Early morning drive near where I live up Mount Greylock, tallest mountain in Massachusetts, on a windy astounding Civilian Conservation Core road – thank you Mister Roosevelt – thinking how moments come and go and words can’t capture each one. On the way up the mountain, the early light lit up the yellow-leaved autumn trees, then driving down, the unlit trees were a totally different sight. Changing light is the least of it! Words – you ingrates. Words – you measly things - put on your gloves and let’s have a fair fight.
The confluence of all and each thing all at once each moment – light, sound, people, history, fact, weather - the list has no end – it’s barely possible to say anything thoroughly true.
Thank god for sound – it can do better than words. Thank you, Otis Redding, you’ve been dead so long, but not your sound.
While sitting outside in my backyard a couple of months ago, I heard a sad song - more opera than song – a dramatic story, the arias sung by two birds.
First I heard scratching, inside the end of the covered gutter that runs along the roof of my house.
A grown bird, I didn't register what kind, flew into the end of the gutter, disappeared inside. More scratching -- had baby birds hatched in an ill-positioned nest? The grown bird began to fly in and out of the gutter’s end. In and out, in and out. Sounds of distress began, then intensified.
A second grown bird arrived and landed on the green roof of the outbuilding. The two birds began singing, if you can call it that, to each other. One bird on the peak of the green roof and the other on top of the gutter alternated making screeching sounds to one another. Their duet turned hysterical. This went on for seemed like a long time. Then the scratching inside the gutter quieted down and stopped.
Finally both birds flew off. Silence. A bit of time elapsed. Soon one of them returned, flew close by the gutter, circled and landed on it. All quiet now. The bird flew away.
Fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa
fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa.