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A Conversation September 28, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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A warm September night in a deep pine forest. I’m stacking firewood for the long-anticipated gathering of Weekend Warriors, come to slay rocks, trade tales and get loose among friends.

The Sun has departed, something about a prior engagement to the West. The Full Moon is expected, but is fashionably late. I drop an armload of dry wood into the roofed crib, my hands and arms streaked black with pitch, sticky, smelling gloriously of pine, and turn to appreciate the evening’s symphony: cicadas in the meadow down by the river, a chorus of tree frogs surrounding me, the distant hum of short-haulers dieseling up the hill on their way to Points Unknown.

Then you glide in, silent as the sky, curiosity conquering caution, come to see what the commotion could be. I smile, and settle back against a tall stump. I had hoped, dreamed, wished for you without having the temerity to speak your name, without daring to expect you, without believing I deserved you.

But here you are, securing your perch, taking my measure, and before long, asking the Eternal Question, your lucid eyes fixed upon my sorry silhouette, “Whooo?

I let the night slide past like a slow-moving cloud. There’s a pace to this, like leaves falling, like a vole snuffling a circuitous path toward its destiny.

In time I take in the night air, cup my hands about my mouth, and exhale a reply: “Hoo-hoooo!”

Your head swivels, tilts, feathers fluffing. You digest me as the minutes pass.

Then, shoulders hunched, forward-leaning, you catch an unseen current and glide away, not away, but to a nearer pulpit. Now my head swivels, shoulders hunched, a lesson well learned, thank you, and I ask again: “Whooo?

The thinness of my entreaty startles me. I had meant to sing your song, but instead had sung mine.

We’ve had this conversation before, you and I.

Your forward lean becomes a trajectory, and you disappear into the night.

Comments»

1. Phydeaux Speaks - September 28, 2007

Dude, you can’t ever say that you’re not a writer! I was right there witchya. Of course, the hooter outside the Secret Lair (aka ’73 Winnebago) might have contributed to the effect. He’s been hanging out for the last couple weeks, making the kitties nervous. Somehow they know that owls are to be feared, not looked upon as a meal, as all other birds are.

2. Phydeaux Speaks - September 28, 2007

Oh, and have a great time this weekend and take care of your shoulder!

3. DCup - September 28, 2007

What Phydeaux said.

Wow, can you storytell. You continue to amaze me with posts like these.

4. FranIAm - September 28, 2007

That was amazing. Like Phydeaux, I felt transported to the scene. This is really, really good.

The owl… archetype for wisdom.

Beautiful.

5. sherry - September 28, 2007

that was neat. i feel blessed when the occasional owl decides to stop and hoot outside of my bedroom window, in the middle of the night.
doesn’t happen often sad to say.
last year i was lucky enough to have 2 , some distance apart by the sound of it, hooting softly back and forth. i laid there for over an hour just listening.
you were a lucky man.

6. littlebangtheory - September 29, 2007

Thanks, All. I grappled with word choices and sentence structures ’till I fell asleep at the keyboard. I think I posted that with my forehead.

This morning I checked that mess and cleaned up some obvious gaffs, repetitions of turns-of-phrase which I apparently was overly fond of. (I know, “never end a sentence with a preposition.” Unless I feel like it, Mom!)

Again, I’m happy that you felt a bit of what transpired. I was striving for a present-tense presence.

I’m always surprised if my rustic ramblings connect with people whose real writing I so respect.


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