Sunlight-CatTiger, tiger burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

—–Ah, William Blake–challenging nature, with these intrepid rhymes.  Are you sure, I ask, that animals are fully in harmony with nature, and not desperately lost in nature?  Is wildlife actually uncomfortable, and doomed–clumsy and unfit for any habitat on this planet? You think, now and then, that maybe animals are strangers, and people more acclimated to this mystery of life, this essentially incomplete setting? This mystery where all living things have landed without memory.
—–I saw a cat on the sidewalk, walking home tonight, who looked so desperate and captive. Huddled up, half in shadow by the steps of a dark house, and watching me walk past like with envy in its piercing eyes. It could only study a figure who to it must have seemed more at home in this place. And birds, they are prisoners of the air . . . they must look down and long to be able to finally land and go inside.  This is obvious; listening to them in the morning, I hear their distress calls to one another, their hopeless primitive melodies, which do not even produce the simplest music, but when isolated seem pure misery and maybe futile, coded messages, relaying their abandonment and their fear.  Maybe all animals are distressed, hungry and violent, wandering in unrecognized territory, just uselessly sustaining themselves, afraid of perishing, merely surviving, not in harmony with anything in the so-called world of nature. They seem to move like in a picture, posing, crisscrossing in two dimensional space, restricted to zones of limited perception, not seeing what we see. They are stranded, as if not easily adapted to color or sound, even of three dimensional space. I can’t get them  into perspective, because they are elusive, funny, not of this world . . .
—–I am trying to figure it out. Am I saying animals are for children’s books, that they are not representatives of nature? Did I say the setting is incomplete?  That the world is insufficient, that nature is nobody’s home? The setting only sketched in and partially made?  That the natural world is an alien environment, an imposition on both animals and humans? Or, that the planet is ours, and it wouldn’t do to view it as a product of animal evolution, because that is actually the way to lose it, even destroy it. If that is what I said!–I better elaborate further.
—–I am leaning toward the idea that maybe people are the creatures who are most at home–just because the world of nature is radically flawed, that it has no harmony really.  I am going to venture that we are utterly at home in this world, and, by contrast, animals are strangers. Animals are forlorn, but people are busy, and made to scale–but this is not to say that people are satisfied, no, they are well aware that this is not the place of their origin, or their final resting place, if rest there could ever be for the soul pitched in unsolvable mystery. No, to say that people are more at home in the world does not mean they are at home in their souls. They are tricked into adventures, convinced by their passions, in life which seems so natural to them, so familiar because people apparently belong in the world . . . at least for a time. Time! What is that to an animal, who knows only how to survive from one minute to the next? Time, producer of memory. Memory, what is that, to a cat!  Watch out before you broach this line of thinking at a dinner party, where people are eating. Better work this out further, or refine it or something, or make a childrens book out of it, before people start throwing food at me.

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