where's the line? Should people be tortured in order to be happier? Should we increase negative behavior so that someday our positive experiences will be EVEN MORE fulfilling? No, that's ridiculous. In my opinion, there's a constant calibration of  positivity and negativity:  Out of good things comes good things; however, the same amount of bad is there as well.

  • A delicious plate of brownies = Suffering for the slaves harvesting the cocoa for your chocolate
  • Having a few cool, refreshing beers on the weekends = Liver Damage
  • This video:

Alan Watts - "Prickles and Goo" - Produced by South Park creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker

However, I also believe that if you try to spread (not force, but share) goodness and happiness and health, it will allow you to better perceive your own goodness, happiness, and health. If you are judgmental of others, you will more easily see your own perceived faults.

It all just depends on where you have decided to put your focus.

Here's a quote to illustrate putting things into perspective, and I also feel as if today's TED Talk is highly relevant:

"I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes
Until I met a man who had no feet."

Rogier van der Heide - "Why Light Needs Darkness" - TEDxAmsterdam

I'm thankful for days like this, when I can really appreciate and relate to "Hawk Roosting" and see the world through a different shade of lens. Everything isn't always bright and happy, and that, my friends, is the beauty of life: the true range and diversity of experiences there are to be had.


  1. I love the quote about the shoes, it's awesome. Sometimes you need to see someone much worst than yourself in order to get motivated.
    Hope you start to feel better soon!!!

  2. I love that you give an indepth definition of 'shitty' lol.

  3. i agree with life you really do reap what you sow.
    Great post

  4. Think you covered the definition of "Shitty" pretty well lol.

  5. Well I hope you stop feelin shitty soon

  6. Great post, loved that TED video.

    Sometimes when I feel shitty I really need someone to motivate me or something.

    Unrelated Randomness