Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Little happinesses

Babies! Cockatiel joy and cuteness abounds!

At one point, SunRa put a rice cake on top of the babies and went off to eat with ChaCha. I took the rice cake out of the cage so he didn't get anymore bright ideas.

Periodically I can hear a high, rhythmic squeak which I know from observation is the sound of a parent bird aggressively pumping predigested food into the gaping maw of one of the tiny babies. When I went down to see them this afternoon, their crops were stretched to three times the size of the little heads. They're odd looking and scarily vulnerable and fragile but, silly as they are, SunRa and Cha seem to be good parents and to know what they're doing--most of the time, at least.

Someone with more talent than I possess documented their baby cockatiels' first 30 days in a charming and delightful video here.

I read an interview today that made me want to right poetry again; most of all it made me want to spend some serious, thoughtful time with the work of Dawn Potter in particular (Dawn is here interviewed by Nin Andrews) and current poetry in general. Both Mary Oliver and Billy Collins have recent books out as well. I am grateful for the noodling around and restful day that allowed me to run across and read the interview. Dawn is a smashing talent and her work grabs me by the heart.

The past couple of days I've put in some happy hours catching up on BBC4's "The Archers", the engrossing radio serial about the fictional UK town of Ambridge. Because my only first-hand experience of Great Britain is Skipton in the Yorkshire Dales, I picture Ambridge and surrounds as very like Skipton. The trials and triumphs of the farming families give me great comfort for some reason--and without fail each episode feeds my rampant Anglophilia. I've recently discovered that there are books about The Archers as well as some audio digests that go way back--I only started listening 10 years ago and it's been on since the 1950s so I have a lot of catching up to look forward to if I can chase these down!

Monday, December 29, 2014


It's been a tough, tough year. The longest, deepest, most disabling depression I've ever experienced; financial and family challenges piled up when one alone would have been daunting; other heartbreaks I don't wish to mention specifically for superstitious reasons and to avoid being tiresome. A dear friend posted this list of "Ted Talks" compiled as a salve to a year such as this past and I am glad I watched each video on the list. Creativity, humor, courage, humility. All attributes I call on in mustering hope for a better 2015.

Talks to Watch When Every Conceivable Bad Thing Has Happened to You

In happier news on the domestic front, two little cockatiels hatched today in the nest of SunRa and ChaCha--experienced and loving parents who are now so very proud! There are 3 more eggs yet to be hatched; I have takers for two babies already--nothing would be lovelier than a nestfull of dandelion puffballs! Cockatiel Babies

Pajama-bound while recovering from what seems like a low-grade flu, and probably is aggravated by the "soul flu" of the past months, I've been immersing myself in Rob Lowe's engaging autobiography, "Stories I Only Tell My Friends", and alternating chapters with binges of "The West Wing", the excellent series I somehow never connected with when originally broadcast. I'm trying in various ways to fill in holes in my history--popular culture seems useful for this--and with so much available online it's an easy enough personal experiment. 

Rob Lowe recounts a hilarious misadventure performing in an awful number during the 1989 Academy Awards, so I had to follow up that reading by a YouTube viewing of some of that show, and then segued into trying to recover/assemble a sense of my childhood/family of origin identity by absorbing some popular culture from my birth year and just prior: 

The Academy Awards 1961