Scores of crows in the trees overhead

crows3
We’ve got flocks of crows in the neighbourhood. Occasionally, they choose the trees in our yard and gather in the bare branches. Even when they are silent, their wings rustle heavily, a sensation of suspended watchfulness. It’s hard not to think of them as being a sign. Though of what? I often hear them calling loudly in the early morning. On a less poetical note, their poop is everywhere.

This early morning my alarm went off, and I thought, no, I don’t feel like swimming. I’m fighting a cold that has claimed part of my voice, and I’m on the mend, and somehow submerging my head in cold water for an hour didn’t seem terribly wise. So, as my friend Nath would say, I “logicked” myself out of getting up, turned off the alarm and napped restlessly for another twenty minutes. But I couldn’t return to peaceful sleep. Apparently I’ve now trained myself to be AWAKE at 5am, alarm or no alarm. Exercise every day was the mantra that shoved me out of bed. I didn’t feel like going to hot yoga, but went anyway. I wanted to be doing something that amped up the lungs and the heart, rather than strengthening and stretching and being all zen and calm and whatnot.

This will be good for you, I told myself.

And I won’t deny that it was.

Sometime in the future, however, I can imagine rising early to write. Yes, it’s early, but I feel so AWAKE. The house is so PEACEFUL. I could write for four hours and it would only be 9:30 or so. Then I could nap. Then I could meet someone for lunch. Then I could exercise. Then I could write some more. Then someone would make me supper. And do the laundry and the dishes. (The children would be able to care for themselves.) Wait, this is turning into full-fledged fantasy.

Clearly something at which I excel.

crow2
small crow

Here is the crow just landing, or just taking off, from the larger photo above. The wings are a blur. There is something about the colour and tone and the scratchiness of the branches that looks like brush-strokes on mottled paper. The density of the silhouette.

This morning I’ve been taking pencil to page and crossing out words here, pointing arrows there, timing myself reading passages out loud and noting the times down. I’m turning this copy of Juliet into my reading copy. I’m not sure whether I’m just landing, or just taking off.

Is this what Alice Munro would do?
Prepping for a party

4 Comments

  1. I love the excerpted bit of the photo. The scratchiness is very cool.

    There’s a murder of crows that pass our office every day on their way to some roost in East Vancouver. I know what you mean about the sounds when they amass in one location!

    Thanks for the post, and for supporting Canadian books with the 49th Shelf badge. It’s greatly appreciated!

    All the best from your friends at 49th Shelf,
    Monique

    Reply
  2. Hi Monique,

    thanks for your note! I’m thrilled to support the 49th Shelf, any way I can. Best of luck as you continue to expand.

    Carrie

    Reply
  3. your writing.
    it is so evocative.

    Reply

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