This world –
Behind the fear,
And behind that the vast sky.
~ Rick Fields
- Rick Fields bio and background: NY Times: Rick Fields, Poem and Expert on Buddhism
- Poem Source: Thank you Make Believe Boutique.
- Photograph: Cruising Outpost Magazine
- Post Inspired by “A poem should be wordless / As the flight of birds.” By Archibald MacLeish, from “Ars Poetica,” Collected Poems 1917-1982. Source: The Journey of Words
Source: themetapiicture.com. Thank you Susan.
Unfortunately, nature is very much a now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t affair. A fish flashes, then dissolves in the water before my eyes like so much salt. Deer apparently ascend bodily into heaven; the brightest oriole fades into leaves. These disappearances stun me into stillness and concentration; they say of nature that it conceals with a grand nonchalance, and they say of vision that it is a deliberate gift, the revelation of a dancer who for my eyes only flings away her seven veils. For nature does reveal as well as conceal: now-you-don’t-see-it, now-you-do.
~ Annie Dillard, Seeing. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. (HarperCollins. 2009)
Source: Find “Swallow” and other treasures at Eclecticity
- Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”
- Image Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out
Is not this a true autumn day?
Just the still melancholy that I love –
that makes life and nature harmonise.
The birds are consulting about their migrations,
the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay,
and begin to strew the ground,
that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air,
while they give us a scent that is
a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit.
Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird
I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
— George Eliot, [Letter to Miss Eliot, Oct. 1, 1841]
Source: themetapicture.com (thanks Susan)
A Glimpse of the Eternal
a sparrow lighted
on a pine bough
my bedroom window
and a puff
of yellow pollen
~ Ted Kooser, Delights & Shadows
This morning, I shared a gif of a parrot taking a shower.
I then check my emails and receive this message, the first of the day.
Good morning. I am very sorry to tell you that Birdie passed away this morning. She had been just fine until about 6 months ago when she began having occasional seizures. We are assuming she had one last night. Jessica found her at the bottom of the cage this morning and it seemed like she was hanging on for her to get home. She died shortly after Jessica picked her up. She spent most of every day on Jessica’s shoulder or inside her shirt during the winter months. Jessica is devastated. She lost her best animal friend.
In case you missed the original post on the background of Birdie and our family, you can find it here: “I Miss Birdie.”
Sad Day. Yet, what incredible joy this little creature brought to our family.
All the variety,
all the charm,
all the beauty of life
is made up of light and shadow.
~ Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Yes. But, a paper bird.
Be sure not to miss the entire collection of paper birds at her website: Diana Beltran Herrera
DIANA BELTRAN HERRERA (b. 1987, Colombia) is a designer and artist that has been working over the past years with paper as the primary medium in the production of her work. After graduating from her BA degree in industrial Design, Herrera realized that she wasn’t interested in pursuing a design practice as a life career, as she was more interested in the theories of understanding of nature and material as an element that exist around us and is present in an everyday routine. For Herrera, there is a considerable distance in the relationship between human and nature, and throughout her work, she aims to repair this relation by producing elements that are constantly removed, altered and forgotten. Her work is presented as a resistance where those sculptures remain in an ideal state and act like a model of representation of a reality that doesnt suffer any change.
It is the Treehotel’s Bird’s Nest room in Harads, in northern Sweden. From the outside, the room resembles an actual nest, a conglomerate of giant twigs. But from the inside, the room looks like that of a luxury resort. It’s large enough to sleep four. The design was to provide a contrast between indoors and outdoors.
Don’t miss photo’s of the inside of the Bird’s Nest Room at Grindtv.com: Treehotel puts you up…in a bird’s nest.
Susan finds an abandoned baby bird on the lawn in the backyard. She has to protect it. To save it.
She cups it in her hand. She calls out to me to help.
“Put it back.”
I don’t get a response. A few minutes later she has the bird in a clear, plastic container. Where did she find that? (Note to self: Cache of Bird paraphernalia is growing.)
“Look at how cute she is.”
I glance at it. I’m gulping the flashback: What’s with you and birds? It was a different mother then. A Robin. Also, trying, to protect her young. The irony not lost on me.
“What do you think we should do?”
“I think you should put it back.” She’s getting attached. This will end badly.
“But it can’t fly!”
Zeke is circling. He’s sniffing wildly. His eyes are full. His breed and his blood, the Vizsla, was trained for generations to look up. To flush. To retrieve. It’s all about Birds.
“Its Mother can’t find it either. Go put it back. Near the trees.”
She ignores me. (Again.) I see her cupping the bird. Bobbing its beak in water.
“Come on birdy. Take a drink. Then we’re going back.”
That was Thursday.
Birdy had reappeared near the fence yesterday afternoon.
Shooting the void in silence,
like a bird,
A bird that shuts his wings
for better speed.
~ Frederick Goddard Tuckerman, From ”Sonnet XXVIII”
- Bio for Frederick Goddard Tuckerman
- Photograph: Crescent Moon via Hungarian Soul.
- Poem: Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer.
Catching up on your posts and came across your July 7 Monday Mantra. Thought you might like to see the original video of the reggae-biased Morepork … so named for their call. If you live close to bush in New Zealand, you turn on the porch light and these little guys will come calling to feed on the moths.”
This little Morepork (or Ruru in Maori) arrived at New Zealand Bird Rescue Charitable Trust’s Green Bay Hospital in Auckland when it was about a week old. Now it is flying and has lost most of its baby feathers. New Zealand Bird Rescue supports the community by assisting many thousands of sick, orphaned, injured and lost birds every year. Birds that come into care here are rehabilitated until they are ready for release back into the wild. We accept and care for all New Zealand birds; no bird is ever turned away. Many have been victims of cat attacks, road accidents, pollution, fishing line entanglements, and human ignorance or cruelty.
Thank you Stephen.
Source: Huffington Post (Baby owl was 1 week old when he was admitted to the New Zealand Bird Rescue Hospital.)
I’m slumped on a beach chair.
Earbuds are pumping in music, partially muffling the surf.
My baseball cap is pulled down low.
My Kindle is in my right hand, blocking the sun, and the rest of me.
Unrecognizable. Unapproachable. Body language spewing “Prickly Man. No Talking.”
She ambles within 3 feet.
She inches closer, determined to get my attention.
I peak out from under my hat.
Her iris’ are mandarin oranges circling jet black darkness.
And both eyes are locked on mine.
She stares. And stares. And stares.
I go back to reading.
She inches closer. And begins to preen her tail feathers.
Middle Aged Man has managed to repel all bikini clad women.
And, now he’s getting hit on by a Pigeon. What a Stud! [Read more…]
i saw my grandmother hold out
her hand cupping a small offering
of seed to one of the wild sparrows
that frequented the bird bath she
filled with fresh water every day
she stood still
maybe stopped breathing
while the sparrow looked
at her, then the seed
then back as if he was
judging her character
he jumped into her hand
began to eat
a woman holding
a small god
~ Richard Vargas, why i feed the birds
…St. Patrick’s Day!
I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,
If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,
If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun
And crocus fires are kindling one by one:
Sing robin, sing:
I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring.
~ Christina Rossetti
Credits: Photograph of a European Robin by Leonard Davis. Poem via Gardendigest.com. Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) was an English poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children’s poems.
The problem (if there was one) was simply a problem with the question. He wants to paint a bird, needs to, and the problem is why. Why paint a bird? Why do anything at all? Not how, because hows are easy, series or sequence, one foot after the other, but existentially why bother, what does it solve? Be the tree, solve for bird. What does that mean? It’s a problem of focus, it’s a problem of diligence, it’s supposed to be a grackle but it sort of got away from him. But why not let the colors do what they want, which is blend, which is kind of neighborly, if you think about it. Blackbird, he says. So be it. Indexed and normative. Who gets to measure the distance between experience and its representation? Who controls the lines of inquiry? He does, but he’s not very good at it. And just because you want to paint a bird, do actually paint a bird, it doesn’t mean you’ve accomplished anything. Maybe if it was pretty, it would mean something. Maybe if it was beautiful it would be true. But it’s not, not beautiful, not true, not even realistic, more like a man in a birdsuit, blue shoulders instead of feathers, because he isn’t looking at a bird, real bird, as he paints, he is looking at his heart, which is impossible, unless his heart is a metaphor for his heart, as everything is a metaphor for itself, so that looking at the page is like looking out the window at a bird in your chest with a song in its throat that you don’t want to hear but you paint anyway because the hand is a voice that can sing what the voice will not and the hand wants to do something useful. Sometimes, at night, in bed, before I fall asleep, I think about a poem I might write, someday, about my heart, says the heart. Answer: be the heart. Answer: be the hand. Answer: be the bird. Answer: be the sky.
“We begin so aware and grateful. The sun somehow hangs there in the sky. The little bird sings. The miracle of life just happens. Then we stub our toe, and in that moment of pain, the whole world is reduced to our poor little toe. Now, for a day or two, it is difficult to walk. With every step, we are reminded of our poor little toe.
