online: 13 june 2010
modified: 9, 13 june 2010

9 june 2010 apparent hostility

pond 1, Hampstead Heath

...the two swans who inhabit this pond are accompanied by five cygnets... last year they had nine cygnets who all lived until their grey feathers became white... (usually some are killed by larger animals)...

...this year there are police notices telling that a swan on another pond was killed by a dog... and that this is 'completely unacceptable'... and asking owners of dogs to keep them on leads and out of the water... (and they have fenced-off the shore where a swan was killed)

...this evening there are about a dozen coots swimming very slowly... then suddenly one coot rises half out of the water (with wings flapping in the water) and chases another for about 10 metres... at which several other coots chase one another for a few seconds... then they all revert to swimming slowly with no signs of chasing or conflict (if that is what it is... or is it a game?)... another coot begins calling at regular intervals... and after about 20 calls another coot chases it... once... and then again... and then peaceful swimming... i attempt to describe these events without interpretation i realise that i really don't know the meaning or significance of the apparently hostile actions of water birds, dogs, police and other guardians... and i wonder if our customary thoughts, and language uses, are sometimes mistaken without our being aware of it... and if war and crime and rudeness and conflict and sports etc are less aggressive than we presume ? and if there will come a time when hierarchy and control and disobedience etc will not be perceived as negative... but as something else altogether... perhaps as neccessary or playful or outmoded parts of a new way of relating and living together?

...after spending about half an hour thinking and writing all that i look up and see the unchanged grey sky... a swooping swallow (swallowing insects?)... and the shimmering images of houses reflected in the moving water surface... there are few people about this evening and i am enjoying the peacefulness... even if it is imaginary!...

13 june 2010
...and now i imagine being swallowed by a swallow!

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