and every last kiss
I'm neither poetic, nor a writer of grace, so vaguely self-conscious in my reactions to writing like this. But the persistent mystery of consciousness is now permitting some interesting and non-mystical enquiries into the possibilities that consciousness might possibly be a distributed phenomenon that is literally shared *between* beings. It's amusing to note that if you ask yourself if the most recent thought you had was really your own, it's impossible to empirically demonstrate that it was. Which plays into a longstanding suspicion that thoughts have us and not vice versa. There may be more (in a scientific context) to your sense of connection with those birds than you even intuit now. Amusingly, I feel it with trees too.
As with David's posts, I pause and am reminded to pause. It is a lovely thing to read of the goldfinches and that you are noticing them. (A charm! Didn't know that was the collective noun for finches. Brilliant.) When we were just away, I would spend several minutes each morning deliberately watching the plantain squirrels dart across tree branches, taking the time to notice that I was noticing. Now I'm back at work and sucked into routine, I must remind myself to do that more (albeit in a far less exotic location, sans squirrels), so thank you for this morning reminder, Chloe 🙏
Thank you too for the quotes and beautiful poem.
As you describe it, I can almost hear the hushed silence settling over the millions of people gathered in Trafalgar Square. Sadly, we are making wars faster than our ability to protest them. I love the poem you closed with. Ross Gay has a gift for capturing and illuminating moments like this.
Beautiful writing, beautiful day, beautiful you. 💕
Beautiful, thank you. I'm in full favor of stopping everything to look at birds.
It's lovely to read about this day again. I was 20 or 21. We had been going down to London for anti-war demonstrations since autumn 2001. But this one was different. You mention the wave of noise and I'm glad you did, because this was the first time I heard it (it happened again when Bush visited later in the year). It seemed to require a critical mass of people. Hundreds of thousands? Not a chant, but a roar, pulsating through the crowd. Like the crowd becoming conscious, becoming one thing. Like you and the goldfinches.
You heard drumming. I wasn't drumming that day, but shortly after I joined one of the samba bands. I don't think I was very good, but that didn't seem to matter. It was all about being part of something back then.
Thanks again for sharing.
"May we all take on the work of rigorously examining the fixed ideas to which we have become attached." This introspection on a large scale seems so hopelessly impossible to me, Chloe. BUT -"I once kissed the hand of a dying woman with such sincerity that I swear the kiss contained an echo of every kiss ever given as though it were the last." This is one of the most beautiful lines I have ever read. Thank you.
It's those who interrupt the patterns of daily life, those who can stop us in our tracks (albeit sometimes curiously jarring) that can remind us what is truly important. That we can type these simple words out is a sign it is a beautiful day for sure. A beautiful piece (again) to provide a break in the day :)
Wow - what a memory... beautiful story...
Is that crow on the payroll?
Thank you for this.. for dipping in and out of the consciousness of the collective, the Goldfinch , the drum beats and harmonics - and for weaving them into your being and into this beautiful contemplation- thank you for the gift of your art and for the ways it merges into the consciousness of those who read and feel it... love you, tiny bird. 🐦 💗✨
It’s an act of rebellion and sanguinity to bring our one, precious consciousness into communion with another’s. It’s so simple, yet such a tiny miracle if I stop to think about it. And yay for unfixing our mind’s notions of how things ought to be! You probably knew I’d get behind that one.:)
"I very much like the idea of my consciousness uniting with these Goldfinches, so I have taken to stopping whatever I am doing when they appear. It makes for some disjointed conversations, but it is entirely worth it. Reality has a way of becoming particularly interesting when we gather up the entirety of ourselves and channel it toward a singular focus." Thank you, Chloe, for reminding us to break out of our everyday for the sake of what is right in front of our eyes!
Yes. Thank you for this. It did stop me and resulted in this reply. Being stopped in you act so you consider some other way of knowing can be life changing. It can be simpler and feel safer as the limpet on the rock. But we can’t then grasp what we are missing. I worry about those MEGA limpets. Never easy to change minds. For the limpet it could be a pollution threat that robs them of safety. What can be a compassionate wake-up call for our species? I hope we find ones that work.
Beautiful, Chloe, every word, each thought, and whilst I love all that you do, I was particularly moved by this line:" I once kissed the hand of a dying woman with such sincerity that I swear the kiss contained an echo of every kiss ever given as though it were the last."💜
It is the best! I am extending a welcome to you if you are ever in my neck of the woods! I don’t know if I have shared with you that I was a critical care nurse in my previous life and that I have had lots of death, dying and suffering experience. It is a strange thing in that everyone has it happen through out their lives but it is rarely spoken about. I find it to be a beautiful thing and want to share with others but it is frowned upon. Weird. I am actively working on my wishes with my family. I watched a great movie the other night-Our Friend. It was really good and showed how fucking hard a good death is on everyone involved but how it is worth it. Keep up the good work and stop by anytime💕💕💕
Wow, that last poem was splendid. I think about you often, being a doula, and I wonder if it is something I feel drawn to. I wasn't there when my father died, I arrived an hour later. But the time I spent with him as he died changed me. We spent many quiet hours together over his life, driving, sitting together and reading. And it ended quietly for us. I wish that for those who need it. You must be great at it.