Our vigilance becomes: Which defines our day – the pinch we feel in walking on a bruised toe, or the miracle still happening?
It is the giving over to smallness that opens us to misery. In truth, we begin taking nothing for granted, grateful that we have enough to eat, that we are well enough to eat. But somehow, through the living of our days, our focus narrows like a camera that shutters down, cropping out the horizon, and one day we’re miffed at a diner because the eggs are runny or the hash isn’t seasoned just the way we like.
When we narrow our focus, the problem seems everything. We forget when we were lonely, dreaming of a partner. We forget first beholding the beauty of another. We forget the comfort of first being seen and held and heard. When our view shuts down, we’re up in the night annoyed by the way our lover pulls the covers or leaves the dishes in the sink without soaking them first.
In actuality, misery is a moment of suffering allowed to become everything. So, when feeling miserable, we must look wider than what hurts. When feeling a splinter, we must, while trying to remove it, remember there is a body that is not splinter, and a spirit that is not splinter, and a world that is not splinter.”
~ Mark Nepo
Still, for whatever reason—
perhaps because the winter is so long
and the sky so black-blue,
or perhaps because the heart narrows
as often as it opens—
I am grateful
that red bird comes all winter
firing up the landscape
as nothing else can do.
—Mary Oliver, closing lines to “Red Bird,” from Red Bird
One minute of Nature inspirited meditation to start your day.
The Mourning Dove is one of the most abundant and widespread of all North American birds. It is also the leading game bird. Its ability to sustain its population under such pressure stems from its prolific breeding: in warm areas, one pair may raise up to six broods a year. Its plaintive woo-OO-oo-oo-oo call gives the bird its name. The wings can make an unusual whistling sound upon take-off and landing. The bird is a strong flier, capable of speeds up to 88 km/h (55 mph). Males and females are similar in appearance. The species is generally monogamous, with two squabs (young) per brood. Both parents incubate and care for the young. Mourning Doves eat almost exclusively seeds, but the young are fed crop milk by their parents.
Source: Thank you korraled
“A female Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Hummingbird) sleeps in Peru. It’s likely that this bird is in the early stages of arousal from deep torpor after disturbance. The gaping of the bill might be a way to breath deeply and bring in plenty of oxygen. When they are disturbed in torpor, they try to warm up as quickly as possible and that involves intense shivering. But initially, they are too cold for high-speed muscle action so it’s hard to see the shivering movements. The high pitched squeaking sound it is making is likely a cute side-effect of the gaping for oxygen. The noise is actually a lot more quiet than it seems, for whatever reason my camera picked it up and made it sound a lot louder. This experiment was performed with the guidance and supervision of some of the top experts in tropical ornithology. This bird was not harmed whatsoever, it was fed with sugar water throughout the experiment and was released safely. After the experiment was done, I watched the bird fly away myself, it was fine.”
- Source: themetapicture.com
- MM* = Monday Morning
That breath that you just took… that’s a gift.
~ Rob Bell
Robert Holmes “Rob” Bell Jr., 43, was born in Ingham County, Michigan. He is an American author and pastor. Bell was the founder of Mars Hill Bible Church located in Grandville, Michigan, which he pastored until 2012. Under his leadership Mars Hill was one of the fastest-growing churches in America. He is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers Love Wins and Velvet Elvis and the writer and narrator of a series of spiritual short films called NOOMA. In 2011 Time Magazine named Bell to its list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. He is currently working with former Lost producer Carlton Cuse on a television series. (Source: wiki)
It was like the moment when a bird decides not to eat from your hand, and flies, just before it flies,
the moment the rivers seem to still and stop because a storm is coming, but there is no storm,
as when a hundred starlings lift and bank together before they wheel and drop,
very much like the moment, driving on bad ice, when it occurs to you your car could spin, just before it slowly begins to spin,
like the moment just before you forgot what it was you were about to say, it was like that, and after that, it was still like that, only all the time.
The American Kestrel also known as the Sparrow Hawk, is a small falcon. It is the most common falcon in North America, and is found in a wide variety of habitats. At 19–21 cm (7–8 in) long, it is also the smallest falcon in North America. The falcon hunts by hovering in the air with rapid wing beats or perching and scanning the ground for prey. Its diet typically consists of grasshoppers, lizards, mice, and other small birds. It nests in cavities in trees, cliffs, buildings, and other structures. The female lays three to seven eggs, which both sexes help to incubate. It is a common bird to be used in falconry, especially by beginners. (Source: Wiki)
Image Source: Thank you Dan @ Your Eyes Blaze Out