It’s just another day

It’s just another day
Where people cling to light
To drive away the fear

That comes with every night
– Oingo Boingo

Today I retrieved a dead American Goldfinch from the ground. I had seen it sickly roosting on a metal hanger in my gazebo, and I guess it had died on my lawn. My dog Georgia tried to eat it, but I alerted her away from it and put it in the trash. I thought to bury or have it stuffed, but I am too tired for such things as of late.

I have some time to kill before my next job, and my thoughts creep in and out. I waver between bored, satisfied, lonely. I’ve taken to wearing ear plugs to drown out the conures, as they are hormonal from the rain. The days are cold and Georgia’s arthritis is worse. The clouds are not as pretty, nor are the sunrises. I spend my mornings looking out my back window, through the little bits of grass that have stuck to it, trying to make out the little birds that flit among the bushes. As the Eastern Grey Squirrel gorges itself on the millet bell, the White-crowned sparrows wait beneath for the extra bits to trickle down to the felled stump. I can’t see it all very well, as the seal on the window has broken and is foggy, so I just let my eyes rest on what they can see. I don’t look on them with a birder’s eye.

Watching

“Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.”  – Dr. Seuss

My mind has been unfocused, scattered, assaulted. I’ve been spending way too much time looking into the mirrors and minds of others and less into my own. I won’t even give it a name, it doesn’t deserve it. Turn it off.

I read somewhere or someone told me (does it really matter?) that the problems of the world take a focused mind, an attention to one thing at a time, a meditative finger on what you love most.

That attention may be uncomfortable, like a staring match, and you may blink or laugh, and look away. You might not like what or who looks back at you, or what you see.

But you have to come back to it, because it’s beautiful, that tree, that creature standing before you. Like a Raven’s voice, the natural world is complex and deserves observation.

Responsibility

It’s been a long time since I’ve written. Do you read my posts? If you do, let me know. You see, writers need readers. Though we should just move forward without any recognition, it’s the evidence that we make impact that compels us to continue to add value.

I’ve been thinking about responsibility of late. Do you take your responsibility seriously? I try to.

I recently signed up for a nature writing class. After a hiatus from the natural world and the wildlife rescue (long story about politics and animals – another post), I was asked by the instructor of my new class to choose a place that I can observe for 30 minutes several times a week and write about it. Simple enough. I chose a place near my new house in San Bruno, but I won’t be able to get to it until Tuesday.

So, in my post food/liquor/holiday exhaustion I decided to observe the sky from the couch in my living room. I was distracting my husband with conversation so he wouldn’t watch the TV, and as we chatted I watched the sky outside our sliding glass door. I watched the sky from 4 pm until about 5:30 pm and I was blessed. It started out blue, then turned orange, then gray, then gray and red, then orange and gray. It said to me, “look at me, here is pure nature in the clouds, where have you been?” And I said “thank you, I am grateful.” It was a small natural diversion, but I realized how wonderful my life could be if I could just take that time each day to watch the sky change. It’s so simple, why do I ignore it?

OK, but we were talking about responsibility. And my communion with the sky has something to do with this.

Responsibility is about gratefulness. Here I am – I’m a Silicon Valley slave, I’m married, and I have 7 charges:

  • Gracie the parakeet
  • Kiseki and Milagro the parakeets
  • Buddy the cockatiel
  • Willie the cockatiel
  • Beetlejuice the cockatiel
  • Eric the Betta

Yes, they are pets, but on many levels they are wild. And when I get stressed and I focus on unnatural things I’m reminded that they need me, that “You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery. So, when I begin to experience ego, or this clinging to self, I prefer to focus my love and devotion to the animals I have chosen to tame. They are not here for our entertainment, they are here to live out their lives in the context of ours. And the better we can understand their needs without our selfishness coming first will only make us better people.

I have seen my birds look out the window, longingly, and today I understood their longing. Their longing to sit in a tree, watch the sky and the clouds change, and be grateful.

I am so sorry for my absence. I hope you have missed me — I have missed you.