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looking up

January 5, 2009

Today is the first day back to work after two weeks of miserable travel, happy reunions, sickness, snow, and sleeping in. I said goodbye to the wagging Beagle, my groggy honey, and our friend visiting from Rotterdam who was packing up to go, and made it to the bus stop with a minute to spare. My gloves were still wet from yesterday’s ski in Hammond Hill (Bud’s first trail ski!), my attitude partly cloudy.

So as to get a coffee, I got off a stop early at Bradfield Hall and looked up as I walked past at its towering windowless brick mass, thinking tepidly about how to serve, about how to stay new. And then a hawk leapt out from halfway up, from a hidden perch but magically out of the hard face in that moment, fell with wings out long enough for me to whirl around and know, “Hawk!” before it hooked around the building out of sight.

Hawks to me are strength and freedom. Monday is looking up.

Birds fall from the window ledge above mine.
Then they flap their wings at the last second.

You see birds fall from the window ledge above mine.
Then they flap their wings at the last second.
I can see their dead weight
Just dropping like stones
Or small loaves of bread
Past my window all the time.
But unless I get up,
Walk across the room
And peer down below,
I don’t see their last second curves
Toward a horizontal flight.
All these birds just falling from the ledge like stones.

Now due to a construct in my mind
That makes their falling and their flight
Symbolic of my entire existence,
It becomes important for me
To get up and see
Their last second curves toward flight.
It’s almost as if my life will fall
Unless I see their ascent.

-Cake, “Mr. Mastodon Farm”

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. andrea permalink
    January 5, 2009 7:37 pm

    it’s a cold, quiet and rainy day here in tx, and i was just feeling like a mastodon myself… i too have found solace of an indescribable sort in birds and their flight patterns… most recently in watching grackles, en masse, ebb and flow in flight patterns just before dusk… it’s mesmerizing to watch but why do they do it? maybe to visually remind us that we’re all part of something bigger and that we have to just keep flying even when the destination is unknown and unclear to us…

  2. January 6, 2009 8:24 pm

    Probably the same hawk that nests in the a athletic field lights over by the parking lot near the wrestling center. She’s a regular at Dilmun Hill and Cornell Orchards. ‘Organic vole control.’

    • January 6, 2009 10:34 pm

      She was healthy looking! Lots of critters there to eat.
      I’m happy to say we have one in our neighborhood, too, at least one. Usually I see him or her flying up the road in the big fields, but Sunday, Bud and I were walking home from there, and she swooped off a perch about 50 yards from us, which was right across the street from our house. Hawks are a totem animal of mine. Sounds weird, probably, but I really love seeing them. I’ll keep a lookout on campus :)

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