Saturday, May 04, 2013

Q Schwanning with the Blackbird

Q Schwanning with the Blackbird
Friday April 26, 2013:
At 7:20 PM I'm in the garden. The blackbird is giving it some welly. The
other birds are belting out songs to. I listen and take in the sounds.
The blackbird moves to another part of his territory and the garden goes a
little quiet. It's not yet sunset, so there's still more singing for him to
do. I listen to the relative peace and invite the stillness to open up to
the songs of the birds. On the edge of my hearing, I can hear blackbird,
behind him, the comforting cooing of the wood pigeons, given shape by
robins, tits and other silvery singing. It's such a rich tapestry of sound.
I breathe it in.

I'm crouching now, turning over slate pieces. Ah, here's what I need., a
flat evenly shaped smooth stone, it's edges graded as though someone has
layered material of different sizes across each other. I can trace each
piece, running my fingers across them all and losing myself in their shapes.

With a triumphant squawk, the blackbird flies across the sky and lands in
the ash tree on the Parkland Walk opposite me. He settles down to a bit of
rombustuous, triumphant singing. Always, that fluid beginning, suddenly
exploding into staccato squawks and gurgling) before returning to a new
song. Sometimes at the end of a bit of conventional blackbird twiddling, he
emits a series of rapid squeaks, redolent of mocking laughter as though to
say to the other blackbirds "pah, beat this!" before resuming his crystal
clear sweet flourishes .
I hold out my hand with the flat slate in it, an offering and a place to
receive the vibration of the singing. The blackbird belts it out. Beside
him, robins and other birds weave a complex rhythm of shiny glissandi and
arpeggio, with such flourishing joy that I can't help smiling.
My face is raised to the glory of the sound. I allow the cheekbones to
receive the silver bath of vibration and call it in, to fill the toad shaped
space that is also the Schwannoma. Ah, beautiful.

The blackbird sings on, not now filling the space, but offering it between
other songs. He grows quiet and is suddenly gone. But his twilight
serenade is not complete. I hear him singing, some gardens away as he grabs
the final light of day, for the night is at last falling.
The birds grow quiet. A bitter little wind reaches sharp fingers through my
clothing, reminding me that, with dusk, comes the coolness of night.
Stiffly, I rise, and bowing to left and right to the spaces left by the
singing, I give thanks, and walk back into the warm house.
Out there tonight, the songs of the birds felt like my friends sending their
healing. This healing is free. I can always have it where the birds sing.
It's a date, blackbird, I promise, I'll be back for more.

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