Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mall Food

Last night I never did get around to writing, thanks to a wicked panic attack caused by my esophagus...which is still out to get me for some reason. I'm having my revenge by eating mall food--fried rice & some kind of blackened, glazed chicken--for lunch. Take that, homicidal esophagus!

In addition to an iffy lunch, I spent the morning in the arboretum. It was just chilly enough for the shade to be sharp against my skin. There were two points that let me stand as a still point in the morning, beneath a sycamore tree whose leaves are burning slowly in the fall and in front of the bird feeder, the one that looks like a framed and roofed doll cabin. Sycamores are one of my favorite trees. It is their bark which I adore, white and silver in the spring, then tan, moss, grey, and wheat later in the season. A book of line drawings and ink washes could be illustrated in those colors and the drawings would be as expressive as the reader's dreams staining the text.

Bird feeders are different. Standing nearby, still as I can be with a camera balanced in my hands, I am trying to make myself invisible to the eyes of a dozen wary birds. In this case, an adult cardinal, adult blue jay, juvenile blue jays, chickadees, and the ubiquitous anonymous brown birds. What better metaphor for the wariness of a writer trying to remain unseen by the inner editors, the imagined embarrassments, the characters themselves while recording them than an amateur photographer watching young blue jays bounce in circles on the edge of the feeder roof, waiting for that one moment when the sun catches the nascent blue in the grey feathers? My camera isn't quite up to certain colors and I think most of my images are washed out, but the best part was just standing there as one or two birds swooped by or tried to find a way in past the other birds, balancing and bouncing as if they were tenuously present on their feet.

As this day moves through me, I hope those are the images that catch. The drive and the stress can disappear out the round blue of the window at the edge of the food court.

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