A Macaw’s Landing

By our columnist Amer Salameh.

The Macaw’s feathers shed off its wounded wing as it flew across the Amazon. Drips of blood fell to fertilize the deeps of the forest. The tip of the ocelot’s incisors presented itself on the macaw’s abdomen with a deep wound. An altercation with a predator is mundane in nature.

Nature is the place where laws are discovered and observed, not implemented then followed. The wild is where the rare has no value, the strong have no sympathy, and where the disabled and young get no preferential treatment.


The Macaw survival instinct kicked in when its wing was captured by the ocelot’s teeth. It was able to escape but consequently became severely injured. The parrot went on flying from the predator and the land to which it belongs. Never glancing down, the parrot reduced the great Amazon to its danger, changing its perspective of what was once its home. The branch on which the macaw rested could have a viper twirled around it. The land from which the parrot picked up seeds could be infested with four-legged predators. The river where it drank could have huge reptiles and cold-bloods hiding beneath it.

A glance towards one’s home is reassuring, as home is a constant in our lives; immune to change. The deprivation of this reassurance shakes one’s entire foundation. As it turns out, possessing the ability to get reassurance from a glance a is a privilege that can only be enjoyed by those who reside on the top of the food chain.

The macaw followed a straight path without a destination. As it neared the site where the river pours into the ocean, it fanatically flapped its wings and turned west. Its path continued along the edge of the forest. With the ocean on its right side, the parrot realized that it could never leave, nor could it stay. Wrestling with this paradox, the macaw was forced to confront its own mortality.

Death affirms life.

The constant reminder of the inevitability of death acts as a motivator. But perhaps the concept of death became purer than life, and life now is just to affirm death.

Some elect naivety in perceiving life, by forging a fair creator that would avenge the beings that were wronged in a later existence. The ground on which injustice occurs sits beneath an empty sky. Otherwise, the creator of this harsh binary dynamic is worse than the worst creation he created. Attributing only the good to god and praising him for its presence while he is responsible for evil is nothing short of slavery. Why is it that only the good is attributed to god? The creator of ugliness only created beauty for balance. But why did he feel the need to create balance?

Perhaps god is a malevolent and a lazy creator that designed a set of rules where he cannot control or predict its extremes. Perhaps god himself reacts to suffering with horror or amusement. Perhaps if the creator of suffering were to be able to endure it, he would come to question or deny his own existence out of spite.


Rules act as guides; Guides, that if followed, can only benefit the beings on the top of the food chain. In other words, nature favors the predators. The rest of us follow the rules without being able to change them. We are all dealt with random cards at the beginning of our lives but none of us knew how to play the game. The harsh fact is that living is painful. The harsher fact is that escaping from life is more painful.

We did not ask to be born as preys. All we inherited from our ancestors was the burden of eternal suffering. All evolution did was prolong our misery. We must carry that burden as long as we exist and the attempt to get rid of this unwanted inheritance is deemed sinful and ungrateful. It may be true that life is beautiful, but such controversial commentary is done only by those who look down at us from above.

The frustrated Macaw found no other path but to accept its mortality. Given what it endured through life, the Macaw sought the full implementation of its mortality. Perhaps with landing can the suffering finally come to an end. The Macaw landed between the two roots of a Kapok tree. The parrot adjusted its body and rested side-ways, with its wounded wing touching the soil. Its wound remained covered by dripping blood, as did its abdomen.

The Macaw stare focused on the nest perched atop a branch on a nearby tree. The eggs were smaller than that of a toucan, larger than that of a hummingbird. It was most likely a tanager’s. Tanager birds are small and colorful, far too beautiful to live in the Amazon: attractive prey for the forest’s many predators and omnivore-wannabe herbivores. Some of them are captived and turned into docile pets by the humans. Locked inside cages, bird pets are sheltered from the hardships of freedom. Inside the cages, they remain immature and oblivious to the chaos that is life.

Humans have strayed further away from the rest of the animals by evolving. Humans have evolved intellectually further than they did physically. A modern human is still ruled over by primal instincts which renders them to be a collective of impulses. With evolving, the term “humane” was coined. The difference between “humane” and “inhumane” is that unfiltered impulses of the once-animals humans are unleashed.

With the feeble pre-dawn sunlight from the next day’s sun glistening the eggs, the wounded Macaw stopped bleeding and the mud surrounding it hardened. The macaw parrot is a symbol of beauty, but the beautiful remain incompetent in struggle of survival in the Amazon.

Nature nurtures the prey to satisfy the predators. In other words, preys live to be killed. With so much death, it could only be presumed that life in the amazon would be colorless. But it is only from the feathers on the dead’s skin , can color be brought to the great Amazon.

Check out Amer’s story in Mavi Dalga’s first issue.