Bird migration makes me think of The Clash's song, "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" I watch my backyard trees for movement; is it someone I know or a new visitor? The house finches, crows, towhees, and hummingbirds have been constant over the years. They have been joined by the black phoebe and the oak titmouse, and chestnut-backed chickadee, and the yellow-rumped warbler. Other birds come in and some leave; it's like a circle dance. In Helen Macdonald's new book, Vesper Flights, she writes, among other essays, about watching bird migration from the vantage point of the sky: from atop the Empire State building in New York City. The sky is constantly changing, sometimes not for the better.
In an earlier post, I wrote about my book, The Third Light, based on a biblical verse, Genesis 1.16: the Creator made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the smaller light to rule the night, and the stars. The book is about bird migration, light pollution and legibility. Birds reading stars and bird constellations.
Here is a new video in which I read the poem and haiku and chant the short Hebrew verse (thanks to my sister, who helped me learn it). My textile, Aquila, is featured at the end, being directly inspired by the research I was doing on bird constellations. Ambient transportation sounds were taken directly from out my window.
The Third Light