Have you ever driven down the wrong side of the road before? And you can’t play cute, like you are from Europe. I’ve said it before, I can get lost in an elevator. Not proud, and surely embarrassed about my navigational inabilities. Of course, one wrong way can lead to the right one, in a sense. At the very least, lively stories to share and laugh upon at my expense.
Somehow, I don’t share the homing pigeon’s unique ability to always finds its way home. At least not with the conventional methods. They can use the magnetic field lines and I can further lose time. “The enduring relationship between bird and human has evolved in response to the pigeon’s homing instinct, evidencing an empathetic bond driven by an urge to continually re-establish contact.” I do, however, love birds and am fascinated by their every flight pattern, feather, beak, and tweet. I can crane my neck for new knowledge any day and am grateful for the bird brain I have. If only I could eat like one!
This month heralds the National Bird Day! If you share this enthusiasm, the year of the bird (movie with Jack Black, Owen Wilson, and Steve Martin), is for you and me. I sometimes daydream such a year! The legends of the Anunnaki have some amazing otherworldly stories and probably usher the original flight plans to our planet. But that’s for another day of writing, nesting, peacocking, and molting!
“Homing pigeons can hear sounds as low as 0.05 hertz, low enough to pick up infrasound’s that were down around 0.1 or 0.2 hertz.” And some say the secret lies with smells. That’s an area in our minds that hasn’t been pecked, explored, and researched enough. So, many things to do and such little time. Why do I always feel like I am in a rush? “Accept that some days you are the pigeon and some days the statue – Dilbert”
“In bygone times there was an industry in using carrier pigeons as messengers.” “The military rules of the Middle East first developed this communication method.” “And messenger pigeons were still used in World War II.” “This ability lives on in some areas in the form of racing homing pigeons.” “It’s hard to believe, but pigeons can reach 100mph in flight.” Well, since were going, let’s hitch a ride pigeon patterned to Egypt. There are some kernels of knowledge we can pick up along the long flight. Only 7595 miles away!
“Pigeon keeping is a tradition that is older than Ancient Egypt.” “For thousands of years Egyptians have reared pigeons both for sport and for food.” “References to pigeon husbandry can be found in hieroglyphics and Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets from more than 5,000 years ago.” “Pigeon is a part of the daily diet in many parts of Egypt and Pigeon houses, or dovecotes, are constructed from mud brick and create an artificial mountainous topography.” “The droppings are also a valuable source of fertilizer, and the houses are so ubiquitous that they are also part of the Egyptian national identity.”
“On January 3rd, 1924, the British archaeologist Howard Carter and his team uncovered a stone sarcophagus, containing three coffins nested within each other.” “The last, golden one contained the mummified body of the teenage pharaoh Tutankhamun.” “The discovery of the tomb was not only a massive success for Howard Carter, for archaeology and its offshoot branch of Egyptology, but was also a source of chilling controversy.” “Bizarre and inexplicable events that commenced after the opening of the sarcophagus, such as apparitions of snakes and jackals and sudden deaths, fueled the myth of the pharaoh’s curse and generated significant attention to the discovery.”
“Lovey Dovey”, let’s journey another 840 miles to Izmir Turkey. It’s actually closer than turning back home. At this point, I don’t know where home is anymore. I am like a bird and will only fly away. The odds aren’t with us if we stay. Birds of a feather, flock together. “A 2,500-year-old temple of Aphrodite was unearthed in January 2021 by a team of Turkish archaeologists at a dig in the Urla-Cesme peninsula of western Turkey.” “The ancient Greek temple dedicated to the goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, was located just outside of the city of Izmir, or Smyrna.” “Throughout their work surveying the enormous plot of land, archaeologists have found a wealth of artifacts left by the region’s ancient residents.”
“Aphrodite is an ancient Greek goddess associated with love, lust, beauty, pleasure, passion and procreation.” “She was syncretized with the Roman goddess Venus.” “Aphrodite’s major symbols include myrtles, roses, doves, sparrows, and swans.” Turns out she’s a bird gal too! We all know her to be the worldwide iconic symbol of beauty and not the example of beauty personified. Basically, you have to be a really good soul to exude that kind of beauty. I would argue, Aphrodite might have lacked that inner quality. Wouldn’t say that to her face though! Those are “fighting” words! There’re rumors she started the Trojan War, a stench, a blood-red sea anemone, distracting Atalanta (Atalanta meaning “equal in weight”) with apples, curses, jealousy, and the creation of the Minotaur!
