Sunday, February 19, 2006
Feeding The Livestock
by Cathy Wilson
Dark little eyes
see me coming out the door
banging scoops and cans.
I hear the clomping of feathers
as I watch being watched
coming through the gate.
Dust motes fly
as they jockey for a perch
and sidel along the fence
where they whiney for more seed.
Some feign indifference
while they shuffle little hooves -
twiggy as leaf stems,
in the overhead corral.
I think they'd like to nuzzle
and bump against my hand,
for they know I'm returning,
as any rancher might,
with something good in my pocket
tucked out of sight.
Undaunted by cautionary statements of neighbors, I continue to buy old loaves of whole-grain bread from the local bakery. They're concerned that my feeding the wild critters could create trouble. It's hopeless. The sun goes down and I'm rustling around in the freezer. It's been an open winter, but at times, a bitterly cold one. From my back porch I watch the woodland critters emerging from under sheds and shrub piles. How to explain the guilty, teary rush I get when watching them sniff the air while scrambling, waddling or creeping to my frozen substitute for the farmer's fields? To watch their twiggy, furred or naked pink fingers lift the morsel into their lives is, well - all I need of happiness at that moment. This morning, though, as I stood outside broadcasting scoops of seed to the daytime diners, a chunk of frozen bread dropped from the sky, missing my glasses by a few inches. A squirrel had lost his grip on a slice of rock-hard bread, high in the oak tree. When it thudded to the ground at my feet, it occurred to me that the old wisdom about casting your bread upon the waters could be more than a lovely metaphor. Perhaps I've discovered a hybrid of the 'Cast your bread . .' exhortation and the folk wisdom cautioning that 'The path to hell is paved with good intentions . . . ' Still, a beaning with a frozen slice of bread is a small price for the heaven of peeking at the mystery around us. It's as close as the tool shed or the crack in the sidewalk where the abundant universe of the ant begins and ends.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
In the WSJ this morning, Stuart Isacoff wrote the following:
Philosopher Martin Buber said of art in his masterpiece, 'I and Thou' , that the creation of great art involves both a sacrifice and a risk. The sacrifice is the endless possiblility offered up on the altar of form: Like a prophet the artist labors to bring down to earth the beauty of the eternal, unseen worlds. The risk arises because true artistic expression must be uttered by the whole self, with no protective buffer against the world.
Do you know any of these courageous folk? It is to be sincerely hoped. I've encountered a few. Precious, indeed.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Here's a little whimsy as I sit on my cozy back porch surveying winter's loosening grasp. Perhaps in another month or so the idea of snowmen will seem a quaint memory. (I hope!)
I created the smooching snowpeople on the wonderful website, Snowdays.
(I did fill in weak spots on the original with my little felt-tip pen. I'm not perfect!:)
Can you see the Dancing Ladies - perhaps holding candles to brighten a crisp winter's evening?
No need to explain the Critter Flake. A fresh dusting of snow is like an old-fashioned negative that captures the warmth of nighttime visitors and on exposure to daylight reveals to us that others toil as industriously under the moon as we do under the sun.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Sunday, February 05, 2006
The Canada Goose who left this bit of feather behind for my wonderment last fall must be aware of the lengthening days. At the edge of some reawakening southern woodland or perhaps in a sunny park with mothers and babes in strollers, I hope he or she has a memory of the place where this whisp of warmth and flight remained behind. The wheel is turning and the arc of the sun is steadily climbing above the horizon where it lay diminished - except in the longing of the human heart .