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John Palcewski's Journal

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All You Notice

If you slowly turn around 360 degrees on this mountainside you’ll see a vast panorama. There’s the sea, there’s the bright sun. There’s the village of Forio far below, with its white stucco facades and terra cotta roof tiles glowing in the sun. Above there’s the green slope of Mt. Epomeo with its royal crown of white cumulus.

But then look. Over there tied to the fence, occupying a narrow, one-degree sliver of the panorama, is something that represents the opposite of life, beauty, and vitality.

When you're depressed all you notice are negative symbols and metaphors. You really have to work hard to blot out every other beautiful thing.

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Isn't it amazing to come upon something like the picture you posted. I have only seen a bird hung that way once; and was amazed to discover it was hung there by a lugger headed shrike; later when i was spending more time outdoors, riding a lot those days, it was not unusual to occasionally find insects, and especially grasshoppers hanging on a bardbed wire or the thorn of a plum tree, or any thorny bush. The reality of nature is survival, and somewhere along the way our culture is forgetting that fact.

Since I'm living in what for me is an alien culture, there is little chance I'll ever truly penetrate the facade--both natural and man-made--that covers what's really going on here. There is, for instance, many old timers on the island, most especially in the village of Buonopane, who have for generations practiced Strega, or ancient Italian witchcraft, and I thought maybe this display of a dead bird was part of it. But to think that it was actually a display of a natural process and may have been the handiwork of an aptly named lugger headed shrike, well, it's amazing! Many thanks for opening this door for me.

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