Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A bird's life.

Life changes fast.
Life changes in the instant.  [Joan Didion: The Year of Magical Thinking]

So too, a bird’s trajectory; its intended destination —what we humans know and define as ETA [estimated time of arrival].

We are quite accustomed; reconciled to knowing when —except when we are pulled away from the predictable gamesmanship of our mornings — Bright and clear; translucent as toast.

In that moment of “change” I maneuvered the melting butter on a piece of 12-grain with a New West knife; poured a calorie conscious concoction of Florida’s Natural and Simply Grapefruit; bowed my head to give thanks for all that was before me when the storm door’s THUD  interrupted my flow.

Without hesitation’s perilous possibility, I rushed to the source of the sound and found the bird — sideways —clawed feet exposed; breathing —in what appeared to be a panicked rhythm.

My heartbeat quickened; remembering a lesson from summering lakeside in Pennsylvania:  “Never pick up a bird without a barrier between your skin and its feathers.” 

With a cocktail napkin I turned the bird upright.  Motionless, save for the evidence it supplied of still being alive —chest pounding. 

“C’mon now — you’re alright.  Get your bearings; then fly,” I said, hopefully; prayerfully.

More than ten minutes but fewer than fifteen is how long the bird needed to regain its composure.  I went to the refrigerator thinking it required some bread [for strength].   When I returned to serve it some breakfast; it was gone.

The Ambition Bird [excerpts][Anne Sexton]
The bird wants to be dropped
From a high place like Tallahatchie Bridge.
He wants to fly into the hand of Michelangelo
And come out painted on a ceiling.
He wants to take bread and wine
And bring forth a man happily floating in the Carribean.
He wants to take leave among strangers
Passing out bits of his heart like hors d’oeuvres.

No comments:

Post a Comment