Paul Haeder, Author

writing, interviews, editing, blogging

Part Two = Bats . . . Conversations in a time of Plague . . . What’s Love Got to do with it?

[first appeared in Cirque Journal, 2023, #25]

Therein lays the problem of this conversation in a time of plague. Calling a spade a spade is one thing, but this naming of the “new” Vietnamese tropical bat, Murina beelzebub, displays both the fear in and the foolishness of the human species. What all those bats, civets, pangolins and myriad of other animals I interacted with in Indochina depend on is connected  tropical forests for survival. The web of life is certainly not understood by most scientists, especially the virologists stuck in germ theory, stuck in a bio-safety level four lab, with moon suits and all the equipment and sacrificial rodents and apes to play god with, or worse, to dance with the devil.

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Bats are especially vulnerable due to ongoing deforestation in every region they’re found. We knew this before the French pulverized parts of Indochina, and we knew it during the American War on Vietnam, and I knew it in 1994. Today, we are more than in a time of plague – exploding myths, a propaganda exercise global and digital in scope.

I am thinking now, 2022, of Edward Curtain, a magnificent essayist, or shall I say, he turns the essay into an interlinking memoir of universal vigor. Words from him can for many be raptures – enrapturing into philosophical depths, raptures of the mind, spirit and glory of finding love in all the right places. What’s love got to do with it is we have only ourselves to look to in the end for our own personal answers:

The person with whom we are all most intimate is oneself.  It’s just the way it is.  I don’t mean that in some oracular Delphic ‘know thyself’ way, or in any deep psychoanalytical sense, but very simply.  We have our own thoughts and feelings that come and go like breaths, most of   which never get expressed in words.  Together with our actions, including speech, they make up our lives.  We try to anchor them with photos and memorabilia and lots of things, but time has no mercy; it sweeps us all away. Then our things remain for a while until they become a burden  to those who remain, and then the things go. As the song reminds us, ‘We come and go like a   ripple on a stream.’

Hell, who knows if this is accurate, attributed to Heraclitus, but for me it is apropos, confounding, too — No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.

I’ve used this and a dozen other quotes to ice break classes, to have fellow travelers (students) look at one epigram, deep dive into it, so they might find not only literal and denotative meanings, but so they can apply a sense of personal self and life passage to the quote.

Projection into the future, a new self, that self, hidden, but certainly trapped in our heads from the time of birth, and the birth of recognition, as butterflies alight on chubby baby legs on a beach, or through the shadows of dusk and the capes of wind where that Azores bat makes me, for the first time – me, my, his being, me, outside my “self” into the skies of another mammal.

Vietnam | The Ecologist


We were ecologists, seeping into the mud, crossing leech-infested engorged rivers, jumping over cobras, dancing under the canopy as gibbons threw feces and branches at us. We were hunting for some personal connection to the diversity in the biodiversity game, hoping to unlock other forms of passion beside just knowing things in the scientific way.

We came to THEIR land to find OUR selves. That is what love is, really, a passion to unravel humanity’s connectivity, and to push away the fears that capitalism has feed up since its lofty reckoning with people, land, hopes and dreams. Imagine, carving up South America: Portugal gets Brazil, and Spain gets the rest . . . . Edicts from the Holy See. God, Country, Mother Be Damned! This is the deadly game of capitalism – there is no love in it, and the getting is the game. Accumulation, consumerism, all the throwaway in the waste stream is anti-love, and it all draws closer and closer each year in a self-hate, a sort of misanthropy against self, against humanity.

We are not rubbish, and we are not Soylent Green, yet from all that emanates out of the powers that be, from all the literature and video games and movies, that seems to be the thesis of the day – humanity is the disease, the cancer, so be done with it, and this way shall be our way, as the folks at Davos and partners of the World Economic Forum and Aspen Institute, et al. They have the narratives all written, either in plain sight or under their secret plague blankets.

I write to stop the plague. I visit with people outside my frame to learn how to continue to love people.

I just talked to a radical thinker, a farmer, who decided to email me and arrange a day to drive out to the coast where I live and have a beer and talk. Great guy. He’s been an inventor, been a restaurant owner, and now he is working a farm, three acres.

He sought me out in an act of love. Love being that innate desire of wanting the human touch.  His isolation from many friends and family — who have decided to cut ties because of his deep analysis of things during the lockdowns and mandates for this batty virus — propelled him to contact me vis-à-vis one of the radical sites where I have been publishing for 17 years.

Human and humane touch, and while I can be sort of an anomaly or freak of in the natural/predisposed/ prepackaged order of things in this country, yes, and I am naturally bombastic, recalcitrant, a regular A-1 ODD (oppositional defiance disorder), the reciprocation was an act of love on my part. Jef was seeking more than validation, more than a safe harbor from which to discuss and stay attuned to what we both agree is one positive aspect of Homos sapiens – critical thinking. We were having a conversation – we covered a lot of ground, from the bioweapons programs, to permaculture, transition cities, the staged economy, great thinkers like Ed Curtain, and others. That is the act of self-awareness and validation demonstrating humans can be cooperative, thinking, caring, and set in some mutual aid ethos.

That is what those bat caves represent and symbolize for me. And a hundred other conversations, in other times of plague – the plagues centered around the oppression, the suppression, the depression, the inflammation, enslavement that this Un-United States of Amnesia under capitalism which has unleashed plague after plague through the powerbrokers and power hoarders of the world – trillionaire companies like BlackRock and Vanguard, as well as the billionaires and millionaires working their rackets. Murder Incorporated as a moniker for the USA is not my term. Far be it for me to steal so many prescient concepts of what this country is, has been, has become, is becoming and will be in 10 years. Try a century from now. Not even a ghost of ourselves will be in the air. The digital memory will be theirs, not ours. The Great Reset is upon us.

Sanmin Bat Cave (三民蝙蝠洞) — Josh Ellis Photography

I am not sure how many reading this even knows what the great reset is. So be it.

But Jef reached out, drove out from Albany, Oregon, and we broke bread (tortillas) and hoisted brew. One telling comment he made, for me as super emblematic of our times, and even for my own time working as an educator and social worker, is the desperation of youth:  “My wife is an elementary teacher, and she says they are being trained on how to spot a suicidal youngster. What the fuck is going on? Elementary students over the past year have doubled and triple their suicide rates. Elementary kids. Overdosing on opioids. Goddamn this entire thing is crazy.”

Therein lays the critical thinking we traversed. The cause and the effect of those suicides, turning around to see now what the effects have turned into new causes for ever more new effects.

 Effect/cause/cause/effect. This is what is missing in deep dive discourses across the land.

But I go back to bats – Chiroptera. My Arizona days, after leaving the Azores and Paris and Germany (all those bats and gargoyle creatures throughout the Old World, I do recall). Running through the desert, into the mountains, I encountered riot after riot of animals – reptiles like Gila monsters, mammals like kit foxes, amazing arachnids like battalions of tarantulas after a monsoon, and sci-fi bugs like Palos Verdes beetles. And, the bats. In caves, under ledges, in abandoned buildings, inside mine shafts, hanging from cottonwoods. Typically, it was the vampires and the free-tails which entranced me, but I loved the the lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris curasoae yerbabuenae), and the Mexican long-tongued bat, Choeronycteris mexicana. So many encounters I’ve had with these mammals since they give birth and raise their young in southern Arizona from early spring through summer.

Mexican Long-Tongued Bat

Just the list of the more than two dozen bat species in Arizona is remarkable, poetic:

Ghost-faced bat Mormoops meglophylla
California leaf-nosed bat Macrotus californicus
Mexican long-tongued bat Choeronycteris mexicana
Lesser long-nosed bat Leptonycteris curasoae
Yuma myotis Myotis yumanensis
Cave myotis Myotis velifer brevis
Occult little brown bat Myotis lucifugus occultus
Long-eared myotis Myotis evotis
Southwestern myotis Myotis auriculus
Fringed myotis Myotis thysanodes
Long-legged myotis Myotis volans
California myotis Myotis californicus
Western small-footed myotis Myotis ciliolabrum
Silver-haired bat Lasionycteris noctivagans
Western pipistrelle Pipistrellus hasperus
Big brown bat Eptesicus fuscus
Western red bat Lasiurus blossevillii
Southern yellow bat Lasiurus ega
Hoary bat Lasiurus cinereus
Spotted bat Euderma maculatum
Allen’s lappet-browed bat Idionycteris phyllotis
Townsend’s big-eared bat Corynorhinus townsendii
Pallid bat Antrozous pallidus
Mexican free-tailed bat Tadarida brasiliensis mexicana
Pocketed free-tailed bat Nyctinomops femorosaccus
Big free-tailed bat Nyctinomops macrotis
Greater western mastiff bat Eumops perotis californicus
Underwood’s mastiff bat Eumops underwoodi

Missing from the list is the vampire, the vampire bats, a species of the subfamily Desmodontinae, also of the  leaf-nosed variety found in Mexico, Central and South America. They latch onto birds (turkeys) or cattle for a blood diet, a feeding trait called hematophagy.

