ecstatic celestial gestures
As my mom inched closer to death, I gave her two photo books. She loved Solkaer's Black Sun. Fukase's Ravens less so, but you see the theme I was working on. Through that long period, we were working to finish my wife's film. It's a swirl. It is always a swirl trying to lock in the final form. I'd bounce from trying to get one more detail from one of my mother's favorite tales, to trying to give the right notes to what the cut of my wife's film was eliciting. Everything reached the end around the same time and then off we went on the road to share the film, never quite getting the breath to place the grief, the loss, and then wham! We too got hit with Covid, again, and despite all the shots and precautions. We've lifted off again, caught up in the murmuration, unclear of the design, and just trying to catch on to the changing shapes. Thanks for sharing all this Chloe.
I'm so sorry to hear of the covid Chloe. I hope you're on the mend, and if not yet then soon.
Beautiful words, aching with truth. "...creeping display of arboreal attunement" is pure poetry.
I have felt much of the same sense of guilt this last week. I am at the point where it is crippling to read the news, yet I want to remain informed of what is happening. Yet in doing so I feel I am a spectator in something I do not want to be part of, or that I have no right to purely be reading about from half a world away. Even today, when sitting down for lunch, I had pangs of "how dare I have the freedom to do such as sit here and eat what I like in such safety." Argh.
As ever, you express the inexpressible, and my heart is thankful.
Re: murmurations. I have been lucky to see quite a few. They are unreal. I second the notion that they may be doing it purely for the thrill.
I’ll watch the clips shortly as I know my brain will short circuit wanting to join the ballet of birds. (They’re like watching visual music.)
I have been limiting my exposure to TV and also trying to limit what I read. I want to know ‘enough’ but I don’t want to dull my brightness too much. I don’t feel guilt for enjoying the beauty of our world. I believe my role is to remind others that beauty exists - just as you have done here - because that knowledge is the only way through. Nature is extraordinary. No matter what happens the sun continues to rise and set. Thank goodness.
Take care dear Chloe. Get well soon dear soul.
Beautiful words. Get well soon Chloe. Peace, and birds.
Chloe, I hope you feel better soon. What an interesting post and brilliant photos. I read an article a few years back that showed how mathematicians had showed that this phenomenal is actually quite mathematical, with birds moving both individually and in unison to keep the distance between them constant. It's a wonder. Thank you for sharing.
I'm glad you're on the mend, and thank you for this beautiful tribute to starlings and bird murmuration! May we all remember to look away from the horrors of the human world and find inspiration as the real world--the interactions that weave this living planet--goes about its business regardless of our species' atrocities. Blessings to you!
Feel better, Chloe!
Two quick thoughts and shares: Not starlings, but Portland friends probably think of the swifts that put on show nightly during the migration season. People/families gather on a hill next to the elementary as they go into the chimney. Saw it once, lovely thing.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHgEAIK8P18&t=34s
Wow, the sounds of the mumuration in the video are incredible...I might need to figure out how to sample.
Also, kind of random, but I love the song "Black Starling" by Pure Bathing Culture. https://open.spotify.com/track/5yoF3SZuARlfd7RoEo4Kjv?si=a2ee963074ab4a39
This one gave me chills. You have an uncanny ability to articulate thoughts and emotions that I used to believe were too sacred for words. Best of the best.
I hope you recover soon, my dear. Take it easy, and don't feel guilty. This is a beautiful ode to the starlings. There's something so moving and meditative about their movements, bringing us back to nature and humanity. You evoked it well with your lovely pen.
Yes to joy! I'm always flabbergasted when humans still won't accept that other beings also have deep emotional lives that includes everything from sadness to joy. Thank you for this reminder. I hope you feel better soon.
Beautiful Chloe. And get well swoon!
In a sharing of guilt (and even with a minor case of pneumonia to go with your COVID), I offer you this:
What kind of times are these
when a conversation about trees
is almost a crime
because it implies silence
about so many atrocities.
So sorry to hear you're sick this week, Chloe. It is horrible to feel joy or satisfaction in anything given the atrocities that are happening at this moment, and the inevitable momentum all this hatred and vengeance will generate far into the future. I listened to Ezra Klein's latest essay and it provided some solace just hearing his thoughtful and empathetic viewpoint in the face of this conflict. We can only hope there will be more voices like his in positions of political power.
I became infatuated with starlings earlier this year. I had no idea what an incredible virtuosity they possess in terms of vocalization. I went down a huge rabbit hole and wrote a short story with the starling as my point of inspiration. https://www.catchrelease.net/p/story-charlie-and-the-starling
PS here it’s Franklins gulls at the moment. I sat for an hour this morning hoping they would take off from the water, there were probably 1000 or more, but alas they were content on the water and I had to go to work.
Truly captivating story and images❤️
This is so magical. Beautiful words as always with a voice like honey. I hope one day to be as talented as you are, your stella work inspires me constantly 💕