Saturday, March 5, 2011

idea in the hand

15 years ago or so when I was living in Kihei I found a bird on the ground that had been hurt or stunned. I took it home and put it in a box. Prajna tried to feed it egg yolk. It didn’t seem to want to eat. The next morning before work I checked on it and it was still in the box looking forlorn. That day at work I thought of names for this sparrow. I fancied the thought of taming it like a falcon and having it return to my wrist.
I called home from a payphone at about noon and Prajna told me the bird died. Later that day she told me that it had seemed to want to get out and join other birds but she didn’t let it go because I had wanted it so bad for a pet.
A few years ago one summer while I was working at Trinity Church I found a bird that had struck a window and was lying on the ground, stunned. I held it for quite a while in a cleaning cloth as it sat with that same forlorn look. Then it began twitching and moving around and finally fluttered out of my hand and away.

Last week a bird flew inside of a building at Yucaipa Christian Church and struck a light fixture. It fell and lay on the floor. Someone took it outside hoping it might fly away. From experience I reasoned that the bird was stunned and needed to recover. I put it in a box with a lid and brought it in out of the cold for about a half an hour. When I picked up the box I heard the bird scuttling around. I went outside in the open and opened the lid. The bird blasted out and disappeared into the sky.
From all of this I learned that birds that have been stunned may need just a little time to regain their faculties. They may need some sunshine or if it’s wintery out a warm box. And they can’t be kept too long or they may die.
Prajna complemented my blog after reading it the other day. She also had some counsel to offer. She understood that when I write I tend to let the thoughts flow out and when I am on a roll I tend to not slow down. This is true except that I do slow down sometimes to choose the right word. Prajna’s recommendation was to go ahead and write how I have been writing but don’t post it right away. My last blog entry, she said, was good but it read like a rough first draft. She thought I ought to save the finished work and then come back the next day and read it and fix any errors and clean up parts. This is great advice. I blog to exercise my muse but by doing this I can also get a lot of practice in reading and revising.
I should do this. My only fear is that my blog posts are like stunned birds. Left too long and not released at the right time I may lose interest in them or lose the inspiration that created them. Left too long and it’s dead. But released right away before it’s well enough and it is devoured by predators.
I wrote this yesterday morning and revised it last night and am posting it 24 hours later. All writing advice and wisdom aside. If I’ve learned anything over the past several years it is listen to Prajna’s advice.

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