Saturday morning twitterings

Saturday, 22 November 2008

It's cold today. Well, not Northern Hemispherean-wear-19-layers-and-mufflers-in-the-snow cold, but cold comparatively speaking cold. Cold enough to have the heater on cold. Which, considering it will be summer in nine days, is cold. (In other news, it will also be my birthday in nine days as well. Mark it down and send me presents - December 1, Susie's birthday. Get it? Got it? Good. You know, when I think about it, it was nice, neat birthing by my parents to deliver me on the first day of my favourite season).

It's cold and I have the heater on. Eight degrees Celsius/46 degrees Fahrenheit. Raining. Storms brewing. Especially cold considering last week we had a hot spell where it reached 35 degrees Celsius/95 Fahrenheit. Melbourne weather has always been changeable. Most of the time it keeps things interesting. However, such a variation in temperature has caused many people I have seen around the city and on the train to be spending the last several days yawning.

It has been overcast and drear for three or four days. They are all running into each other. I miss the sun. It came out this morning, for about five minutes. I went and sat on the front step and let that beautiful golden vitamin D seep into my bones :)

I have prepared myself. Got some DVDs last night. Brought pens and pencils and erasers and pencil sharpeners out into the lounge and here I shall be plonked today, I think, with the heater going and the wind blowing outside, when it's not raining or hailing. I can only pray that we get some sort of decent thunderstorm, while Lester is away at his dad's so that I can enjoy it without feeling guilty that my dog is shaking himself into pieces beside me :)

There is a blackbird that lives outside my window. I listened to him yesterday singing his funny little tunes that have very little melody to them. Still, they have a charm of their own. He's going now, as I speak. He only stops when the rain gets hard. Sings through showers and wind. Last Monday at my art therapy session we sat outside and were harassed by animals. I had Elly with me, brought her in the car for the long drive and the nice walk afterwards. She cried in the car. Could hear us outside. I had to go get her, and put her on her lead, and have her sit. Which she did do, eventually. Actually, she was pretty good after a while. Maggie spoke sweet soothing words to her and she lapped up the attention. After a while she lay down and let me draw things with charcoal and oil pastels in peace.

Well, relative peace if I ignored the beautiful king parrots hanging around outside Maggie's house waiting for seed. They are on a good wicket. The young male, a teenager, cheekily flew very close to my head on several occasions, on his flight from the tree to the top of the roof, to the brickwork away to my right where he lapped up the seed. Several days previously he had apparently sung the most beautiful melody to woo his potential love interest. And yet, when it came to food, he was happy to try to peck her to keep her away. Indeed, she had been gouged at some point. A potentially violent relationship. Probably best not to go there. However, I have no idea of the mating habits of king parrots. Perhaps it's a whirlwind courtship followed by some babies followed by divorce. See, who said parrots and humans had nothing in common? ;) I'm not really that cynical, dear readers, not really, deep down. Deep down I want happily ever afters for everybody. They just seem a bit thin on the ground at this point in time.

So today here I am with the blackbird outside my window whose song is no less endearing because it's not beautiful like the king parrot. I'm sure the blackbird knows of things the king parrot will never know of. Of course, the blackbird is not caught up in existential angst and self-conscious conundrums about its state of being. It just does what it does. It's never been told that it lacks something in its blackbirdiness. It probably wouldn't believe it even if it was told that. It would seem absurd. It could sit next to a king parrot and not feel in the least bit inferior because its worth is not based on comparisons. The blackbird sees and hears and thinks blackbirdy things and it does them, instinctively, without questioning. It sings its funny little songs without melody, but are those songs any lesser because they are not the Beethoven of the king parrot? There is charm in the strange warbling that comes from this bird. I like to think that it is more into experimental music than beautiful parrot lilts. It's songs have no rhyme nor reason to them, and yet some parts of them sound familiar to me, as if he (she?) has sung them before. Complex little portions that change beat, tone and time within themselves. The blackbird doesn't have inferiority complexes that it doesn't sing like a king parrot. For all we know, the king parrot feels stilted in its 4/4 timing and has a latent yearning to break free and be a punk.

But I doubt it. Because that is the beauty of animals, is it not? That they just go on and do and be themselves and fill up their own confines because nothing has taught them that how they are is wrong and that they need to change their nature. They just be. Whereas for us self-conscious, wounded souls the way to be ourselves so often seem to be in ways that seem counter intuitive - to get bigger we need to go smaller (but it's not the going smaller of wounding by others, even though it may look the same on the outside), to learn to love better we first need to acknowledge and embrace how we hate and fear. I think Lewis Carroll was onto something with his Alice stories. It's so much harder and more complex for us, isn't it? How nice if we could fly away from it all, from ourselves, from the endless repetition of monkey mind.

