late afternoon, rainy and gray, 50’s, new moon yesterday
Pretty much any moment of any day I could literally start crying just thinking about the amazing treasures on this planet. I think to get the chance to live here is such a stroke of luck, it takes my breath away to dwell on it, makes me feel a little dizzy really, like I just won some unimaginably large lottery, or am standing on the edge of some great cliff.
If you spend one minute really studying any one thing here, like the wing of a bird for example, you will find such detail, such invention, such delicate fucking beauty there that your mind will reel with the wonder of it. And then you will wonder at the millions of billions of other things that share the planet with us, just as magnificent as a birds’ wing, just as detailed, just as inventive, and just as filled with delicate fucking beauty. Your mind will inevitably begin to wonder why people aren’t just collapsing in the streets from the sweetness of it all and the fact that it’s all so fleeting.
I think that’s why I started painting again. Because sometimes words aren’t enough. Sometimes these tidy little letters feel like the track of a thing, when really what you’re seeking is the blood of it.
It snowed a wee tiny bit last night, just enough to coat everything with a dusting, just enough to allow Rev to try out his new sled at the closest park to our house. He said he was a baby polar bear and threw himself into “belly-boggining” over every available slope. There was a group of crows flying over and hanging around, and by their excited calls I’d dare to say they were as excited about the snow as Rev was.
You can set your clock by the crows that live around here. Our house is directly in the flight path that delivers them to the old, and very established roosting area at the edge of the city. Bordered on one edge by shopping mall and road and on the other by creek and a row of trees, the site has been a favorite wintertime roosting spot for centuries drawing upwards of 30,000 individual birds. The crows fly in right around dusk, and spend their evenings shoulder to shoulder nestled into the narrow strip of trees.
Biologists believe the roosting behavior serves a number of purposes. Protection, for one, from predators like owls who welcome the good hunting that long winter nights bring. It allows the crows to share information about the location of food and foraging areas. And it serves a social purpose, allowing allowing crows of varying ages to spend time with one another, socialize, learn about appropriate crow behavior, and meet individuals the crows would not normally meet during the rest of the year, when they exhibit much more solitary behavior, mostly living in small family groups and social bands.
Sometimes we visit the roosting area to see the great ruckus of the crows settling themselves in for the night, branches of bare trees disappearing inside a great cloak of bustling bird bodies against the backdrop of darkening sky.