Monday, August 6, 2012
Turning off the tap
I love the antiphonal singing of the black and white magpie lark, a dance of harmonies intermingled evoking a sense of place and of connection. One has decided that the mirror of my car poses a threat perching awkwardly this bird attacks his own image with persistence and energy determined no doubt to see off a threat so perfectly matched to his own. There is a philosophical moment of reflection about the uselessness of some of the ways I project energy when in a more reasoned moment I am engaging with an image I have created, assuming a stance and losing a wider more nuanced perspective. I want to turn off the tap of this bird. Something in me imagines the spine jarring crash of slender bill against toughened mirror glass with a sense of empathy that shakes me with discomfort. There is the concern over mirrors so expensive to replace and the need to remove the bird droppings that accumulate below the smeary mirror. I take care to remember to fold in the drivers mirror on leaving the car and closing the door. When I forget, the moment of guilt as the tap continues unabated. This tap could be anything, a branch blowing against the porch, a mechanical tap of some domestic machine that serves a useful purpose, the drum of fingers against a table to aid immersion in a book or the tap of a hot engine cooling after the assault on the winding climbing road from the plain. A tap of gentle rain is welcome, somehow enclosing the listener in a sense of security. The wild tap of the magpie lark is dispiriting, grating into the inner being with a sense of uselessness, pain, discomfort and anxiety. Tap tap tap, this enemy in the mirror will not be defeated, this is a dual to the death unless somehow the image is so smeared in pain that the contest is too obscured to continue. Tap tap tap. Dear bird resume your wild, melodic antiphonal singing that calls forth my gratitude. Bird fly away, please!