100,000-Year-Old Fossil of Largest-Ever Vampire Bat Found

I’ve seen the bats lapping up blood from the backs of cattle in Chiapas and Guatemala. I have talked to local ranchers and farmers, and guano collectors. I have talked with a few Mexican biologists. All about bats. This is a fascinating creature, and the 1,400 known species of bats cover almost a third of all mammal species, but not many are into hematophagy. Most bats suck nectar and dive for insects, fish, lizards, snakes.

The vampires were once in synch with nature, integrated into a balanced food web, until  the “conquest” by Spain, when the blood, cross, steel and germs introduced cattle and horses and the corrales, which gave the species, Desmodus rotundus, or the vampire bat, an immobilized source of blood. There were not many of these vampiros before the Spanish invasion, since they fed (lapping up the blood) of the pavo, wild turkeys.

For Desmodus rotundus, every corral was a cafeteria, so the number of vampire bats in Mexico has been growing steadily for centuries. Think of life out of balance, Koyaanisqatsi, or Life-Unraveling from Cohesion,  this one incursion into the land with these domesticated bovine creating a huge population explosion.

Alas, those unsuspecting cows and horses don’t just end up with open wounds, however, since vampire bats often leave them with paralytic rabies. The reaction of a rancher watching many of his animals die slow, horrible deaths, that is a sight to behold, and who cannot empathize with his desire to seek out the bats’ home and blow it to kingdom come.

This fear of bats —  this misidentification of all bats as vampires — has put so many non-blood sucking species in peril, on the brink of extinction. Caves are blown up, or the openings are caged with chicken wire. All those millions of pounds of insects scooped up by the insectivores are now back as miniature demons in the out of whack food web. Whereupon, millions of gallons of insecticides are applied to “handle” the crop-eating and parasite-laden pests.  The vicious cycle of man’s continuing fear, and lack of critical thinking and deep holistic understanding of how to stay in balance with the cycles of nature, with the food web – with bats – has much to do with our current epoch:  a world soon to be without ice.

I can go back to the movie, Koyaanisqatsi, which is actually a Hopi word defined as “life of moral corruption and turmoil” or “life out of balance”. Getting deeper into the word, the prefix koyaanis– means “corrupted” or “chaotic”, and the word qatsi means “life” or “existence”. The film actually adds to the meaning – “crazy life, life out of balance, life in turmoil, life disintegrating, and a state of life that calls for another way of living.”

a fool in the forest: Classical Glass [updated]


We went to several caves, and we met some resilient guano collectors. We ate and slept in the caves, and the food – canned tuna and hard ramen noodles – came in contact with everything. There were no antiseptic wipes. We drank river water treated with iodine. Lots of quart-sized bottles of beer. The Brits chain smoked. We played cards on the earth. Bats flew above, around, near, and on two occasions, slammed into my hat.   Bia Hanoi, 333 and some Chinese brands we sipped during the breaks between rush hours. We carried out what we packed in.

One night I woke up shivering, around 3 am, before the rush hour back to the caves, and I pulled a huge black centipede from the thin piece of canvas I was using for a bedroll. Welts, shivers, temperature of 40 Celsius (104 F). Oh, the vagaries of roughing it in a country of dragon boats, Russian busses, endless streams of bicycles and motorcycles, dogs running around, and poor and good people. Plastic bags and junk stacked to the moon and back.

Bats, magnificent and weird bats. The cataloguing was haphazard, and one of the fellows was wanting to get (discover) a bat yet to be catalogued by Western science, and then he’d write about it, get a short article in the Mammalian Journal. Help with his doctoral dissertation.  Cheers. He was a Scotsman, age 23, talking to me, 36. Asking me about the war, the American War on Vietnam, the affects of it at home, etc.

I reminded him of his history, UK’s: Operation Masterdom  but  also known as the Southern Resistance War (Vietnamese: Nam Bộ kháng chiến) by the Vietnamese. This was a a post– World War II armed conflict involving a largely British- Indian and French task force and Japanese troops. They went up against the Viet Minh, the Vietnamese communist movement, for control of the southern half of the country, after the Japanese surrender. The Brits lost.

