Bright New Morning

juncos on feeder in Taos, NM

Oregon juncos don’t give a damn, just eat.

Just watched the inauguration online: White House video feed, crystal clear on my 24″ iMac with 6 Mbps broadband. Hard to believe I once did things like this on a stinking cathode ray tube TV set with useless network commentators to ruin it. Such a huge crowd! Anyway, good on the prez and his beautiful family. Good on all of us for being part of the Mystery animating everything.

There’s not a day that goes by without my reaching out to touch it. I don’t know how, but I try. That’s the main reason I don’t see why anyone needs preachers. There’s something here, all right, and no one knows what—fortunately!—but it’s obvious as hell. “Hello, son! Did you know you have FEET?” Why yes, Mr. Preacher-Man, I do, and did you know your laces are untied?

There’s a singular wholeness in my own life right now I can’t explain. Maybe it comes with aging. Lose hearing, gain absolution? I sure as hell hope not. But I feel like I cleared the barbed wire.

The other day I looked out at that same feeder and thought it was full. But actually, there was an evening grosbeak stuffed inside and trapped! He’d been hanging down from the top, trying to reach the last few sunflower seeds, and must have fallen the rest of the way in. There I was, holding a screeching bird mashed into a feeder… His head was jammed up against his shoulders, and he couldn’t move. His feet were clutching the wire cylinder in panic, and I couldn’t shake him loose. He didn’t like my trying, either. But I picked up a twig and started working on his little claws, one at a time, pushing them off the wire. Sometimes he grabbed on right back again, but soon I had a few toes loose and shook the feeder hard again: with a squawk and a flutter, he fell out and flew away. Imagine the stories that bird will spread!

That’s how it starts, you know, so keep an open mind.

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John Hamilton Farr lives in Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. with his classical pianist wife. “Possibly the only place I can get away with this,” he says. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore (Bush’s Brain) put it in a review of John’s first book, Buffalo Lights is the work of a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” John is the author of BUFFALO LIGHTS, TAOS SOUL, ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE, and THE HELEN CHRONICLES. He has been publishing online since 1996 (Zoo Zone, Farr Site, MacFaust, GRACK!, FarrFeed) and blogs regularly here at JHFARR.COM. See also → John’s Twitter profile, Amazon Author Page, video channel at YouTube, and website photos at SmugMug. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page.  

  • Katy George January 21, 2013, 3:37 PM

    blessed bird!

  • Ken Webb January 22, 2013, 12:46 PM

    That panicked grosbeak thought in its little bird brain that it was fighting for its life while it was really only hindering the efforts of a higher power to free it from its self-made prison. That little bird could be you and me, brother! Still, I like to see fight in both men and beasts. No one can say whether the struggle is worthwhile, but what else is there to do? Fight! Fight!

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