Saturday, April 24, 2010

Chapter Three - Part Three - A Bird's Eye View of the Field

The red-winged blackbirds are back with their strange twirps that sound something like an old-fashioned modem connection. On my walks with my dog I love to hear them, and see the flash of red when they fly from branch to branch along the creek near my home. They are busy all the time. They are communicating constantly, and, it seems to me, they are unconcerned by any challenges that might hamper their progress -- bigger birds in their space like pigeons, ducks and geese, predators like hawks and owls, off-leash dogs barking at them or any other creature that comes along. They are purely focused on whatever their task is and they're working it and have this wonderful team of each other. I'm jealous of that team. I so want to be hanging out and cheerfully being helpful and of service, but I don't think I'm really a red-winged black bird even though I admire them so much.

Another bird comes here every spring too and stays much of the summer. He or she is alone, standing at the edge of the lake and the creeks. She watches a spot for hours, slowly lifting one leg so as to create as little ripple as possible in her observation. That's more me. I'm more like a Heron. The Heron isn't the most graceful flyer. You see these long legs splayed out behind a rather stout body and the head and neck pulled in like the nose of a paper airplane, leading with its sharp beak. It flies, though, high enough to make it from some warmer climate over the foothills and maybe even mountains to here, and here it stays flying from waterway to waterway, and managing pretty much on its own. The life of a writer is in heron's story.

What does my clod look like to this heron, I wonder? Ha. Not even an issue. There is so much more to look at in the field besides this one clod that has me obsessed. That screenwriting is an uphill fight against statistics is a mere fact. That there is this broad desire to tell the story that changes and deepens the way others think and feel about the world is just the dirt that the seeds will grow in. There is so much more going on in the field besides this clod of fear about how to balance survival with time and money. It's simply just a thing that's sitting there, and from up here, my hoe can easily chop that sucker up for what it is -- an old illusion that for some reason I got attached to along the way. Yeah, there are lots of useless little pebbles in this clod of fear, but there's a lot of dirt, too. The gifts of those pebbles were the minerals that were going to help nourish the dirt with a sustaining drive to succeed, but they got all stuck together and useless, and now they have to be broken apart and moved out of the field.

The desire is the dirt in my field that's been laying fallow for so long. That field wants to grow something sustainable and nourishing. The Heron flies over the field and only sees the dirt. Hmmmmmmmm.

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