Black & White Hearts

By Kerri R.

Alice sits on the rocks on an unfamiliar coastline, dazed and confused.  It’s as if the world had been turned upside down. It went from nearly winter to nearly summer again and she wasn’t sure how she even got here.  It couldn’t have been a rabbit hole.  There are no signs of rabbits in sight.  Did it matter how she got here? Would it change anything?  Flustered, she takes a moment to gather herself.  Because…actually…she has been feeling confused about a lot lately.  She had been looking away from something that was hurting her heart.  The heart has a way of nudging you until you listen.  Maybe it was her heart that brought her here.  But why? 

I’m gonna find it, I’m gonna find the truth
Because it ain’t here, it’s nowhere near

Todd Rundgren

Alice had been doubting herself.  Is she really the good person she wants to believe she is?  She looks out at the water that reflects a gray sky.  Puffy clouds are above and mirrored below like daydreams of softer places than this world.  She absent-mindedly tosses a stone that skips across the surface.  The reflections blur.  Her daydreams ripple away.    

I gotta find it, I gotta find the truth
If I lose my mind, well I don’t care

Todd Rundgren

Alice had been standing up (even on ice!) for the animals that are vulnerable to the choices humans make.  She loves these animals, often stigmatized for their nature, with all her heart.  She will always defend them.  But nature’s design is not without pain.  Alice instinctively covers her eyes just at the thought of the relationship between some of the animals.  She knows it is natural order.  She knows that some of the animals she wants to protect are both apex predator and keystone species.  She knows that nature balances itself;  That it is necessary to maintain a healthy ecosystem.  But it still creates a conflict within her.  Is she betraying one by defending another?  It feels like a common theme in many situations she wants to speak up for.  Is it possible to have compassion for everyone?  Is that fairness?

I tried to find it looking in the works of man
And if it’s in there, well it’s sure not clear   

Todd Rundgren

As if in response to Alice’s sadness a head pops out of the water.  For some reason he reminds her of a little old man.  Whiskers and wisdom.  The sea lion barks his greeting to Alice before swimming off.  She has to remind herself that humans are still the ones bending nature’s law, not her animal friends.  Animals do not take more than is necessary.  They are not wasteful.  The human world is the one she cannot make sense of.  How did we get here?    

“It’s a great huge game of chess that’s being played—all over the world—if this is the world at all, you know.”

Alice (from Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 2) 

As she contemplates the current affairs that have been wreaking havoc in the minds of people and sparking disagreements between friends and enemies she wonders what the answer is.  Is there an answer to her questions about humanity anymore than there was an answer to the Mad Hatter’s Riddle at the Tea Party in Wonderland…

Why is a raven like a writing-desk?” 

“Have you guessed the riddle yet?” the Hatter said, turning to Alice again.

“No, I give it up,” Alice replied: “what’s the answer?”

“I haven’t the slightest idea,” said the Hatter.

Alice in Wonderland, Chapter 7

The lack of answers makes Alice feel uneasy.  She searches for stability and her hands fall to the cold, hard rock beneath her.  Solid.  Unchanging.  Safe.  Secure.  Maybe that is what she needs.  Truth is absolute.  It is right or wrong.  It is good or bad.  It is black or white.  But Alice’s heart keeps nudging her. 

The truth is like chasing a phantom, yeah
The truth is so seemingly random, yeah
The truth is not easily handled, yeah

Todd Rundgren

Isn’t the rock only as stable as the ground beneath it? Can’t it shift too?  Can’t it break?  When Alice had tossed the smaller stone into the water, didn’t it create chaos in the images she saw?  Can the truth be blurry?      

“What is black and white and read all over?”

Common riddle, unknown author

If the answer to this riddle is a newspaper, why can’t she trust what she reads? Why has journalism become a sea of opinions and questionable facts with agenda’s other than the truth? Are credentials enough to make someone the expert we are supposed to believe?

Alice asks the question again.  It comes out differently…

“What is black and white and red all over?” 

A Penguin appears.

Alice’s heart lights up.

Black. White. Red.

I gotta find the truth
If I have to stand all day in the bright sunshine

Todd Rundgren

Have we strayed from who we truly are too?  Maybe the truth isn’t black OR white.  Maybe the truth is black AND white AND red under blue, pink, gold or gray skies.  Maybe the truth requires our hearts.  Not bleeding hearts that get pulled under the water of biased emotion, but the compassionate heart that can read between the lines.  The heart that is interested and unafraid of the complexities.  The ripples.    

What if we believed something because it is true, not because an “expert” or our conditioned moralities told us to?  What if we believed in each other?  What if we believed in ourselves (no credentials required other than listening with an open heart and mind)?  Can we believe someone we never would have believed in before?  

Sweet bird of truth, come to me

Todd Rundgren

More Information:

*One small animal Alice worries about is the seal.  But the Polar Bear isn’t the one who is endangering them. 

Take action.

Why should we listen closely to animals, like the Adelie Penguin?  Not in words, but in their out of the ordinary behaviors.  Alice’s friend had a message.  Can we help him return to Ross Sea?

Emperor Penguins need protection. The only penguin north of the equator, the Galapagos Penguin is endangered.


Continue to the final post of Alice & The Animals


Kerri is an advocate for the introverted activist. Often at a loss for words in person, she writes to make sense of the world and connect with others. She wishes for more curiosity & kindness in the world.

Published by Kerri

Kerri is an advocate for the introverted activist. Often at a loss for words in person, she writes to make sense of the world and connect with others . She wishes for more curiosity & kindness in the world.

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