The Quarantined Self

birds nest

A certain sense of pride of place. I was here first, nine months ago, in isolation.  Alone with the minimalist worries of solitude. Enough cigarettes? How many days have I worn this shirt? One of those dilemmas today—the birds have returned, cardinals and robins, arrived as if booked on the equinox moon, welcomed, pairs chasing each other in foreplay flight around the yard. One robin—or is it two? each species has its own customs—decided to build its honeymoon nest on a blade of the overhead fan in the carport, right outside my study window. A bum idea. The fan is still today, but any fair breeze will revolve it, launching the nest. I am impressed by the bird’s relentless industry. I recently read an article about how architects have been mesmerized by the complex physics of nest construction. Blackboards filled with chalked formulas. A fair amount of construction material is discarded onto the hood of our silver Corolla below. The dilemma: do I switch on the fan and dislodge this labor-intensive piece of avian art, or do I allow its completion and await the inevitable tossing of the nest with its unhatched or tweeting inhabitants? How do you inform the innocent of their errors? Something ethical to ponder on an otherwise empty day. Connie doesn’t want robin shit on the car. I turn on the fan. The almost-finished empty nest survives its cement floor landing, a perfect round chalice composed of nature’s basest detritus. I want to apologize, but to what?

 

5 thoughts on “The Quarantined Self

    • UPDATE: The following day she returned and started building anew on the fan, and again I turned it on, Her instinct versus mine. Finally, yesterday, she switched locations, to the top of a fence post in a protected nook against the house just a few meters from the window beside my desk, where I can more closely follow her now nearly frenetic building. She watches me watching her. It’s as if we’ve formed a kind of relationship. In your face. A solitude companion.

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  1. Lovely. Part of me wishes that you and Connie were here to welcome our spring, but I know Connie is doing well down there. I hope you are too

    Ann

    On Wed, Mar 25, 2020, 10:10 PM John Enright: Reality Salad wrote:

    > John Enright posted: ” A certain sense of pride of place. I was here > first, nine months ago, in isolation. Alone with the minimalist worries of > solitude. Enough cigarettes? How many days have I worn this shirt? One of > those dilemmas today—the birds have returned, cardinals a” >

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  2. Thanks, John. Enjoyed this very much and reminds me of all our many crazy times together oh, so long ago but this brings us closer. Hugs. Audrey

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