The AtHome Pilgrim

Musings at a Slower Pace


Philly area, Pennsylvania, USA
"Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita," I find myself still asking some of the same questions I did when I was just a punk kid. The Big Things confuse me. Fortunately, though, many little things delight and amuse me, and some Big Things--my wife, our kids, our bird and bunny visitors, food, baseball--make me very, very happy. In my pilgrimage, I try to be guided by the wisdom of dear old Auntie Mame: "Life is a banquet!"


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APRIL 14, 2012 9:25AM

Of Turkey and Humans

Rate: 12 Flag

A tom turkey came prancing through our backyard the other morning. He appeared to be feeling his spring oats: his wattle was bright red and his head a shining blue in the morning sunlight. He twice stopped in the midst of his promenade through our and our neighbor’s yard to stand on his toes, stretch up his back and neck, huff and puff his chest to double normal size, and fan his tail. 

He actually looked impressive, rather than like the gawky, laughable object that turkeys usually present. You could almost forgive Benjamin Franklin his endorsement. 

Yet there was something forlorn about him as he strutted and fretted his moments upon our green stage, the sadness that clings to a lonely soul like the frayed collar of a shirt worn too many years.  

For all his bright colors and cocky stride, he was alone. 

If a tom turkey struts in a field with no hen to see him, does he exist?  


I am enough of a materialist to believe that he does: my (or Henny’s) seeing Tom did not conjure him into existence; it merely imprinted him on my consciousness.  

While Tom exists in objective reality, he is a singularity—in the mathematical (a unique point) sense rather than the astrophysical (he is not a black hole).  As we all are: discrete chunks of matter, uniquely assembled, with our own special coloring and gait, our own favorite features (hey, baby, want to see my tail?) and self-perceived weaknesses (why couldn’t my wattle be as big as Tomás’s?). 

And, like poor Tom, we all yearn to connect to others, to maintain our own integral personhood and at the same time bridge it to feel oneness with a group, a clan, a family (hope he doesn’t run afowl of a bad crowd), or—most gratifyingly—with one special person, the one who ignores those weaknesses (not doesn’t see them, but loves us in spite of them) and who treasures the few features about which we are so (mistakenly) vain.   


Perhaps Tom is not so forlorn after all. Perhaps he is simply striding through the yards of life with faith in the Henny or flock of his future.

You could say that such faith is misplaced: he is as likely to find Henny as the Burgess Meredith–portrayed bank teller is to read his treasure of books, once the glasses break. But there are plenty of Henny’s out there (and more Toms, should that be his inclination). The only way to find them is to start walking.

There’s something noble about the search, however ungainly the gait of the searcher. 

Maybe old Ben was right after all.  


Words © 2012 AtHome Pilgrim. 

All Rights Reserved.

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Waxing philosophical about turkeys. Yes, AHP he does exist but his seratonin levels are probably low without Henny. Or who knows his gender reference, ... it could be a Kenny.

We have a turkey that struts the neighbourhood. In fact the bird is so cocky he walks right out on the road and stops traffic. One icy day I nearly hit him. So I am mad at that turkey for putting us both in danger. Of course someone has now made a Facebook page for our Tom Turkey but he remains oblivious of his fame. :-)
Yes, Ben had it just my opinion. The comparisons are apt, my friend. Afterall the only difference between man and animal, in many cases, is the power of speech.
"There’s something noble about the search, however ungainly the gait of the searcher. " I think I needed to read this today to feel it...
Maybe he is new to all the grown-up stuff, and he is practicing his moves, wishing he had a mirror, and hoping he was doing it right.
(hope he doesn’t run afowl of a bad crowd) A good heart, but a lousy pun:)

with one special person, the one who ignores those weaknesses (not doesn’t see them, but loves us in spite of them) and who treasures the few features about which we are so (mistakenly) vain. What a perfect definition of the kind of love that exists when we connect.
well, thank dog it's okay to have a mucked-up gait as long as the search (or something - for something?) continues. my pill-muddled head came up with that message from your post, but if i've got it all wrong, i'm just happy to have ventured online for the first time in weeks to find you writing again. about wattles or whatevers.
I love turkeys and I thank you for this one.
.........(¯`v´¯) (¯`v´¯)
............... *•.¸.•* ♥⋆★•❥ Thanx & Smiles (ツ) & ♥ L☼√Ξ ☼ ♥
⋆───★•❥ ☼ .¸¸.•*`*•.♥ (ˆ◡ˆ) ♥⋯ ❤ ⋯ ★(ˆ◡ˆ) ♥⋯ ❤ ⋯ ★
A tom crossed the railroad tracks just before me yesterday. A year of toms, I think.
Very thought-provoking, as always, and I love the "Twilight Zone" reference. Thanks for sharing and making me think this morning, and I haven't even had my coffee.
"discrete chunks of matter, uniquely assembled"

i am enthused by definitions today, this one is just perfect

we don't have turkeys down here, except the frozen kind, but there was this hotel owner who was really into peacocks and had some prancing around the grounds

I hope Tom finds a mate (or at least a purpose in life)
We had a coyote running in endless circles on our block a few months ago He didn't strut, he ran. Maybe looking for the same thing Ole Tom was though. . . .

The city guy came and followed the coyote up and down the block for about an hour. I asked the city guy why he was following him and not trying to capture him---he said "I get paid to follow. Not capture."

Those Toms and coyotes got their work cut out for them trying to share the joint with us!
Scarlett: Glad you didn't spill Tom's giblets all over the road--though I imagine he's even gladder!

toritto: Whenever I got near the chicks, they'd say "Let's fly!!!"

David: I've know some people who are underpowered . . . .

LL2: Bless you, Lady. Mighty pleased if it helped you even an iota.

diana: I think he was looking for some Brylcreem (he may never have dated, but he's dated . . . ).

John: Thank you for thinking so. (I meant about the pun.) ;)

femme: Too kind, my dear, too kind. I think you did get the takeway, though.

Algis: They're especially good with stuffing!

scupper: I can hear the beat of the tom-toms . . .

Andy: I think you were thinking about how much you needed your coffee . . . But you're very generous, you know.

vanessa: Well, up here we've got turkeys but no porpoises. That is what you meant, right?

ChiGuy: When it comes to coyotes, I think I'd just be a follower too!
I seem to be hearing a lot about turkey sightings lately, there was one spotted in the trees near the DC Restaurant Association, thankfully, they let him be.
S'bug: That bird needs to have his head examined!