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Barn Owls

A man who acts and reacts without listening is leading America down a soulless path. He can blatantly ignore the intelligence of his environment and get away with exploiting it only because his heart lives in a cage. But he can’t keep our hearts from hearing the cries of the wild, our animal soul, every time he disregards and harms nature and her children. Hearing the calls of the wild is humanity’s truest nature. We need to actualize it if we are to change course.

I recently understood something when I heard a woman explain what Rumi meant by “my Host” in “The Music,” a poem from “Rumi, The Book of Love:”

“For sixty years I have been forgetful,
Every moment, but not for a second
Has this flowing toward me stopped or slowed.
I deserve nothing. Today I recognize
That I am the guest the mystics talk about.
I play this living music for my Host.
Everything today is for the Host.”

I understood two things: “the Host” is not Spirit but, rather, the Body we live in and the Earth we live on. And secondly, “this flowing toward …[us],” even benefits a guest who doesn’t honor and respect the Host.

A leader who is an enemy of nature is still cared for by nature and can pull the rest of us away from playing “this living music.” Because his heart lives in a cage, his skills are used to destroy all memory of it and to keep our hearts dark. We must withstand and conquer thoughts of violence and revenge.

I’m sure many of you have thought of ways to reach Donald Trump. The LA Progressive has published countless “Dear Mr. President” letters by Dan Embree. I thought they were written to reach the “sense-making-Self” in all of us, so that we won’t fall asleep but will have a chance to survive the senseless chaos we’re facing with a leader who is so cut off from messages from the wild.

When I think about the way leaders are raised and tune into their relational field, I wonder how they each act as sons, brothers, fathers, husbands, neighbors, and the noise in my head gets so loud that my ears start hurting as they hurt when I first heard the distressed cries of barn owls. I invite you to listen to one as though you are taking a Rorschach test. The exercise is less about knowing what the owl is signaling and more about how her cries resonate with your own instinctual wisdom. Is it in a cage? Take a listen:

Many believe that the world is in danger and that there may not be time to change the direction we humans will take.

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barn owls

How can it not be our destiny to differentiate… to demolish our parents’ idols… to forgive them for what they didn’t know and how they treated us… and to evolve?

The way I experience primordial instinct is that it wants nothing else than to serve creation’s true nature: a heart that beats for all creatures. How many of us can honestly say that our heart is beating for all creatures?

Because plenty of us were programmed to serve egocentric authority figures, we allow humanity’s loving and playful animal soul to be kept in a cage. We feel powerless.

Let’s instead become aware of our programmed instincts and return them to the wild by listening to the calls and cries of nature. Our actions will then be guided from a deeper place of wisdom.

I live in Santa Monica. There is a tree on Broadway west of Harvard Street. One day I noticed that Mother Nature carved the face of an owl into the tree’s bark.

The tree is right around the corner from the Quaker Meeting House. I call it the Quaker Owl tree and I call the photo I took of the bark, Blind Owl, because, when I look at her, one of her eyes is blind to the things of the world. It sees only your Soul.

The reason I am writing and posting Blind Owl is because the tree is ill and, it looks like, dying. I contacted the Public Landscape Division of the City of Santa Monica twice and they are trying to save it. I also visited the tree with a shaman friend. The tree is still in trouble and I hope it can be saved.

All I know is this! When I remember the Quaker Owl tree and when I hear the cries of barn owls in distress, I wonder, “Are we in trouble? Are we running out of time?” But then I hear, “It’s time to listen and hear nature’s cries!”

What cries can you hear?


Hearing the cries of distressed barn owls could deepen my relationship with “the Host.”

Doris Wolz-Cohen