“Archaeologists’ ongoing excavations in the ancient Greek city of Knidos, located in what is now southwestern Turkey, unearthed five stunningly beautiful heads of Greek and Roman statues.” “Made of marble, the statues were sculpted in the Hellenistic and Roman era of the ancient Greek city and are believed to be approximately 2,000 years old.” “Undoubtedly, they are some of the most spectacular ancient Greek archaeological finds of 2021.”
“Archaeologists working the site stated, that the female head represented the Goddess Tyche, who was known as the protector of cities during the Hellenistic and Roman eras.” “The other four heads depict males.” “Tyche was the presiding tutelary deity who governed the fortune and prosperity of a city, and its destiny.” “In Classical Greek mythology, she is the daughter of Aphrodite and Zeus or Hermes. Oh, I see a love triangle! Let’s roll the first pair of dice ever created from Palamedes offering to Tyche and see where we land! Ironic they both resurface at about the same times and in close proximity. Daughters are usually very loyal, regardless her parents and parents’ lineage. Only time will tell!
As for Palamedes, he took up the torch against Troy never to be heard from again, kinda. According to “Plato in The Republic (Book 7) remarks (through the character of Socrates) that Palamedes claimed to have invented numbers; and others note him in connection with the alphabet.” The ancient sources show differences in regard to the details of how Palamedes met his demise. “Odysseus never forgave Palamedes for ruining his attempt to stay out of the Trojan War.” “When Palamedes advised the Greeks to return home, Odysseus hid gold in his tent and wrote a fake letter.” “The letter was found, and the Greeks accused him of being a traitor.” “Palamedes was stoned to death by the Greek army.”
“According to other accounts, Odysseus and Diomedes warriors drowned him during a fishing expedition.” “Still another version relates that he was lured into a well in search of treasure, and then was crushed by stones.” But wait, there’s more… “Palamedes’ fate is described in Virgil’s Aeneid.” In the Apology, Plato describes Socrates as looking forward to speaking with Palamedes after death, and intimates in the Phaedrus that Palamedes authored a work on rhetoric.” No matter how you look upon these accounts, Palamedes might have been holding two hands of cards. Ironic how he “authored” a book from the “other side” about “the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, or the “language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content.” Crushing odds?
“The Phaedrus was presumably composed around 370 BCE, about the same time as Plato’s Republic and Symposium.” “Although ostensibly about the topic of love, the discussion in the dialogue revolves around the art of rhetoric and how it should be practiced, and dwells on subjects as diverse as metempsychosis (the Greek tradition of reincarnation). “One of the dialogue’s central passages is the famous Chariot Allegory, which presents the human soul as composed of a charioteer, a good horse rearing upward to the divine, and a bad horse (no such thing) rearing downward to material embodiment.”
We’ll travel from here, 5057 miles back to North America, New York to be exact and back to the time of Nikola Tesla, January 1943. “For almost 30 years Nikola Tesla fed the pigeons in Herald Square, Bryant Park, the plaza of the public library at 42nd Street and at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.” “Tesla told a friend that a white pigeon was the joy of his life.” “Once when she came to his room and was ill, he stayed beside her for days.”
“One night as he lay in bed in the dark the bird flew through the open window and landed on his desk.” “Feeling that she wanted him and wished to tell him something important, Tesla got up and went to her.” “She was dying.” “As the realization came to Tesla, he said he saw a brilliant light, blinding and powerful, coming from the pigeon’s eyes.” “He claimed this dazzling light was very real and more intense than any he ever had produced in his laboratory.”
Tomorrow marks the anniversary of Nikola Tesla’s passing and I feel it’s important to remember his beloved pigeon, who was said to have made another visit. One to his former associate and cue the red laser light show! Who knows what transpired or what has surely inspired today’s message. Has the missing white pigeon been found, reborn, solved? This year has just begun, and I hope you solve some of your own lingering mysteries and unresolved questions. Maybe we’ll discover treasure and I’m positive we all have different interpretations to what that means. Isn’t that what makes life worth living?
Look out, January 10th is “National Houseplant Appreciation Day and provides an excellent opportunity for plant lovers to celebrate their leafy companions and for those with any interest at all in plants to learn about the benefits they provide.” We can stay home for this day, or travel to your favorite nursery and bring a new friend to life!
Planting is the hardest most rewarding work! More ways than one. Thank you for spending time with me and the birds today. I’ve been fortunate to have some parakeets that can brighten any day, every day. Hope you enjoyed these breadcrumbs of histories mysteries. Safe travels till our next great escape. Do you know why the caged bird sings?