Sunday, April 22

The Sage's Query

Last summer, there was--as much as online bird guides have been able to tell me--a sparrow. I don't know the exact time it would start chirping, but I remember lying in bed and waiting for it. I could pick it out of it's several other buddies because it sang the same song every morning.
I'll admit--hearing the same tweet approximately 420 times per hour started out as tedious, but I eventually paid close attention to the pattern.

There's something special about this bird I recall musing.
It was only a week or two before it quit it's perch when winter neared that I was able to put a name to the pattern. The bird would chirp frantically for five seconds, then sing the same three notes, then the intonation of a last fourth note would rise significantly. Immediately after, it would lower it's pitch and slow down, asking the same four note question.
I'm home again, but only for the weekend. Instead of that old bird waking me up every morning, it's awkward distant cousin shrieks, "Soot soot--TRILLLLLLL!" at me instead about three hours into the morning when I'm already awake.
Though the old bird's incessant pondering made it nearly impossible to go back to sleep, there was something to be said about it's diligence; it would ask the same question every morning, over and over again, until it decided it was time to accomplish whatever important tasks birds have to do all day.
The question could have been one of those difficult one's that no one can really answer. It could have been a fairly simple question, just being asked in the wrong direction.
There are endless possibilities to the meaning of the last four notes--ranted in a frenzy the first time, but then solemnly reiterated soon after...
It scares me to think that the bird might have given up. After waiting too long for an answer, it moved on to a completely different life. It could be asking the same question somewhere else, hoping the right person will finally hear, but I really wish it would come back and continue it's questioning where I can hear it.
It could help me start asking again too.

Wednesday, April 4


She closes her book and looks up from his lap at the ceiling. He closes his book, too.
Her eyes glaze over, and a numbness begins to expand from her chest. He offers to take her wherever she wants.
"A cathedral," she tells him.
"Sugar, anything you wanna do."
They don't talk on the way, but he laughs at the quails crossing in front of the car.

He lets her sit alone. He circles the chapel and looks at the art while she sits on the second row to the far right.
Her eyes are fixated on the pulpit and she is unable to look at any paintings. After a long while, he sits behind her and presents the same offer as before.
"Back home," she tells him.
"Sister, anything you wanna do."

They don't talk on the way, but they hit a green light at every intersection.

He closes the front door and notices her looking out the window. The sunset is blinding and lights up the damp kitchen. He steps in front of her and is silhouetted from behind. She takes his face as he presents the same offer as before.
And she shakes her head.
He takes one of her hands and holds it out. He pulls her close and sways them from side to side.
"Lover, anything you wanna do."


*White Shoes--Conor Oberst