I think we can. I think that place is called God. It is a place where comparisons cease (bliss). A place where you can go on in your life and be and do and think your own thoughts and be your own you and see things in your own way - where you are free to be yourself in a greater measure than any human being has allowed. And yet also it is a place of safety, where you learn the discipline of love and how in this space discipline doesn't even feel like that because it is so wrapped up in love that you don't experience it as discipline.

But you have to believe it before you see it. And sometimes, believing it requires a lot of work. It is not surprising to me at all, in this topsy turvy land of paradoxes that we must strive to enter that rest.

Hey, happy Saturday, bloggers. The sun has come out for a brief spell and I'm heading outside :)

Pix: king parrot: Jon Bragg blackbird: Lip Kee


  1. WOW. It's as cold there as it is here. What's up with that? I mean, you deserve your summer too! Strangely our spring/summer was like that this year, it rained and rained and was freezing well into summer. And I can't get over the fact that you have parrots that just run around down there like it's a normal thing to be a parrot sitting on your deck railing. To see a parrot here you have to go to a pet store or the zoo. Or own one. It's kinda like if I could look out my back door and see an elephant or a giraffe. Weird.

    I wish I could just be OK being a blackbird or crow and not wish to be an umbrella cockatoo or something. What's their secret?

  2. it's cold here too, raining bucketloads and we're nervously sitting on a flood warning from the BOM

    we've had heaps of parrots around lately, after the grass seeds, we havent' mown for weeks, too busy running for permit deadlines on the house

    we also have a couple of cute joeys still getting their kangaroo legs under control

    the animal kingdom does teach us a lot about ourselves and our creator, if we tune into their wavelength as you say, and discover what it is to simply "be" rather than strive and do

    something i hope to have more time for next year :-)

    Happy Saturday to you too
    hope you enjoyed cocooning inside for the day

  3. Erin - well, I guess summer hasn't officially started yet. And we did have an above-average couple of days there, so who knows what it is going to be like? But yeah, I don't know if "global warming" is as good a term as "climate change" because it sure seems to be all over the place.

    Those king parrots are just in specialised areas. You hardly ever see them in town. Although you do see rosellas around a fair bit and they're pretty cute too.

    I used to buy my dog food from this shop that had a pet ... oh, it was kinda like a toucan but not a toucan. He was so beautiful, really friendly and smart. Of course I practically begged the owner to let me play with him, so I used to, every time I went in the shop. He was gorgeous.

    Yeah, I wish I could be happy being a blackbird too. Just go along trying to be as much Sue as I can without feeling smaller when other people don't notice me and stuff. I really think it's a God thing, you know? Some days I catch hold of it and htink, "Oh, wow, this changes EVERYTHING" because Im so content. Other days I can barely stand the sight of myself in the mirror, whether real or metaphorical :) I guess it's a process for him/her to work out. I suppose the more you live loved the less that stuff concerns you.

    Kel - ah, yeah, you're in Gippsland, aren't you? Goodness me. Hang tight! I hope you got to coocoon today? It's COLD!!!!!! :)

  4. oooh my kind of weather! But I cant enjoy it as I usually do because I have had a tooth pulled and im in pain! waaaah (yes I want sympathy ;))
    I so love a wonky, out of time bird call...and blackbirds are delicious! (in pies, I hear)
    Yes Im delirious! too much pain med haha.
    Love this post, God is freedom from comparisons, love it!

  5. Oh, Andi! Ouch! You poor thing. No wonder you want sympathy. People messing with your mouth is so ... invasive, isn't it?

    Blackbird pie, yum. Do you want me to make one for next Saturday, then?

  6. I do believe that 'global climate change' is a better term than 'global warming'. Our late spring was, like I said, more like winter this year. But then we've had an unseasonably warm and dry autumn I guess it all balances out. Maybe what it all means is that we can't expect the weather to be as predictable as it has been.

  7. Unpredictability does have its charms, though. I recall when we could predict humongous snowfalls and bitter cold weather in November. Now we have a month or more respite from that. We're in the negatives (Celsius-wise) here. Still waiting for that other shoe to drop... the snow to fall in earnest.

  8. Erin - well, I guess it makes life interesting! :)

    Barbara - the negatives? Yikes!


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