Sunday, July 18, 2010

This life more 'tweet....

Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp?....
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.

Duke Senior, As You Like It
Shakespeare, natch


I'm diddling away my mortal coil here instead of staring at stars. Which reminds me--I need to go stare at some stars....

And then I hung around for another 15 minutes before I got out.

I'm glad I got out--a golden meteor streaked across the sky as though painted with glitter, sparks flying off the tail, a tail that extended more than half the sky. It shook me up.

I have never regretted a single moment spent outside. I've regretted plenty inside. If I believed in signs, I'd toss this machine off the kayak....


In the past couple of days I've heard two croakers complain as I wrestled hooks out of their jaws, squinched a few dozen cabbage worms, burned my feet on a hot jetty, cooled those same feet in the bay, picked tomatoes and beans, sliced open my finger, dared a harlequin stink bug to stink, stared at Vega and Venus, sank ankle deep into sand at the sea's edge, and watched tiny fish break the surface in an explosion of red light reflected from the setting sun.


My fledgling story:

I went into the garage just after supper yesterday to fetch the paddles. Some critter was flapping around noisily, but I was too busy running away to see it. (Yes, I'm a coward....)

A few minutes later, Leslie (much braver than me) found it--a fledgling robin, now exhausted, its beak gaping open, its chest billowing. The fledgling found a window--it could see the outside world, and it kept beating against the glass, its wings sprawled open against the pane.

Just a few feet away, the open garage door beckoned, but the bird was too frightened to see anything but its view from the window. It would die waiting for the pane to dissolve.

With the help of a crab net, I managed to get the bird out onto a juniper bush by the garage. I feared it would collapse from exhaustion. I cooed (ridiculous, I know) and slowly brought a hose to its mouth.

The robin drank. Then it drank some more.

In a few minutes it was gone.


As one who has trouble believing anything, not sure now's a good time to start putting trust in "signs"--but I do know this much. This computer screen is my garage window. I keep staring into it, looking at a world through glass, glass that cannot be broken, glass that will not magically dissolve.

No matter how much I tweet like the desperate fledgling.

Photos are ours, and we gave ourselves permission to use them.


Clay Burell said...

This is wonderful.

The writing and publishing and expressing, I get.

The hours and hours of obsessive chatter -- either productive (Twitter, Facebook) or receptive (the millionth RSS read this week on how fekked the Senate, the Gulf, the Dems, the Repugs, the planet) -- I'm unsure of.

And it reminds me of a Singapore taxi driver last week who told me he grew up downtown -- which was a village when he was a child, not the shiny Oz it is today (shiny if you own the skyscraper, not if you run the cash register at the 7-11 on its first floor, or drive a taxi around it making barely enough to take your wife out to dinner).

I asked him which he liked better, the village Singapore of his childhood or the shiny metropolis today, and he said the village.

"We had neighbors," he said. "We all knew each other. People would drink together every night."

He wouldn't agree to be an interviewee in my world history class next semester. I think the story of modernity and globalization is inside people like him.

Or like me, spending most of the last 72 hours searching for ways to use the more-expensive-than-gold HP ink cartridges beyond their -- get this -- expiration date, and how to fix a WordPress plugin, and which browser to set as my default.

Seems the Web 2.0 Buyer's Remorse stage is setting in, much like the Industrial Revolution rude awakening of a couple of centuries ago.

More to this than was dreamt of in our philosophy, Horatio.

Loved this post.

doyle said...

Dear Clay,

Thanks for the words--this was one of my favorites, usually the kiss of death for comments.

If I had to pick one person to comment on a favorite post, well, you'd be on the (extremely) short list.

(Leslie picked right up on it--"Hey, Clay wrote on your blog!" I trust Leslie implicitly, more than I trust myself.)

John Spencer said...

I tried posting this comment (it failed) so I chose Twitter instead (I only mention it, because there might be other comments that were lost:

I just watched two hummingbirds in the backyard. One was chasing the other? Was it war? Was it love? Was it friendly play? And is there an intersection between any of those?

Micah is silently mesmerized for perhaps twenty or thirty seconds. The tweets are enormous at this points, birds getting out there livelihood before it gets too hot.

I think to myself, "There is more complexity in one hummingbird than in the whole lot of our humming machinery."

I have a hunch that thought came from this blog post.

doyle said...

Dear John,

There is more complexity in one hummingbird than in the whole lot of our humming machinery.

Micah must not forget what he already knows. I forgot, and every day need to relearn that same lesson.

As always, thanks for your words.

Kathryn J said...

This post was fantastic!

I spent the last five days outside and unplugged. It was wonderful and I need to do more of it. Spent one day in a kayak paddling around Nauset Marsh on a tour led by another science teacher. I discovered moon snail egg casings which look like man-made synthetic materials yet are produced by a beautiful creature as part of reproduction. Our campsite was "upstairs" from a kettle pond which was refreshing after a day at the beach.

I need to live closer to the ocean and I need to get outside more. I'm going to work on the latter first.

doyle said...

Dear Kathryn,

Thanks for the kind words. I'm overdue for a few unplugged days.

I need tidal water--the rhythms sustain me. I hope you find your niche by the shore.