From my desk at work, I watch the hawk of Riverside Church dive bomb a flock of pigeons. It is impossible not to watch, like a car wreck at the side of the road. It is thrilling.
I imagine the rush of excitement as the pigeons circle and escape. I imagine the hunger of the hawk. I stare and hope for something dramatic to happen. I have never seen the kill. But occasionally — oh, this is rich — I see a blizzard of white feathers rain outside of my window. Joseph Conrad summed it up well, “The horror, the horror.”
My window to Riverside Church is like my internet screen. I watch and wait for something delicious to happen. I am a passive watcher, a vicarious hawk or pigeon. I imagine my escape or my hunger.
But the internet is just a window into life. It is not life. I am not a primordial being — panting, fluttering, escaping. I am a creature of reason, contemplative and kind. I make eye contact with my fellow human beings.
Life happens, not in the spires of the Gothic church with wings and flapping, but down below where mortals dwell, where smiles are exchanged and pleasantries murmured.
Dan Licardo inspired this post with a Facebook post about the hawk of Riverside Church.