in which witness is borne: birds, politics, fiction and critical art theory

climbing thermals

Thursday, May 18, 2006
this isn't much of a birding post, since i haven't been much of a birder lately. But i've been shifting my eyes to the sky whenever i think of it, and noticing the swallows and other birds turning slow gyres upward in the late afternoon and early evening (well, except for yesterday, when it first thundered, then rained and then hailstones the size of small grapes clattered onto the pavement and brought down nearly every leaf that's opened on every tree on the block in the past month.).

anyway what the birds are doing is climbing thermals; that is, finding vertical cones of air that are warmer and circling to the edges of the cones until they reach the top, whereupon they get cold and go in search of another thermal. Thermals can reach remarkably high into the atmosphere. A birder last spring noted that sandhill cranes go really high, even out of eyesight range. But I haven't seen any sandhill cranes this year.

so i've been wondering just what to do with my writing, this little thing i've been doing all of my life, which flows as easily as water and is as hard to do without for any length of time. and the thermals thing kind of gets to me. It makes me think that there are pockets of kindness, of metaphorical warmth, in the world where my writing might be welcomed and read. That there is a kind of cold field of emptiness which seems uniformly hostile--e.g., the publishing world--but which in fact may contain areas of hidden habitability, places where my work could live and climb and thrive. So i'm going to try for it.

If i locate one, i hope I'll feel it right away and start climbing.

Wish me luck.
9:43 PM :: ::
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