I am teaching a class on short prose forms. After reading a selection by Margaret Atwood about the third eye, the class discusses spirituality and intuition for a few minutes. One woman attempts to summarize “A Course in Miracles” for the rest of us, explaining that reality is not what we think, that there is always a perfect, unchangeable center beyond our perceptions of time and space. Just as we are trying to wrap our minds around this concept, there is a loud thud behind us. A young hawk has collided mid-flight with the classroom window, leaving an ominous white smear. One student jumps up from his seat to investigate, and presses his forehead against the thick glass. “The bird is on the ground quivering,” he reports matter-of-factly. No one else gets up to peer at the stricken bird. “And now it looks like a goner,” he says, letting out a faint sigh. Everyone grows quiet. I let the long moment play out, deciding I need to shorten my lesson plan. Our shared silence feels less than miraculous.
of a medical helicopter