"I had to stay home, but it was no big deal. A mild fever and some cold symptoms."
"I thought you got pecked to protect yourself," I said.
"I did protect myself!" he proclaimed with relief. "I mean, it would have been much worse if I hadn't been pecked. I probably would have ended up in the hospital or worse. I'm sure of it."
I nodded and let him get back to going wherever he had been planning to go. After he had turned the corner, I silently added him to the growing list of pecked colleagues who have recently fallen ill. As far as I know, none of them have expressed any disappointment. Getting the birdemic bug after two or three pecks is now simply par for the course.
The birdemic. On the one hand, it clarifies. On the other hand, it blurs. It all comes down to a matter of perspective. Positioning. Vantage points.
The birdemic has made many things evidently clear to me. At the same time, it also befogs many things. The current hysteria over the invaded country is a good example of the latter.
The motives and differences between the two sides are detectable and meaningful as long as the birdemic is kept out of the assessment. However, add the birdemic into the mix and the detectable, meaningful differences immediately fade and blur.
Or perhaps it is more a matter of supersession. The detectable, meaningful distinctions remain, but the birdemic displaces these and casts them aside.
If the conflict -- or anything in the external world -- is to have any deeper meaning for me in the present, it must reveal itself as a spiritual position against the birdemic. Moreover, as a spiritual position for God and Creation.
Until then, the birdemic remains. And as long as it remains, it blurs; or, more precisely, it supersedes.