Thursday, May 21, 2015

Duck Path Metaphors

Room for all, courtesy and compassion. Duty of care.

This morning's Quartz (link in image below) included a story about a path marked specifically for ducks along a London canal. I had a relevant experience with the restaurant-connected mallard shown above. I think they give him handouts occasionally, so he kind of hangs around waiting for the good stuff rather than scooping up half-decayed vegetable matter from the muddy canal. I can't blame him.

Duck path story from Quartz. Click image to go to story. #sharethespace

I can hear the literalists' cry already: oh yeah, that'll work great, what about a lane for the neotropic cormorants? To which I reply, one of those would be good, since they would line up in an orderly fashion, and I could paint blue marble eyes on each cormorant silhouette. 

I've been spotted. It seems he may not yield. Sharing is imminent.

The duck path is a metaphor, of course, one thing meant to stand meaningfully and provocatively for something else, something more, something greater: #sharethespace, in the vernacular. As I rode by him, he did not yield the center of the path, and seemed to sense that I would ease my way around him safely. He chortled at me in his little duck voice, so I chortled back at him best I could. I passed by near enough to note the texture of his glistening blue-green head cover, marking its sheen and small irregularities. Perhaps he noted my irregularities, too. Unique beings, passing one another in a specific moment, alive and experiencing in peace. I do not think I was wrong to feel a momentary deep affection for him.

I noticed that right after I passed him, he turned his attention back toward the restaurant, waiting patiently.


  1. Next to our OS dock live a duck and her 6 adorable ducklings. Luckily, our dog is too rambunctious to notice.

    1. There must be something in the water, I just saw another new group of five or six paddling away in the canal today.

  2. A day for ducks then. I have a mate for yours, and she joined us on our Ride of Silence last night.

    1. They can be pretty bold, waddling right up to cyclists.


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