Sunday, June 7, 2015


I learned about the use of canaries in mines when I was about 14. I was at a mining museum in Nova Scotia.

It fascinated me that these little birds were poison indicators. Exposed to toxic levels of poison on the air, the little birds would die - alerting the men around them that levels of gas were dangerously high and they needed to evacuate the dark and hazardous conditions where the dangers were life threatening but invisible. 

I'm in need of a canary - but not to use in a mine obviously. I wonder if a bird could alert me to the imminence of pain? What good would that warning do? How could I evacuate my heart? Isn't evacuating my heart painful in itself? Believe me I have  thought about this ALL night and  I don't know that there is any way  that I could have escaped the pain by knowing it was coming. I'm still questioning if I should have done things differently , not put myself into the mine in the first place so to speak, where the danger is CLEARLY a possibility, but actually invisible to the naked eye. Maybe I don't want a canary after all, perhaps I just shouldn't be a miner. 

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