It occurred to me that if I lived anywhere near Dunkirk Harbor, I would probably have a garage and basement full of baby wading pools and compromised ducks, geese and gulls. As I stood on the shore, I could feel the weird energy of all the birds' combined travail and suffering. It set up a fluttering in my heart, a sympathetic vibration, that imbued the entire experience with a tinge of sadness. I wanted to help them all, but I couldn't.
This is a place with its own energy, one of combined joy and loss--a clanging fracas of gulls and ducks, studded with elegiac signs of death and loss. When I'm in a place like this, I sometimes wish I could turn down the side of me that is so keenly aware of suffering. But if I could, I wouldn't be me anymore.