Crow: (n) a large black bird

There are two ways to get old:

  1. You can get old gracefully, trying to stay current with as much of life that is worth your attention
  2. Or you can get old being exasperated with all changes—minor or major—and end up looking like a crank.

There is one thing for sure:

No one talks about crows anymore.

Not since the movie, “The Crow,” which came out so long ago that a quizzical look from anyone under the age of thirty-five would be expected.

They don’t use scarecrows anymore to literally scare away crows from eating the corn seed.

You certainly know you’re over the hill if you’re referring to “crow’s feet” at the corners of your eyes. Wrinkles that rankle.

I guess they still call it a crowbar, though nowadays people expect their vehicles to be self-healing (and that includes their tires).

And they certainly aren’t pulling many nails out of boards with the old crowbar.

There is one phrase in reference to the crow that I always found endearing, and if it’s part of a bygone era, I might want to pause for a moment to drop a single tear, and that is:

As the crow flies.

Long before America was urban, people judged the miles between one place and another in two ways. One was if you were going by the roads, and the other was if you happened to be a bird and could fly from “this spot here” to “that spot over there.”

It was the way the old timers exporessed their complaints about modern roads, and wished they were birds, taking a more direct path, taking less time and mileage.

“As the crow flies, it’s five miles, but if you go on Route 73 it’ll be twelve.”

This was usually followed by some sort of farmer’s giggle.

But what makes it unfortunate that this phrase has disappeared, or at least lost some of its charm, is that we as people were meant to approach our doings—our problems, situations and activities— “as the crow flies.”

Rather than building difficult paths toward solutions or arguing for hours over the most righteous system, we should gain the eye of the crow, who looks straight to where it’s going and flies above the interference.

I would love to live life as the crow flies.

To do so, I need to ask my attitude to grant me some altitude.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

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Caw: (n) harsh cry of a crow or similar bird.

Everybody seems to prefer when I’m sweet. They relish my gentle tone. They will tear up when discussing my merciful nature. If they were describing me in aviary terms, I would be the nightingale, the dove or the robin offering the promise of spring.

That goes on for a while. And then the need arises to be the crow–the blackbird that offers a darker view, with a bit of cackling, complaining
and crankiness.

No one likes this old bird. They even speculate that perhaps I’m not feeling well or I’m vexed by a bad mood.

It never occurs to them that my crow shows up when things are not right–so that my robin can return in good conscience.

People’s ears are tuned to the tweeting of the love bird instead of the caw of the flying scout, who scours the field ahead to offer a warning.

I suppose I enjoy being the songbird much more than being the “cackler.”

But every once in a while, the crow has to show up and remind us that the scarecrows we’ve set out to frighten away danger aren’t nearly as terrifying as we hoped.

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dictionary with letter A

Answerable: (adj) required to justify or responsible to or for.

I find fads to be comical–mainly because they’re a backlash to some previous popular notion that has now fallen out of favor and is being replaced by what is usually an extreme contradiction.

Many years ago, when ministers were falling from grace or into the arms of women named Grace, a nervous twitch went through the religious community as it tried to make sure such indiscretions didn’t happen again.

It was decided that the fallen preachers had fallen prey to too much freedom–that they were not answerable to anyone else. So for a season an attempt was made to confirm that everyone who was part of the clergy had someone else they had to answer to concerning their actions.

You see, here’s the problem: just because you have an overseer does not mean you’re going to listen to him.

Submission is not placing people under subjugation, but rather, a selection we all make when we realize we need each other and that we are not comfortable with self-sufficiency.

I find myself to be a leader but also a debtor to all sorts of individuals who come my way, who in some way, shape or form, have an excellence that I have not achieved.

I take it very seriously, but not because I’m trying to be answerable. I do so because I become happier when I don’t lean to my own understanding, but instead, absorb all available wisdom.

Just the other day I was driving down the road at about 65 miles an hour, when suddenly a large blackbird flew into my windshield, bounced off and fell onto the road. I looked in my rearview mirror and saw it lying very still and dead.

It bothered me.

I wasn’t concerned that my windshield almost got broken or wondered why the stupid bird decided to kill itself on my watch.

For a few seconds I allowed myself to be the bird–to imagine my own demise as the result of such a tragic flight.

It ached. It hurt.

I didn’t think about it a whole lot more.

But I realized that when something crosses my path, I need to be answerable for how I treat it.


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