Monday, October 13, 2008

The Birds

They'd been there for a long time, haunting the subconscious. Decades. A favourite book from childhood, line drawings of New Zealand native species. Page after page. Seals and shells, fish and flies, wetas and katipos ... and birds. The descriptions as eidetic as the drawings. The Wandering Albatross (top), "is one of nine magnificent species found in New Zealand waters. These birds range the vast turbulent southern ocean, but at least seven of them nest regularly on selected breeding grounds either among the southern islands of New Zealand or at the Chatham Islands." Seeing them again, in daylight as it were, is startling. Remembering them from the dreamed flock in the night, the flock of many species. Realising, in a small epiphany, where they came from. That book. Which sits there in the sediments of memory, settling in the subconscious. To form that flock that fluttered through a dream, the heavy wing beats of the fully palpable chunky birds.
Perhaps one should not 'pluck at the heart of mystery', yet, there is certain delight in discovery, reunion.

"The ibis is splendid. The owl working over the trout with its talons has a proper ferocity, and I'd recommend that you put birds into action more often -- have them doing something." Isaac Sprague to Fabian Vas. Howard Norman, The Bird Artist.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Melancholic? when Tale of Tales is now on You Tube!