Every leaf is pointing east. The trees bend and the building moans, all yielding to the unseen prevailing wind. It is another day of weather. I have turned on the heaters in each room and crawled back into bed with the cat at my side. From here, I look toward a day on my own in the studio. “What are you working on?” people ask. It is a simple but difficult questions. I will leaf through some papers, watch for the sun, read something, maybe write a few lines, shuffle some objects on my work table, and look out the window. It looks like idleness.... especially compared to irrigating, plowing, feeding, or balancing books. But it is only idle to the chastising voice in my head... when I let her speak.
The windows have been closed against strong winds and cold temperatures. I barely heard the call. It came out of the twilight, the wind having calmed after two days of agitating everything in its path. I cracked the window to hear better. Was it an owl? I hear mourning doves every day with their owl like calls, but this was different. I followed the call from window to window. When it grew too faint to discern, I went to the internet to confirm what I thought. There is something slightly offensive to me about spelling out bird calls. Hoo, hoo-hoo, hoo, hoo, does not remotely describe the wildness that comes from an owl’s bulging throat and syrinx. Or worse....translating calls to human language., “Who cooks for you?” or even Shakespeare’s lyrical, “To-whit; To-who.” The great horned owl out my window was clearly untamed and uncultivated to human speech. It was the owl’s own innate animal voice that drew me to listen, stirring affinity and estrangement at once.