Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ears on My Knees


     Pup and I sometimes walk at night for those dog constitutional doings.  Flashlight in my hand we head out to walk the quiet streets. On the road side of our heads our ears can hear the suburbans, pick-ups or motorcycles passing us by with the noise of their tires shushing.  In the opposite ears the darkened manicured lawns emanate a regal and formal silence as if to say, “We have not been introduced properly and therefore we are choosing to be reserved with you.”  I walk past with equal reserved silence avoiding the stiff edges.  But as pup and I circumnavigate the block, one front yard shouts at us long before we reach its border.  The yard's unkempt appearance, naturally planted with tall grasses, black-eyed Susans, daisies and birch trees, can’t begin to muffle the cacophony arising from its understory.  Crickets.   

     Crickets have ears on their knees.  Moreover the entire length of their legs can read vibrations emanating from the earth.  They translate quivered messages about footfalls and pawfalls, warnings of potential predators.  Crickets have ears on their knees. When pup and I get too close, the crickets listen with their knees and feel our movements with their narrow, black and shiny appendages and become quiet.

     If I were cricket-like with ears on my knees, would I become more cautious?  I wonder what I would hear that would make me be quiet as others pass.  Were I to have ears on my knees like crickets, would I be better at picking up undercurrents of conversations and feelings, be able to ignore low-density unimportant messages? Would I be any better at understanding relationships, if I could interpret the vibrations of emotions or detect the drumming of worrisome thoughts with my bones? Would the understory speak more eloquently, so that I could become better in defining the meanings under meanings?  Crickets have ears on their knees.

     Crickets have long been thought of as symbols of intuition.  Little wonder.  They can feel danger in the obscure realm of night. They can see you coming without seeing. They can measure you by the strength of your vibration, by the waves preceding you and by the currents of your shifting weight.  As I listen to the beloved sound of crickets, I wish I had ears on my knees.    

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