I was a little kid the first time I heard about totems, and they made perfect sense to me. Different animals have different types of personalities, which reflect the kinds of personalities of people.
For instance, I am dog-like. I protect my territory, love the people I love, and am pretty straightforward about all of it. I like to play, lay around, take walks, cuddle.. I’ve made progress with cats in recent years, but being doglike, I bound up and cats run in the opposite direction -- which means I have to follow them since now it’s a challenge, and the cats try harder to escape. Being doglike, I can sulk when the cat won’t play, but then I’ll forget about it because I found a ball. Then the cat will take an experimental swipe at me when I’m not looking, and then I want to kill the cat.
Tell me people aren’t the same as animals. I sat next to a writer at a dinner this week in Texas at a national conference on religious fundraising. I thought it would be fun to talk with another creative. After all, I was sick of statistics meetings, have too much to write at work, and she’s supposed to be trying to get my business -- but this woman is a cat if I ever saw one. My direct questions aimed at drawing her out made her retreat. I gave up after she turned mute and avoided eye contact. Ignoring the mute was easy since I had another dinner companion who is a dog if I ever saw one, and not just any dog, she was a yappy happy beagle.
Watching the animals we feel attraction towards can tell us a lot about ourselves. For instance, even saying I’m dog-like doesn’t mean I’m a beagle. I had Dalmatians for years because they suit me. They’re bigger, don’t talk as much, make beelines towards goals when they have them – and all of this is just splitting people into dogs and cats.
I saw an armadillo this week. I thought it was a groundhog at first, but I noticed the armored plates on its back and funny face. I also saw a giant crow chasing a bird across the sky, and a giant dragonfly protecting its territory. They say it takes all types, and while we can split people into dogs and cats, some of us are like the armadillo, the dragonfly, or the crow.
It seemed everyone else at the conference was content in the chilly air conditioning and vast indoors of the hotel complex, but I wanted to see outside – even if outside was miserably hot and the grounds are so manicured that actual wildlife seems unlikely. Seeing the armadillo seemed remarkable in that setting.
I’ll admit I’m tired as I’m writing this post, so this bird is just something I did quick a while ago and never found a reason to do anything more with it. I don’t particularly relate to little green birds, but someone out there does.
Since I’ve actually put my feet in another state, I updated my map for my invisible RV.
You never know who you’ll talk to at conferences. Bet you didn’t know Pope Francis was in Grapevine, Texas!