"The Childe...More restless than the swallow in the skies..." -Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Of Transparent Eyeballs and Angry Squirrels

Episode 2 of my Quest to Become a Transparent Eyeball

If you missed Episode 1, click here.


Okay. Let’s start over. But first, I apologize for flying off the handle just now. My blogging audience should not have to witness such outbursts…and by blogging audience I mean my mom and that person who found my webpage by googling ‘veiny dog.’

Mind you, I’ve never blogged about veiny dogs. I did use the word ‘veiny’ in a blog post about a cool NASA photo. And on two other posts I have collaborated with a dog. This may explain how my blog showed up in Google search results for ‘veiny dog.’ But it doesn’t explain why anyone would google such a term.

Second Attempt to Blog about Becoming a Transparent Eyeball

Standing serenely on my porch on Saturday, taking in the dawning sun and crisp early-spring breeze, I transcend the rat race of the city. Like Ralph Waldo Emerson, I become a transparent eyeball. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, don’t google it right away. Just ask yourself, what might it mean to become a transparent eyeball?

For me, being a transparent eyeball means becoming a seamless patch of fabric in the quilt of Nature. It also implies a sense of peace and an ability to observe the beauty of the world free from hindrance. That is the exquisite state of being I felt myself achieving Saturday morning...until a squirrel yelled at me.

Now, spending much of my life in cities, I am attuned to the vocalizations of the urban squirrel. They have a sharp, tinselly quality (The Childe stops writing to verify with his dictionary that ‘tinselly’ is a word. ...It is!)

My apologies for getting off track again. Here I am trying to blog about the impediment squirrels pose to achieving transcendental joy. And I do this out of a sincere concern for my audience--an audience that apparently includes a person who googled ‘sexy Mormon.’ Mind you, I’ve never blogged about sexy Mormons. I have blogged about Mormons, and in other posts I have addressed sexiness. This may explain why my blog showed up in the search results for ‘sexy Mormon.’ But it doesn’t explain why anyone would google such a term.

Third Attempt at Transparent Eyeball Blog Post

An urban squirrel, similar in size and attitude to the one depicted in this post.

Anyhow, there I was, standing on my porch on a Saturday morning, attempting to commune with Nature (aka front yard). Without warning, I found myself verbally accosted by a squirrel.

Squirrels in my town aren’t like squirrels in other towns. Here they do not passively circumnavigate tree trunks in a vain attempt to remain unseen. I’ve seen squirrels stop cars in this town rather than get out of the way (No lie.) The squirrels in my town--not unlike other life forms in the neighborhood--have a sense of entitlement. They strut about as if the cosmos owes them something. What presumption!

I confess that receiving verbal blows at the hand/claw/paw-thingy of a rodent was a tad traumatic. The signature battle cry of an angry squirrel grates like iron cloth scrubbing a burn-blackened pan. And to be clear, this squirrel was yelling at me. No other being was around, neither bird nor man nor fellow squirrel. The beast was looking directly at me and the yell was unmistakably reproving in tone. Yet, it only made me more desirous to become a transparent eyeball.

If I was a transparent eyeball, I could unobtrusively watch this squirrel be a squirrel. After all, when not acting pissy, squirrels are quite fun to watch. Every moment of their lives is filled with a vitality that workaday humans often lack. Part of me wonders if this same existential vibrancy is enjoyed by veiny dogs, sexy Mormons and the humans who would know them better.

As all this occurred to me on the porch, I tried something silly. I spoke to the squirrel. “Hi, Squirrel. I’m not going to hurt you.”

Miraculously, as I spoke the squirrel stopped yelling. I drew closer, though still 13 feet below his perch, and spoke again. “Come on down, Squirrel. I’ll pet you.” To my amazement he climbed down a few branches, all the while remaining focused on me. The squirrel even began to seem more curious than hostile. Were we becoming friends?

Heck, no. It’s a frickin’ squirrel. Centuries of evolution have instructed this species that humans are not lambs, and thus not to be lied down with. My quest to commune with Nature unsuccessful, I headed to a coffee shop. Ah the coffee shop!--where provisions can be got without foraging, with little threat of predators, and for no more trouble than it takes to offer up a swatch of manmade greenery called cash. Granted, we who deal in such abstract forms of exchange are neither transparent nor at peace with Nature…but neither are we hungry.

Episode 3 of My Transparent Eyeball Quest

Click the following link to read how A Childe Battles with the Beast


  1. I have too many things to say. I'm less surprised that someone was searching for Sexy Mormons than Veiny Dogs, that's just weird. You are hilarious my friend!

  2. Thank you. I suppose reasons for googling 'sexy Mormon' are apparent enough. But why not just google Marie Osmond and cut to the chase? That's what I would do...y'know, if I ever did.