Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Art of Eating Crow and Being Crow

I have returned to Las Vegas for a number of reasons: the main one being renewed “opportunity” and the second one “familiarity”.  However, it is not without feeling as if I am  “eating crow”. The meat of a crow is said to be distasteful, and "eating" one's words or deeds is an act of self humiliation in front of others.

I looked up the origin of this phrase for a bit of the history and meaning. The act of "eating"- whether it be words or a bad tasting bird goes back hundreds of years. For this blog, I used the history of the American colloquialism.
Apparently, an American hunter shot a bird in enemy territory during the revolution. A British officer saw the act of marksmanship and proceeded to take the man hostage. He then held a gun to his head and made him eat the bird right then and there as a punishment.
To sum up a deeper linguistic history quite possibly that might have very well come from the English homeland, there is a connection between  “eating one’s words” as in the British equivalent for “Humble Pie”. The word “humble” is linked to the less delectable parts of meat- as in a” loin” or “umble”, which was unfit for royalty but could be baked in a meat pie for the working class of medieval times. Humbling oneself is likened to eating something less than acceptable when hungry.

During my read on this phrase, the author includes a poignant historical reference as a figurative antidote, or at best, a way to think differently about “eating” something not as humiliation but as sheer exploration or investigation. It was then and there that things began to immediately change my original thoughts on "eating crow". I found a bit of humor and some relief in the following quote. It was possibly a solution or at least an approach to dealing with my soul’s dilemma. It is measly the art of eating an animal in order to be one with the animal.

“We need someone like the eccentric Victorian surgeon Frank Buckland, founder of the London Acclimatisation Society — dedicated to introducing useful new plants and animals into countries where they were unknown — whose hobby was eating his way through the animal kingdom, trying out delicacies such as roast giraffe and elephant trunk soup…”

It was in this short paragraph that I was a little humored by the author's personal suggestion from the Victorian era to serve as an explorer rather than one forced to humiliate oneself after a mistake. I got my own take on what he was saying in relation to the phrase.  I can look at myself in the latter perspective- figuratively speaking. Rather than be humiliated, I can look at this time of my life to pursue being part of my own experience and move toward finding new delicacies in life. Lose the fear of having to eat my own words and actions negatively and seek something different. The point is to use previous things to become better and stronger for it. Who cares if it tastes bad? For the record, I have no desire to actually eat a real crow or create delicacies with cockroaches, snakes, turtles or other animals living in the desert of Las Vegas. I am sure that many colleagues of the time viewed Dr. Frank as an eccentric weirdo. But the man did make a point.

.

Over the previous chapter of my life, there were intense moments of joy and reunion. I had great professional experiences that helped me open up to new career ideas using my skills and strenths. I recovered after a huge period of job burnout and a broken heart. I reconnected with family, friends and the land.  I lived in the four seasons, for better or for worse. I took the chance to continue my love of road trips- free to roam over unique and beautiful landscape in solitude. I renewed my passions to write, photograph and draw. I spent time with family to know why I chose to leave my life here.  I understand that being uncomfortable and hungry is part of  “humble pie” and uncertainty is only part of being human. It can all change in an instant.  I have returned now, after "eating crow"  to being; being able to resume a new chapter of Midlife Las Vegas. 

References

"Eating Crow". Worldwide Wold of Words 
(Aug 6, 2003)