I reminded him that arms were being sent by the Brits to South Vietnam. I reminded him plenty of Brits fought in Vietnam, through resignation and then enlisting in the armed forces of Australia and New Zealand. Canadians enlisted in US forces. Plenty of covert operations were carried out by Britain. Britain officially recognized and supported South Vietnamese President Diem who requested help and received it: British Advisory Mission to South Vietnam (BRIAM).

Down the mountain we slogged – dirty, disheveled, stinky. We ended up in one of the villages not located on our maps. We drank Bia Hoi by the gallon — draft beer. The kids and old people watched us from the slated walls. Definite oddities, as the guys had long hair, and the two women had shaved sides and beads in the back, braided. Red-haired Ian, with huge flowing scarlet beard. Doctor Viet helped with the translation. He was gulping green tea, steamy in the night air.

We drank and ate with miners, farmers and foresters. I ended up in a constant arm-wrestling match with all number of guys. We were in close quarters, and like all of Vietnam, it seemed, there were old and young, boy and man, some females, grabbing our hands as we walked through their small rural/outback town. We were on display, and back at the beer garden, slash restaurant (the lady and man who owned it let us crash there at night on benches and tables for a small fee), more people came out to see who these vagrants were.

We talked about bats, showed them a book of bats we used for identification purposes. We got one lead after the next on caves close by. Endless caves. Huge colonies. Amazing stories of flying foxes bigger than the dogs they were eating. One older lady that first evening brought our science troupe seven deep fried bats. Horseshoe.  Down the hatch, bloke.

Most people were healthy, yet the men smoked cigarettes and bongs-full of tobacco. The women chewed betel nut, as the telltale aftereffect of dark stained teeth when they smiled. I asked to try some and they laughed, but I persisted. The numbing effects of a mild narcotic were not unlike the first few chews of a coca leaf.

Bats, for sure, and that love’s gotta have it for the people riff was running through my head, no matter how far away we were culturally, how unusual our thinking styles might have been. People of the land, simple people, survivors, cutting, slicing, gutting, shooting, frying, boiling, mashing anything around them to survive. To eat. I loved them inside, my own way. With these words, too. Then, and now.

1,795 Coffee Plantation Vietnam Stock Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock  Photos from Dreamstime

Coffee plantations and fields of tea plants: all these operations were locally-supported through local labor, but the products and the profits are shipped out of the region, many times lugged overland to China or in container ships to Europe.

The coffee and tea operations were cutting into more and more of the forest. More and more checkerboard pieces of land appeared. More and more fractured so-called habitat for any number of animals – reptiles, amphibians, birds, ground mammals, larger species like deer, and the elusive Asian tiger. And the people came to settle in order to work the plantations, and, alas, more trails up into the woods, more hunting, more rattan cutting, and, the bats. Caves to traverse, deeply spelunked, for that rich fertilizer,  guano. Hunting in the dark for bats to eat. And then, down the hills and mountains, maybe great hornbills sacrificed for brooms sold at markets. Brooms of magnificent feathers. That is not ecology, Vietnam style.

Wreathed Hornbill - eBird

Viet and I talked about ecology, and biodiversity. At the time there was no word in Vietnamese for ecology. Or at least no groups of words to define it as a holistic concept — he was a tree expert with some engineering background who happened to fall into a job with the Hanoi Biological Institute. But drilling down, we did find common language for this field of biology that describes the relationships of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings. The idea of one species being a large part of the whole is not always understood in most cultures. You know, take one colony of bats out of the equation, and in 10 years, you have children with skin lesions and with GI issues and tumors in the mouths of older people. Because of the pesticides!

How is that bat connected to us, the food, the air, the soil, and then we talked about the insects, the pests, the crop eaters, and even mosquitoes bearing malaria and other diseases, how in places like Mexico, the amount of poisons applied to crops goes up each year, and the pests that once were food for the bats, well, they are at war with the farmers.

Then, those toxins, those bug killers getting into the food chain, and through bioaccumulation in other species, like fish they eat, the toll comes later, in other forms of human degradation, including covered-up chronic diseases.  We talked about the eagle, American Bald Eagle, and the application of DDT throughout the land cutting into the reproductive tracks of eagles and causing shells to thin, which in turn resulted in broken incubating eggs. Near extinction.

