Saturday, February 2, 2008

Silent Poetry Day

Hey, I just found out today is 'Blogger's Silent Poetry Day'. Basically all you have to do to participate is post a poem you like or you have written on your blog today. In honor of BSPD, I will post one of my mom's favorite poems from Edna St. Vincent Millay and the reason she named me Penelope. It's about Queen Penelope from the Illiad and how hard it was for her for all those years while Ulysses was missing and thought dead during and after the Trojan War.

An Ancient Gesture
I thought, as I wiped my eyes on the corner of my apron:
Penelope did this too.
And more than once: you can't keep weaving all day
And undoing it all through the night;
Your arms get tired, and the back of your neck gets tight;
And along towards morning, when you think it will never be
And your husband has been gone, and you don't know where,
for years.
Suddenly you burst into tears;
There is simply nothing else to do.

And I thought, as I wiped my eyes on the corner of my apron:
This is an ancient gesture, authentic, antique,
In the very best tradition, classic, Greek;
Ulysses did this too.
But only as a gesture,—a gesture which implied
To the assembled throng that he was much too moved to speak.
He learned it from Penelope...
Penelope, who really cried.

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

wierd, happy, and sad

I was going to write about my very first delivery from the Rockin' Sock Club and the insanity that has ensued since, but somethings happened yesterday, so I'll explain the extent of my sock induced OCD nuttiness tomorrow. In the meantime, here's my weird, happy, and sad story.

I'm still working for the National Park Service until the end of June, so I work at home. Yesterday, mid afternoon I heard something smack hard against the back window and I see it drop like a stone to the the deck. I rush to the window and see a bird that looks alive but in shock. Its little beak was open like it was gasping for breath and it's eyes were open but not blinking. Its little breast was moving slightly.

I went outside and nudged it with my hand wrapped in a towel. It was definitely alive and still standing, but it was almost like it was paralyzed. I was sad and worried, so I called Mark who didn't know what to do. As I watched it a bit more it started to blink its eyes and close its beak a little, so I hoped it was starting to recover. I brought it a little bowl of water, and got right up close to it. It still wasn't moving, but was seeming more and more alert. Its little head was starting to move around. I nudged it with towel a couple of more times to make sure it wasn't stuck, and that its feet and wings weren't broken. It seemed fine, but still not ready to move on its own. It must have still been dazed to let me get that close and snap these pics.
This is with the little bowl of water I gave him/her, but she/her wasn't interested. (Yes, Molly this is one of your beautiful desert bowls. I didn't leave it out there long)

Pretty cute little bugger, huh?

A couple minutes later it started to hop away and then it flew off. I was so relieved and amazed that it hadn't been hurt. It was really cool to be so close to this bird and really look him (her?) in the eye. Its eyes were black and pretty and it didn't seem afraid of me, or maybe it just didn't have the strength to fly away yet and it was hoping I wasn't a predator. This little incident turned out happy and it was cool to get so close to one of our little visitors, but now Mark and I plan to get some cobweb stickers you can put on windows so that birds can see that they are not open doorways.

After that episode, I got back to work and, no lie, about an hour later I heard a louder harder smack against our front window. Now this window has a curtain in front of it so it can't possibly look like an open door, but sure enough a bigger bird had smashed himself right into it. Sadly, this one was dead on impact. I touched it with the towel and it just flopped over with its eyes unblinking and unmoving. When Mark got home, we put this one in the wooded area behind our house, but it was a bummer.

Very weird to have this happen twice in one day. Birds sometimes lightly smack our windows or flutter against them, but to have 2 really hard smacks in one day was odd. I'm glad one of them survived, but am baffled and little bummed by the second incident. It wasn't even really windy out yesterday so who knows.

As promised I'll prattle on about my knitting nuttiness tomorrow while I'm riding the couch and watching the superbowl. In the meantime, here's a pic of what the daily party on deck looks like.