My neighbor is playing music at full blast. This isn't a city neighbor who I share a wall, ceiling, or floor with. It isn't a city neighbor whose hand I could touch if we both leaned out our windows at the same time, arms outstretched. It's a suburban neighbor. A house just close enough that I can throw a rock and hit it. Though I'm not making any predictions of my future behavior.
For some reason, the music of choice is disco. Last week as we were enjoying a three-generation dinner on the patio, it was "Car Wash." My husband sang along.
It's been smokey here for the last two weeks. Since we got home, really, between the Bellevue Arts Fair and the smoke I haven't seen the blue sky. And I have't seen the birds. We live right under the flightpath for mass murder of crows as they fly home each night at dusk. Or, at least, we used to. Are they staying inside because of the smoke? I know we are. Have they decided that they've had enough of the neighbor's loud music? I know we have.
And it's "Car wash" again. Oh, woah, oh.
But I miss the birds. Hundreds upon hundreds of birds flying over your head at night as they head home is the subtle magic of putting your existence in perspective. Every day, just as I do, the crows go to work. Every night, just as I do, the crows go home. The crows glide peacefully overhead: wings in place of cars, open sky in place of road, and the full, sharp, caws communicate what we need horns and cell phones for. Under their highway I find a feeling that I covet: one of smallness, and of being divinely interconnected with the other beings I share this earth with.
I'll share more about this feeling at a later time. It's one I am just starting to understand, and more importantly, to understand why it is a feeling that is so precious to me. For now, I'll leave you with these blackbirds. If I can't stand under a mass murder of crows, at least I can make a cloud of blackbirds.
(all pieces available at Blackbird, in Marquette, MI)