In Vietnam, and elsewhere, there is a rare mountain-hawk eagle, also known Hodgson’s. So many animals in Vietnam are on the edge of extinction, including the water buffalo black-crested gibbon; Indochinese tiger; red-shanked douc; Siamese crocodile; Vietnam flying frog; Vietnamese gecko; Delacour’s langur; banded eagle ray.  The Indochinese tiger is probably extinct, as is the Javan rhinoceros and Northern Sumatran rhinoceros. So many  different bird, snake, and frog species are extinct in Vietnam, but actual numbers are unknown.

Flying Frogs - Gliding Through Dark Asian Rainforests -

War, suffering, food, starvation, the will of one species, man, to live above all others.

Man, at the top, the progenitor of the Seventh Mass Extinction, it our tribute to over consumption and throwaway everything society, our Anthropocene.


So many of us even now in this great critical thinking extinction event – lockdowns, mandates, de-platforming, delisting, stopping the scientific method of testing and retesting hypothesis — want to know origins. Simple stuff, for most thinking humanity. How did we get bogged down in Afghanistan, or Vietnam? How did we allow the social safety nets to get frayed and shredded? How did we become so reliant on other countries’ farming and manufacturing? How possible is it that there’s life outside our galaxy? Is there water on Mars, and if so, so what? How do we get back to a precautionary principle and holistic approach to human health? First do no harm, isn’t that the medical credo, and where is it now?

The origin stories – who was on Turtle Island before “contact,” and what was that land bridge all about? Who were the ancient seafarers? How are we the sum total of the virome’s and biome’s magnificent interplay of bacteria and viruses?

We want history, and we are – some of us – looking at history with new lenses, new information, much more deeper considerations and intersectionalities. If there are social determinants of health, then there are determinants of vaccine policy tied to decades of research, both open scientific research and the nefarious stuff of governments/militaries looking for weaponizing almost anything on earth, including bacteria and viruses?

If science can give us napalm, white phosphorous, depleted uranium ammunition, well, what else is science cooking up under the auspices of money-making, profits, and, well, paranoia vis-à-vis weaponizing?

The story of bat research goes way back. The bat is a good example of diversity, since there are 1, 400 species, or more yet to be discovered. More than two decades of “paranoia” around bioterrorism have ramped up U.S. funding for a “subgenre of viral surveillance that entails hunting and studying previously unknown viruses in wildlife.”

 “Outbreak prediction,” goes beyond just tracking diseases that affect people. The public health officials have relied on this for almost a century to understand the precursors and causes of epidemics. This new viral research is all about “discovering” the most dangerous pathogens before they jump to humans. But is that just it, discovery?

Scoping future outbreaks: a scoping review on the outbreak prediction of  the WHO Blueprint list of priority diseases | BMJ Global Health

Again, many of us are for this robust form of research – basically hunting viruses in remote locations and then transporting, storing, and experimenting on the most dangerous pathogens. Many of us like myself are doubting the real value of this pursuit of viruses which have yet to infect people. In fact, we believe that this method of research could be the fuse that ignites the bomb, the next and the next and the next pandemic .

There is much evidence this SARS-CoV2 is all about that sort of accident, those sorts of genetic and serial passage experiments. Some of the groups and government agencies are corrupt, and many individuals  over the past twenty-four months have sought out my opinion about secret military and military-private sector research on disease, on ways to weaponize viruses.

Yet, if this were an essay on the history of bioweapons, on the Nazis, Japanese, Americans and the Russians working on various biological and chemical weapons, which are in simple terms, weapons of mass destruction, or mass death, then we’d be looking at an entirely different method of presenting the evidence, history, perspectives, quotes and conclusions. And implications.

This is the Conversation in a Time of Plague, however, looking at my own relationship with words. Accordingly, many times throughout even this writing process, my words are sounding hollow, anachronistic , empty. Given the subtext to this essay or my position, that is, of having a deep love of earth and people and those interrelationships with my own fears, doubts and frailties, now, in 2022, as I hit the speed limit of 65 years of age, almost each paragraph sounds off kilter, not of my time, or of “their” time.

Who the hell wants to read this batty shit?

I knew that fruit bats are natural hosts of the Nipah virus, which can cause brain swelling, seizures, comas, and ultimately death in humans. We found out the Zika virus, which causes babies to be born with very small heads and other potentially deadly birth defects, was isolated in a rhesus monkey. MERS, the coronavirus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome, was traced to camels from Saudi Arabia. And HIV infects baboons and chimpanzees, and whether it jumped species naturally or with a little help from science, the virus is responsible for killing 36 million people worldwide.

