Sunday, May 28, 2006

chemo #5 non-update

Forgive me for taking so long to write to you about chemotherapy #5 but there was this hawk gliding through the sky so effortlessly and yet exuding such pure power—not even the remote hint of a diesel engine tucked away somewhere under those sunlit auburn feathers. I was compelled to stop (really, I had the pen in my hand) and witness the soaring loops and curls and sudden dips. Naturally I had to wait until the hawk was clearly out of sight before I could again lift the pen (it had slipped out of my hand) and I had to make sure that the bird was not planning a return. It required my full attention (and quite some time) to make this judgement.

Just when I was sure I’d done a good job and could resume (okay, begin) my letter—this magpie plucked some kind of large (grape-sized) berry from the tree to the right and carried it, with such expertise-- by beak, to the green netted roofing below my balcony. There the bird proceeded to roll the object about on the woven tarp while prodding with the point of it’s bill in order to break it open—then it poked at the seed and alternately wiped the sides of it’s bright yellow-orange beak on the netting. This prrocedure was meticulous and complex and I’m sure you’ll understand that if I’d glanced down even for a moment to the pen (which I admit was still sitting idly upon blank paper) that I might have missed a very important part of the process that the magpie used to negotiate it’s prize. I can tell you from experience that this task also required full focus, as well as the self discipline to resist almost-certain distraction caused by the display of the magpie’s two, extra-long and so-blue tail feathers, both tipped in white as if the bird carelessly dipped its signature feature into a bucket of bleach. And then there’s the weight and fall of these showy accessories that look slightly too heavy for flight and yet somehow still elegant.

So now here I am thinking of you as always (really, I imagine you are here at my side assisting in the observations) and finally my work is done and I’m ready to write to you about chemotherapy#5— (I have the pen in hand) but wait-- the blue flycatcher has arrived...

1 comment:

laurelpaley said...

Wow. Those birds...... those CHARACTERS! Thanks so much for sharing them with us, and stopping to watch them instead of writing about chemo. Chemo can wait. We can wait.

I wasn't able to go to Overtones on the day of the big fundraiser, but I went shortly afterward and still had my pick of some wonderful collages. HARD to choose. Anyway, I am happy to have the opportunity to contribute to your medical bills in this yummy, voluptuous way.

Finals are upon us here. Today I led final critiques in my LACC drawing classes. I ended them with a tradition: giving my students their assignment for the rest of their lives. Another final crit in two days at El Camino College. And then next week at PCC. How different my noisy, hot (LA is 100 degrees and humid right now), car-centered life looks from your swooping birds.

I loved reading about the birthday cake, too, Margi. Mine was June 3. I just had my own little celebrations. No cake and candles. xoxoxo