All these birds have flown into my vision at Muriwai Beach
The Beauty of Birds
Morepork, Gannet, Brown Booby
a mated pair of Rosella Parrots, Fantail
Pheasant, Pukeko and Mapie
Tui, Tui, Tui
White Faced Heron still as a hermit
Kingfisher, Bell Bird, Wood Pigeon
all these feathered marvels of flight have either passed through the garden as I sit with coffee and notebook, watching the sun light the tops of trees,
sighted on my walk past the tannin waters of the pond
or startled by my footsteps, flown up and soared from the ridge
riding the thermals toward the sea
birds, bees, trees, forests
tribes of the forest are disappearing
is disappearing, words are being torn from mouths
tongues, languages, cultures
but in this protected bit of eden
still lives a piece of the wild
In all their beauty
I watch them coming and going
in the heavens
and in my nightsky arrive her messengers
Here in Muriwai, at Earthskin Residency I am being fed by my encounter with a piece of the wild. I have been granted time and space in which to let “ the facts form a poem in my mind”. (pg. 31 Learning to Die, Wisdom in the Age of Climate Change”) I quote Robert Bringhurst and Jan Zwicky referring to the physicist Michael Faraday lecturing on electricity at the Royal Institute London in 1858 who stated; “I am no poet but if you think for yourselves, as I proceed, the facts will form a poem in your mind”.
Bringhurst says “let’s have more truth, more birdsong, more reverential silence, and less jabber”.
Letting the facts form a poem in your mind is, or can be invited as a way of thinking and being in the world, a way of following uncertainties toward a discovery, it is an unfolding, a letting go. It is letting something happen as a way of being and belonging in the world, it is the way the wild unfolds. If one practices this way of being, one feels enlivened and enlarged. This is a kind of thinking “like an eco-system, like a planet, like a world,” quoting Bringhurst again. ”just by spending a day in the wild-alone with reality, keeping quiet and letting things unfold”, is the way to finding life’s poetry.
And finally, Bringhurst says “The wild is the only place to go to calibrate your mind. There really is no other place.” “Only the wild can calibrate your mind because its what your mind was born from”. (pg. 31 Learning to Die, Wisdom in the Age of Climate Change”)
As artists, we live in these uncertainties, the edge of the unknown is the mysterious place from which our work arrives. It is to embrace not knowing with a willingness to trust what we do not know that is the source from which to invite our most authentic response. We must trust even through the fallow periods and the necessary times of rest and “non-productive” hours of idling or days seemingly passed without result. This has been one of the biggest gifts of my time here at Earthskin. To sit and muse, to let the mind and pen wander without expectation. Give yourself this gift.