The current plague of silence, in this unfolding Decade of Corona, speaks of palm civets sold in markets, and then this SARS found in horseshoe bats living in remote caves in Ynnan Province infecting miners.

However, I embrace those bats, the pathogens, the love of evolution, this human terrain of ups and down, starts and false starts. I love the brains and the discourse which was so elegant and humane, before this love and death in a time of plague, or pandemic, or as it is now, endemic.

I was with many bat species, colonies and individuals, and I upset their homes, their flight patterns by playing scientist with “real” scientists. That was the essence of a truckload (vectors) of pathogens entering my body, and my mind. I like this statement from a pathogen person:

“Squirming, clawed and toothy animals bite and scratch during collection of body fluids. Teeth and talons easily penetrate the thin gloves required to maintain dexterity when handling fragile wildlife. And overhead, angry bats release a fine patina of virus-laden urine aerosols,” as infectious disease specialist Michael Callahan wrote of his virus-hunting expeditions. “The fact that researchers are not infected every time they do a field collection is a question that continues to stump us.”

That bat lady from China was featured in a Scientific American article, “How China’s ‘Bat Woman’ Hunted Down Viruses from SARS to the New Coronavirus, in June 2020. Her name is Shi Zhengli. And just up until mid-2020, there was a robust exchange of research and knowledge between China, USA and other nations.

But in the time of coronavirus, the discourse has been scuttled.  That’s the bat crazy angle of this I am coming from. Listen to her quoted in the article: The efforts paid off. The pathogen hunters discovered hundreds of bat-borne coronaviruses with incredible genetic diversity. “The majority of them are harmless,” Shi Zhengli said. “But dozens belong to the same group as SARS. They can infect human lung cells in a petri dish and cause SARS-like diseases in mice.”

In Shitou Cave—where painstaking scrutiny has yielded a natural genetic library of bat-borne viruses—the team discovered a coronavirus strain that came from horseshoe bats with a genomic sequence nearly 97 percent identical to the one found in civets in Guangdong. The finding concluded a decade-long search for the natural reservoir of the SARS coronavirus.

The horseshoe bats, man, are my friends in those caves along the Laotian border. The entire unfolding of today, as I write this, for me, is interspersed with my own evolution in this world – a dangerous one, for sure, since for me, Capitalism is a disease, and it is closing in on more and more people, not as something to benefit them, but for which to exploit them, and to rub them out, as Jimmy Cagney said.

The screws are being tightened. The propaganda has been set forth a hundred years ago. Our planned and perceived lives and deaths are all marketed, and put into play. There are both overt and covert agendas, and there are still some of us who want to see through the power plays, expose the actors in this theater of the dominance, and report on the suppression, oppression and obsessions the marketers (tin soldiers for the billionaires) foist upon children as soon as they are born!


Now, how is this going to connect and do a bang-up job concluding an essay on bats? You see, even with my love of nature, my engagement with people, in other places, through their own eyes, mine, as they are  Eyes Wide Open, I still have this sense that even the crazy ones like those that reach out to me across states and oceans (I don’t mean crazy in that way, so hold your horses, Cancel Culture) are actually the ones that count. They have a truth in them from decades living their own truths in a world of lies.

Some call them batty.   

Maybe the key for me know is what Jean-Paul Satre said, succinctly – “Everything has been figured out, except how to live.”

The formulae have already been sketched out. We know what is right from wrong, deep down, if we decide to traverse that dark cave and explore the hidden meaning of being a man or woman in this world. What it is to be with bats, with the flights in and out of our own dark caves … that will always be the wave of human touch in me. Ironically, it is the bat which pulls the human from me.

Even in that darkness, there is light, and the bats are blended into space, that obsidian trench which for them is home and roost, the place of supplication to the energy god, and where they rest, we tear into. But we know deep down the flight of the bat is true, as is the gait of a wolf, even one espying a lamb out on old Jake’s ranch.

Ready for reconfirmation, or some moment in struggle when recharging of life is the memory. This is it, a bat essay, tied loosely to love of humanity – that humanity – struggling, for sure, and most times losing the battle. But to have that chance to be in the middle of bats, or on a reef with a hundred small hammerheads overhead, that is the shape of dreams and nightmares, both the balance of being alive in our time.

One thought on “Knowing Thy Self Through the Eyes of the Other

  1. Kelly Kloss says:

    You experience the tragedy of the bats, whi


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