Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Blizzard Continues, Pale Male, and Myth

Even the feeder is drifted over, and not a feathered or furred creature in sight.

Not quite, two intrepid squirrels are viewing the snowy scene as if they were at the movies.

Tail curled over her back, she eats snow.

Seeing me fill the sunflower seed feeder, she can barely wait for me to go into the house.

Then making sure that I stay inside, she goes to work.

Forthwith, putting her face into the feeder.

Heartened, even though it's still snowing, the Juncos go for the suet. Feeling heartened myself, because the birds are coming out, I decide it's time to go look for hawks. Country hawkwatcher Marian Anderson arrives in her four wheel drive vehicle and off we go.

The snow gets heavier, the wind kicks up, and the drifts begin to grow at an exponential rate. No hawks, not even a sparrow appears.
Marian's cell phone rings. Earlier her grown son Brandon had taken off in his Jeep to help a friend who's car was stuck in the snow at his storage unit. Now, not only is the friend stuck, but Brandon is stuck as well.
A quick change of plans and direction and off we go to mini-storage, the scene of the sticking. We drive into the lot of the car wash, reverse direction so the towing chain can be attached, and back up the rise toward storage---only to become stuck ourselves.

See the fence disappearing into the snow behind Marian and her snow shovel? That is a full sized fence.

Two and half hours of no birds, shovels, sand, chains, digging, and putting shoulders to the rear of cars ensues.

Then I see a bird struggling against the wind. The Starling finally makes it into the cover of the conifer. He disappears and I'm called back to help.

The wind and snow increase. One car freed. And the next time I turn around, there are at least a dozen Starlings perched on the wire behind us. Has a Cooper's Hawk invaded their Spruce flushing the Starlings to the wire? Or have they just become bored after being hold-up for a day and a half and are now watching our car unsticking efforts for something to do. They continue to watch.
The second car is freed and the third, which immediately becomes stuck again. The snow continues and so do we.
Then, thankfully, a near miracle appears coming up the rise. Another friend with a truck and snowplow just happens by. All are freed and so are we-- to make our ways home as night falls.
Tired, slap happy, and perhaps sillily triggered by all the digging, a guote of Gandhi's keeps running through my head, "To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves." Well, I certainly had forgotten myself for awhile but I was sure it wasn't the kind of forgetfulness that Gandhi was talking about.

But watching the snow swirl outside, now brings a quote of Joseph Campbell's to mind, for no reason I can immediately grasp. I can't even recall it properly. I begin looking for it. Found, along with many of his and others which seem to bear on the moment.
"The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.
Awe is what moves us forward."

"Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen among the beauties and mysteries of the earth, are never alone or weary of life." Rachel Carson

"Nature abhors a vacuum, and if I can only walk with sufficient carelessness I am sure to be filled." Henry David Thoreau
And more by Joseph Campbell--
"The influence of a vital person vitalizes, there's no doubt about it. The world without spirit is a wasteland."
Pale Male certainly has spirit, now doesn't he?

And then---"Myth must be kept alive. The people who can keep it alive are artists of one kind or another. The function of the artist is the mythologization of the environment and the world."

I think of the evening Pale Male roosted in a tree just like this one and of the people who follow his life--
"...Living myths are not mistaken notions, and they do not spring from books. They are not to be judged as true or false but as effective or ineffective, maturative or pathogenic. They are rather like enzymes, products of the body in which they work; or in homogeneous social groups, products of a body social. They are not invented but occur, and are recongized by seer, and poets, to be then cultivated and employed as catalysts of spiritual (i.e., psychological) well being." Joseph Campbell
Sleep well and dream--
Donna Browne


Anonymous said...

Thank you.

For the wondrous pictures of the snow, and for the words, of others and of your own.........


Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I thought I'd posted this already. Guess I didn't do it correctly.

The snow fall images are wonderful, as are the quotes -- and your own words.