Saturday, November 03, 2007

Wild cockatiel in Beaufort, NC

I had never before seen a parrot in the wild, nor am I all that likely to again, so this one experience I'll treasure for its novelty and its rarity, as well as the beauty of the bird itself. In short, it is the unexpected bird that I remember, in the same way that I remember rainbows: a misty bow over Loch Lochy in Scotland, a fat tropical one over the water as we traveled to Hanauma Bay on Oahu, a spectacular double bow that drew everyone out of Breadmen's Restaurant after a thunderstorm in Chapel Hill, a colossal horizon-to-horizon double bow that filled Woodberry's eastern sky at sunset in early June. It's not that I disapprove of chasing rainbows from time to time--that's the whole raison d'etre of most liberal arts majors, when you get down to it--but if you expected them to appear in Breadmen's parking lot, you probably wouldn't abandon your omelet to go look at one. The greatest beauty of the rainbow, and by extension the bird, is that whether you're in Kansas, Key West, or Kennebunkport, you can always be surprised. They can turn up anywhere, at any time.

--Peter Cashwell, The Verb 'To Bird'


  1. I'm sorry. I meant to mention this book to you a long time ago.

    Forgive me?

    And I'm off to get a haircut that will wipe out any extra cash that might've been used to buy books this month.


"I don't believe in ghosts, but I see them all the time."

Sherman Alexie cancels book tour for memoir about his mother.