“Awakened to life out of unconsciousness, the will finds itself as an individual in an endless and boundless world, among innumerable individuals, all striving, suffering, and erring; and, as if through a troubled dream, it hurries back to the old unconsciousness. Yet till then its desires are unlimited, its claims inexhaustible, and every satisfied desire gives birth to a new one. No possible satisfaction in the world could suffice to still its craving, set a final goal to its demands, and fill the bottomless pit of its heart. In this connexion, let us now consider what as a rule comes to man in satisfactions of any kind; it is often nothing more than the bare maintenance of this very existence, extorted daily with unremitting effort and constant care in conflict with misery and want, and with death in prospect. Everything in life proclaims that earthly happiness is destined to be frustrated, or recognized as an illusion. The grounds for this lie deep in the very nature of things.”-Arthur Schopenhauer







Despite a near decade of philosophical training, I confess that my observation of ducks throughout this same period has probably provided at least as much fodder for thinking through existential concerns.

Yesterday was no exception.

Georgia Rae, Sara, and I went to some length to unite a baby duck that had strayed a good distance from its family (a momma duck and nine siblings) at Lake Ella. After a good fifteen minutes or so of bread-crumb-trail-making (in conjunction with some fallen-branch-based prodding), we sat back ready to witness what we presumed would be a super-magical-super-cute reunion between a momma duck and her long lost baby duck (i.e. the inevitable culmination of our good deed for the day). We preemptively, collectively aww-d aloud as the momma duck raced ahead of her nine baby ducks to reach the stray baby duck first. But when she finally got up close enough to it she snapped at its head, and kept snapping at its head as it tried repeatedly to embed (camouflage?) itself back among its siblings. Upon closer examination it seemed to be the case that the formally stray baby duck was in fact the runt of its mother’s offspring. And it was not at all clear that momma duck wanted it anywhere near her or its siblings.

Nature: awe-inspiring, life-promulgating, life-alienating, brutish, beautiful, red, tooth and claw, etc.



words they use 
amused you too
where once was
were no longer