Watched a crow at his morning ablutions. It was raining. Keep that in mind as the backdrop: it enhances the scene. He caught my attention on the wire above my head because of the vigorous action of one claw massaging head and neck, digits spread, eyes closed in imagined enjoyment if not actuality. Then a good long session with the other foot.
I was entranced! What next. He did not disappoint. Beak began to probe and preen the feathers that might have been unaligned by the tousling on neck and chest and back. It would be a chiropractor’s delight to study the extent of movement and flexibility of a crow’s vertebrae; I am not sure if his head swiveled totally around but it could have! Now the shining black wings got swung out and back and this way and that like a magician preparing his cape for some sleight of hand. A few of the long feathers got detailed. Then a tremendous overall shake that would have done a wet dog proud. Whatever that means. You know what I am trying to say! It would seem the grooming would have to start all over again after such an action but the feathers sort of made an aura around the bird and then settled into his sleek shape. He sat quietly for a moment so I could properly admire the polished profile and then flew away. I was left feeling quite rejuvenated!
Wind is a marvelous invention. I brace for it and then realize I no longer need to.
Those statements at the beginning of novels that claim that any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental puzzle me. Why are they necessary? Did someone once win much money in some lawsuit over being villainized in a book? I can’t think of any other reason for this fantasy. Can it seriously be imagined that writers conjure characters out of thin air with no basis in real people. All of the characters in all of my writing have sprung from people I have known or seen or heard about. Composites, mostly, but parts of the ‘living or dead’.
Had An Interesting…
…conversation with an interesting man and talked about how it is not possible to see both sides of a coin, even when it is on end. I offered the idea that it was only possible if we got far enough away from it, but on further reflection realize this is not true. Restricted by two eyes set as they are in our head it will never be possible no matter how great the distance. Unless we could take on the aspect of an insect with eyes on stalks. Unless we go beyond mere sight and accept vision.
The neighbourhood crows have taken the unshelled peanuts I put out for the squirrels and lodged them behind the vents in the roof next door, which I can see easily being above it. They peck away at the nuts and let the empty shells roll down the roof. Several sidekicks are in attendance, obviously hoping for an unintentional tidbit: I don’t think crows engage in handouts. People want squirrel-proof feeders for the birds. I need a bird-proof feeder for the squirrels.
Of Stuff and Such
Having simplified several times, the experience has led me to believe we have a ‘stuff consciousness’, that is, there is an optimum level of ‘things’ in our lives. Go beyond that and we feel uncomfortable. This has come to mind as I did another ‘simplifying’ on the weekend. For a week or so I’ve been feeling a bit ‘crowded’, for lack of a better term, and realized it was because the stuff had accumulated beyond that comfort level. So with this awareness I began to pinpoint the areas, the objects. My wool stash. Definitely clothing : I went to a store to buy more hangers and suddenly did an abrupt exit from that shop with the epiphany of getting rid of some garments instead. Bric a brac. Books. Last month’s magazines; last season’s newsletters and catalogues. Material.
On the weekend I went around the house and collected these items – and more. It takes time to decide. A few things got put in the seaman’s trunk kept for that purpose: they just need a time ‘out of sight’ so they will return to view somehow renewed. Some things got taken out of the trunk and put back in sight. Two large bags went out on the deck and by Sunday evening only one thing had been ‘rescued’, on second thought, so the rest went to the Salvation Army box.
This morning I feel free again of that ‘crowd.’ It feels good on many levels. It is all about awareness, really. I will continue to have “aha’s” over the next few days: this occurs after each simplifying, and is satisfying. One came about as I opened a dresser drawer and took out my favourite sweater. I suddenly realized I lifted it out from a space it no longer shared with sweaters I had ‘outgrown’ but had to give mind space to simply because they were there and also realized I sometimes wore just to justify their presence. Fascinating. This morning I gave that favourite sweater a bit of a hug before I put it on, totally accepting its warmth and colour and history. (It’s purple and a lovely cashmere/cotton blend and cut down successfully from a massive size to fit me and purchased with gift money from a special friend, my father.)
If I am conveying what I want to, then you will be realizing that there is no question of “shoulds” in this adventure of simplifying. As a simplicity consultant a common question (fear!) of clients is that I will tell them they have to get rid of things, that they “should” cut down. No, not at all. Quite the opposite. It’s a matter of allowing ourselves to own or accept or possess all that we have. And when we do this, we realize what suits us best and what we can freely, fearlessly, effortlessly, discard. One lady with nineteen pairs of shoes, none of which really fit or suit her, finally found the courage to pay full price for one comfortable, stylish, go-with-everything pair. Seventeen pairs of shoes got donated to charity the next day. They had all been bought on sale. She kept two pairs, “just in case”, but I think she got the message that with the money spent on all those “bargains” she could have easily – and sooner! – indulged in what she really wanted and needed.