Friday, February 03, 2006

Tribute to a fine fluff of feathers

I went to refill my bird's food dish the other day and found her dead in the bottom of the seems that she became panicked in the night, which she sometimes did, and flailed around in her cage and broke her neck against the bars. Sad. My little nacho whore, little noisemaker, sweetly picky snuggler against fingertips and shirts, tormenter of dogs, early-morning squawker, lampshade-percher, beer bottle knocker-overer birdie.

I could never get a good photo of her, and earlier this week, I had *finally* managed to. She was perched on the lampshade in the living room, lit from below and cocking her head and looking at me in that "please give me a neckrub" way. I took twenty or so pictures, and one came out well.

I miss her little sounds. My kitchen seems colder and darker without her living on top of the fridge. I put a small TV up there, but it's surely not the same.

Last night I dreamed my brother shot a squirrel with a slingshot. I was looking at the squirrel's eye as it sat in the cherry tree in the backyard of my parents' neighbor's house. My brother pulled the band back and released the pellet. I saw the squirrel's eye grow wider for just a moment and then watched it fall from the tree, limp, for my brother's dog to devour. The squirrel was pregnant and the dog ate the fetuses too. I moved away from watching it, to take pictures of tulips, but there was so much pollen on my lense that all my pictures looked full of noise. I was trying to wipe the lense off when my alarm went off this morning.

On the bus, on the way to work, I became so wrapped up in a fantasy of all the things I'd take pictures of if I were invisible that I almost missed my stop downtown. Luckily, an elderly woman had pulled the "stop request" cord and the driver stopped on the corner where I needed to get off. The old woman had nearly gotten through the laborious process of getting off the bus before I realized where we were and hurried to stand up and run down the aisle and get off the bus. I heard the four Hindi men sitting around me laugh as I rushed.

Last night M and I watched "Born into Brothels," a documentary about the children of sex workers who live in the red-light district of Calcutta and the English woman who tries to teach them photography. It was very, very good, and at several times I had tears running down my face at the stark beauty and realism. I've read a lot of fiction set in India, A Fine Balance being one of my favorite books, and though you get visuals in your head of what destitute urban areas of a severely overpopulated region of the world might look like, you don't really fully understand the total claustrophobic overwhelmingness of it. Some of the documentary was actually filmed by the children it is about. The children are beyond poor, and the woman takes them to the zoo and to the beach. The scene where they go to the beach is amazing; they've obviously never been, and the sounds they make when they see the water stretching out in front of them had saltwater of a different kind coming out my eyes.

Anyway. Highly recommend it.

Weekend plans: go with mother and wheelchair-bound grandmother to a local mall; take pictures. Learn more PhotoShop. Get decent ski goggles and facemask for next weekend. Call that dude about the calendar. Play with Ruby and the other doggies.


At February 03, 2006 11:13 AM, Blogger Allan said...

My condolences for the loss of your lovely bird.

I saw the image on Flickr a while back and wondered if the bird was yours.

That is a great image.

At February 03, 2006 2:13 PM, Blogger Greg said...

I'm sorry to read about your bird. It's a beautiful picture, a nice kind of tribute.

At February 03, 2006 4:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My condolences to you, too. It's the absolutely, positively hardest thing about pets, the way they drive you nuts, steal your heart, and then up and go long long before you're ready. (And some of us just keep walkin' into it over & over)

Thanks for the reminder to rent Born Into Brothels - someone proving the healing power of being behind the camera and the potential of every child. My Claire's gift of camera and belief in me changed my life even at this later age. Okay, so, Saturday night: Born Into Brothels, a new box of Kleenex, probably have to forego the comfort food given the doc's location, huh?, and a blankie on the sofa. That's the plan.

May your little bird rest in peace (and fly in Spirit)

At February 04, 2006 11:54 PM, Blogger Adeline said...

MMMM I just watched Born into Brothels this past week too. It's hard to watch these things when I have a kid upstair...I wonder why life is so unfair. I am glad they ended it the way they did, not overly mushy, realistic.

A Fine Balance is one of my all time favorite books.

Just reaffirms that really the only thing we have in life is the decision to be happy. Regardless of what wreckage our lives may be, what injustices are perpetrated against us. From what I have seen the undeveloped world is alot this way. People endure these unthinkable things and just go on. And here stateside we have these luxuries to be depressed or pissed off about the most outlandish things. What we even feed our pets astonishes me at times, when you consider what Fitena was writing about Niger.

I am sorry about your birdie. You wrote a beautiful description of her/him?

Dog eat baby squirrel. Yum.

At February 05, 2006 12:02 AM, Blogger Indigo said...

I'm so sorry about your bird. How terrible, and sad. :-(

At February 05, 2006 1:00 AM, Blogger suleyman said...

I hope you've received the Nikon by now. If not, it's in the mail. Oh, and thanks again for letting me borrow it.

Your dream is weird to be sure, but the the dream I had last night, oh man, it was *really* weird.

Sorry to hear about your bird. Birds seem really inscrutable to me, especially the ones that don't imitate human speech. The picture made me think of a song by XTC called "Rook" that has these lines:

"On the wings of night, I fly too, above field and stream. My head bursting with knowledge 'till I wake from the dream. If I die and I find that I had a soul inside. Promise me that you'll take it up on its final ride."


At February 05, 2006 3:06 AM, Anonymous Alison said...

I'm sorry about your bird. But I'm glad you captured that lovely photo of her.

At February 05, 2006 3:57 PM, Blogger Mr. H.K. said...

I can't help but think how all the varied topics in this post are related on a Freudian level...

Ya know?

Condolences from me and my chihuahua...

Mr. H.K.
Postcards from Hell's

And I Quote Blog

At February 05, 2006 11:44 PM, Blogger M said...

Man, there must be something in the air these days with the whole dreaming thing.

I know Cleveland is getting dumped on snow-wise these days, but it's lake effect. Hopefully you won't have the absolute shite conditions at Holiday that I had at Smugg's yesterday (so bad that I actually left my skis in the car and went hiking).
If the skiing is garbage, let me know, I know that area well and can reccomend alternative activities.

Sorry about the bird, dude.

At February 06, 2006 12:27 AM, Blogger Mr. Brightside said...

I don't have any pets. It can't be easy being a pet owner. The pet owners invest so much time, effort, and emotion into their pets that when they lose the pet it must be almost like losing a child. How do they put up with it?

At February 06, 2006 1:08 AM, Blogger deputyswife said...

I am so sorry about your bird.

I know I have said this before, but I lost my dog two years ago. I still think of her often and I cannot still bring myself to get another dog. I feel as if I would be betraying her.

At February 06, 2006 8:05 AM, Anonymous em said...

Sorry about the bird.

Oh yeah- you were mentioning recipe blogs. My friends and I are going blog crazy these days with our dumb projects. If you have a cool vegetarian recipe, etc... anyway: check it out:

At February 07, 2006 8:12 AM, Blogger Sangroncito said...

So sorry about birdie...
mine recently flew out the window as I was attempting to medicate its eye (for an eye infection) wriggled out of my hand and flew away. At least here in the tropics it may have a chance of survival....


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