An Artist's Quest

A Babble of Blackbirds, a Symphony of Starlings

Well something is in the air now that November is here.  And though it hasn’t gotten particularly cold yet the mischievous wind is running all over the hills playing tag with the dancing leaves, stirring up electricity that is both energizing and exhausting.  Along with the wind there seems to be a great conference of birds communing in the trees surrounding my house. It is a veritable U.N. session, a tower of Babble in my backyard.  The Red-winged Blackbirds sing out konk-a-ree, the Brewer’s Blackbirds add a crackly two-note k’shaleeee, and the loquacious Starlings chitter and chatter an impossible language of rambling whistles, squeaks and gurgles.  Flights of both Rosy and Gold Finches flitter in and out of the rabble, and the occasional Raven sounds from a distant tree not disposed to join the fray.  These birds come in great masses every year, some on their way to a distant summer in the south while some will stay put and winter here among the rolling hills and rows of vines.  I find my own mind a bit of a jumble; I pull out all that I need to launch a project only the leave the materials untouched.  My inspiration is like the leaves on the wind, dancing and fluttering but not settled, I feel a bit ungrounded, unhinged standing in the DMZ, a no-mans-land where the muse seems too caught up in conversation with the transitory birds to bother with me.  The passing wind and birds will settle into a winter rhythm soon enough, and I’ll settle into my studio and to-do lists but until then I’ll take this moment soak in the sounds of wind chimes weaving with the birdsong and let the unknowable remain unknown and the doing left undone.

I leave you with a link to the 28 sec. video of the bird conference taking place in the walnut tree at the corner of my yard.

3 responses

  1. diane L

    What a lovely wake up call that would be. Thanks for sharing!

    November 4, 2011 at 6:45 pm

  2. Jane

    Like you and the birds around you Lisa I find myself unsettled in my tasks today. A few weeks ago I had made a really good start on long overdue clearing out of my overflowing storage spaces. In the process I unearthed many projects that I had once started and never finished, as well as way too many that I had never actually started – despite acquiring the components. While I was overwhelmed with all the potential for new activity I was excited to get stuck in. Then life got in the way. I had to put the brakes on and swap gears to fulfill several other very different obligations. Now I am struggling to pick up the thread again. I want to be SO productive, but I am drifting from idea to idea. While I have been busy with a little of each task, I do not feel that I have achieved anything. The mountain of work still to be accomplished to achieve any sense of completion is huge. Reading your reflection this morning gave me cause to pause and ponder. Transitions are hard. We do not like to feel unsettled and yet we must pass through the turmoil if we are to reach the new place of order. So now I have decided to head off into the day with a more positive attitude to the confused, half finished, uncertain abundance of tasks that I have the opportunity to tackle today. I look forward to finding the new order, but today I will enjoy the disorder!

    November 7, 2011 at 9:19 am

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