A Robin Red Breast in a Cage

Posted on June 30, 2011


Puts all heaven in a rage.

~ William Blake, Augeries of Innocence

It’s been a good day let’s say. Morning, woke, ate an avocado and a slice of peanut butter  on toast.  Read the morning paper, learned about local politicians stealing money from public schools. A suspected killer on trial for murdering eleven woman and living among their bodies.

Leave all that. Leave the world of those things.

Went for an hour and ten minute bike ride in the Ohio countryside. Was passed by maybe three cars the entire time. A whole lot different than weaving in and out of city traffic. A whole lot different.

Came home and did yoga in the mid day sunlight under a nice whirring fan. Went and showered in the open air bathroom, with light falling through everywhere. No need for electricity.

Went for a hike with two of the dogs, two of the family members. Trespassed (if that is what you want to call it. boundaries- what are they good for?) across the neighbor’s property, through a thicket of pine, ivy, prickers, into a field of cattail, wheat, cheat grass, crab apple. Took the dogs on a barefoot slough into the river. Slow moving river. The water ankle deep in most places, knee deep in others. Most of the river bottom lined with beautiful skin smooth shale that is slick, but holds the toe grip, with some stretches of rock more than twenty feet long but paper thin. It is gorgeous and good for the feet to walk upon. The dogs splash around, lay their bellies along the cool suave surface.

We spotted a temporarily permanent school of fish. Clearly this river was running. The amount of winter that melted off this year seemed more immense that year’s past, and I  wasn’t even around. I didn’t even get back till late June. It was evident from the amount of runoff that sits on the hyperextended banks. The river ran high and powerful this spring. The dam down in the valley was washed away after standing for my entire life. The river flows freer now. Fish can swim another eight miles upstream. The ecosystem is restoring itself. It makes me think it would be good to burst more dams. The place looks healthy. It feels fresh. I would lay my body into it if I was hot enough, but I haven’t even worked up a sweat.

Indicator species. It is good to know what they are. Consider two basic ones. Butterflies and Bees. They teach kids about reproduction (maybe that was the birds and the bees) and they let us know when our world is going awry. They are both in severe decline. This is not part of any global weather trend. Or the cycles of life as Massey Corporation and other execs are inclined to argue. It is real. Things are dying. Will die. Faster. And we are gonna stand on like the spectator population we have grown to become. Millions watching a few talented. Sports. Music. Art. We worship, generally, a celebrity culture. You can dictate what many millions of us will be doing at the same time on any given day. That is the sign of a weakening species.

Posted in: Uncategorized