Hawthorn berries (or botanical pomes).


She’s there. I can hear the familiar peep of Blackbird, even under low light. I can just make out the colour brown and not black, and a dullish beak, so she is female.

Small by comparison to others perched in this same gnarly hawthorn, she spies all the berries as she flicks her tail feathers and hops from twig to twig. Mine is the quietest of observations I think is possible. Hers is an instinctive judgment of self within the whole floloca, and an internal vision of the safe movements required to get from where she is now to the red haw ‘pomes,’ to put one in her beak and then inside her belly. I call this patientism. Then, to fly in a straight line home. I love everything about this little bird. There is a glint in her eye.

Her presence is the result of the devotion of several birds before her. The crowd have scoured for bounty, found it, and tested it for ripeness. They have spread the news: they made signs. And now she knows to be here, that bright UV light, a fourth primary colour we simply cannot see, on waxy fruits that are good this Winter. The waxy shine on the berries helps. If you rub it off, birds don’t find them so well. Unlike some red berries, pomes, or drupes, these ones are safe to eat. They will help her to store energy in every cell of her body until early Spring, when she will thrive on worms and emerging insects, and lay her eggs.

I try to match her devotion, in that I stand perfectly still, staying present with her quickness and intelligence. I try really hard not to distract, not even to raise my phone lens this time. This food is too important.

I gaze at the jungle of twigs and am in awe of the birdish ability to fly through them with ease. Birds see unlike us ~  and this UV sight helps them to navigate complexity without injury. I wonder how UV reflects off of me.

Blackbird suddenly dives for the berries, plucks two from their skinny stems with her beak, and launches away with a familiar “tweet de tweet twit twit” melting into a darkening night. She leaves her droppings of earlier morsels (and seed) on the twigs below for lichens to grow. A small feather that grew soft on her breast this summer drifts to the ground to be foraged as nesting material by a long-tailed tit early tomorrow as the sun rises.

I am not afraid to tell you, I care for her, and all these lives, as I care for this place–a happy place–down on the banks of the River Wye in Winter. I care for the microbiota and the symbiotic relationships that sustain all the lives that exist right now, though the majority I cannot see nor hear. This love means more than one might think. It’s not a totally selfish act, but specific for this place linked in flows to all places, and little to do with my brain’s reward centres—though there is that. It’s just I understand that this flow is part of larger flows, that are part of the flows of life that distinguish planet Earth from all else yet known. I wish people would stop talking about entanglements. It’s still so separating–dividing–as if we are simply a knot to be undone. I was once a paraglider and learned to untangle entangled lines very quickly. After a while, it’s too easy. Death is something else.

The things that creep in and out of the water, the things that never enter the water, the things that never climb trees, share everything through drifts in the nagorasphere. It is felt by evoking the imagination. This is a process too. Being a fluminist is a process. Are there any objects, ever? All is process through time and space. I have come home to write about this encounter in all hope that others may wish to protect the interests of these beings as a community in a constant flow, and to remember that this flow between all lives is a true beauty to celebrate and protect. I hold this place, and this tree, this bird, these berries, and the lichen that will grow–these processes–carefully. I share with hope for a unified love of the exquisite nature of natural moments, everything joined at the hip, undivided, and for the continued liberty of life and the living. It is, in a way, a small act of resistance.

Audio:


 

Now for version two (second person, as suggested by my Director of Studies, PhD)


Are you there, with your familiar peep of Blackbird under low light? I can just make out your browns and a dullish beak, my avian kin.

Small by comparison to others perched in this same gnarly hawthorn, you spy all the berries, flick your tail feathers, and hop from twig to twig. Mine is the quietest of observations; yours is the instinctive judgment of self within the whole floloca; an internal vision of the safe movements required to get from where you are now to the red haw ‘pomes,’ to put one in your beak and inside your belly. You are a patientist. Then, to fly in a straight line to your January nest in the scrub thicket below the dairy at the end of my road. Everything about you is loved by me, little bird. There’s a glint in your eye.

Your presence is the result of a flight of magnificence, from misty Baltic birch slopes to this moment by the Wye slick and threatening the city with flood. The crowd who came before—some resident, others transient—have scoured for bounty and found it. They have tested it for ripeness. They have spread the news: they made signs. And now you also know to be here, pulled by that bright UV light, a fourth primary colour we human sisters simply cannot see on waxy fruits that are good this Winter. The shine helps. If it should rub off, you won’t find them so well. Unlike some fruits, these ones are safe to eat. They will help you store energy in every cell of your body until early Spring, when you will thrive on worms and emerging insects, and lay eggs.

Ah, sister, to match your devotion! Standing perfectly still, staying present with your quickness and intelligence, my distractions would be unwanted, not even to raise a phone lens. Your food is too important.

Your birdish ability to fly through a jungle of twigs with ease is for all to see, and fewer to notice. You see unlike me ~ and this UV sight helps you navigate complexity without injury. How would the expanse of North Sea shine as you fly high over rough waves and whale backs, concrete ports and all those chimneys, to where my human sisters there, the foresters, speak Latvian?

How does UV reflect off of me?

You suddenly dive for the berries—no sparrowhawk about—pluck two from skinny stems with your beak, and launch away with a familiar “tweet de tweet twit twit” melting into a darkening night. You leave droppings of earlier morsels (and seed) on the twigs below for lichens to grow. A small feather that grew soft on your breast this summer drifts to the ground to be foraged as nesting material by sibling-long-tailed tit early tomorrow as the sun rises.

I am not afraid to tell you, I love you, and all these lives, as I care for this place–a happy place–down on the banks of the River Wye in Winter. I love the microbiota and the symbiotic relationships that sustain all the lives that exist right now, though the majority I can neither see nor hear.

Fluministic love means more than they think. It’s not a uniquely selfish act, but specific for this place linked in flows to all places, and little to do with the brain’s reward centres—though there is that. My life is an expression of your way in the flow, you as part of larger flows, that are part of the flows of life that distinguish planet Earth from all else yet known.

To my human kin, less talking about entanglements, please, still so separating–dividing–as if we are simply a knot to be undone. My paragliding days were filled with untangling tangled lines very quickly. Things that are entangled tend to start separate and end separate, and after a while, it’s too easy. Flow runs into itself and all matter, even in death. This is the truth continuum.

Blackbird, the things that creep in and out of the water beside us, the things that never enter the water, the things that never climb trees, share everything through drifts in the nagorasphere, as you do. It is felt by evoking the imagination—you have it, like the herons and the little egrets. This is a process too. Being a fluminist is a process. Are there any objects, ever? All is process through time and space.

Now to write about you, in all hope that others may wish to protect your interests in this constant dynamism, and to remember that flow exists between all lives, the true beauty of life to celebrate and protect. This place is held close, and this tree, you, these berries, and the lichen that will grow–these processes–and care-fully. We share hope, in our kindship, for a unified love of the exquisite nature of natural moments, everything joined at the hip, undivided, and for the continued liberty of life and the living. It is, in a way, our small act of resistance.

 

Audio: