A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Pallid Bust of Pallas

The crows are still around, flying into the neighborhood at dusk and leaving at dawn, thousands of them. They make a racket at those times, as well as whenever they're disturbed during the night. If she hears a rustle of wings on our midnight walk, Taz barks at them, which sets off more flapping, lots of cawing, more barking, more flapping, more cawing, more barking. Sorry, neighbors.

The noise isn't so bad. I'm a lover of language, whether it's my own or that of another species and therefore essentially meaningless to me. They're going over their day I guess, occasionally warning one another about things like my dog, and maybe fighting over who gets the highest perch in the tree.

The droppings are another matter. Pretty disgusting. The snowbanks are orange--I guess they're eating a lot of berries. Cars that have to park on the curb are covered with bird shit. I've taken to wearing a slicker on my walks, just in case.

A little worrisome are the dead crows beginning to litter the landscape. Crows don't live too long, sometimes only a year or two, so with this many hanging around, there are bound to be some casualties. I've got five in my tiny yard alone, I can see several more in the park and court behind me, and I'm running across them in snowbanks as I walk around the neighborhood. Crows are very susceptible to West Nile virus. Could that be what's killing them?

I don't really want to fool around with diseased carcasses. But I have to admit to a fascination with taxidermy. I grew up in a house full of glass cases of raccoons, weasels, foxes, and birds. For $60, a guy on Reimers Road in Monson will stuff a crow. I can't think of too many things I'd rather have in my house than a beady-eyed crow, perched on a pallid bust of Pallas over my door. Too cool!

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Anonymous Leslie said...

And what house was that you grew up in, pray tell, it wasn't the same as me!
Your favorite sister

10:29 AM  
Blogger Cicily Corbett said...

Dear little sister--

That house was on Dale Street in Aldenville. You were probably too young to remember it, although you WERE there. It had glass cases full of taxidermy in the living room and on the sunporch. I'll take a drive by one day soon and photograph it--although it's in sad shape these days. I'll make it a blog entry...maybe something will come back to you.

11:38 AM  

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