Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I wonder if angels have a moulting season. Based on the shape and texture of the cloud cover in recent days, I would have to say yes, they do, and that season is now. Nice how it coincides with the moulting season of birds here at the surface. I always pick up dozens of nice pidgeon feathers at this time of year. (I know pidgeons are hardly more than rats of the sky, but I like their feathers. I attach them to my medicine pouch, carry them around in my wallet, place them on altars around the house. They remind me of the virtue of being lighthearted, light as a feather, you know.)
Sometimes I find crow feathers, jet black and sticky. Once or twice I've picked up feathers from blue jays and cardinals. I like them all.
Recently I found a huge feather, more than a foot long. It's grayish, so not from a raven or crow. I'm lucky to have a friend who is a bird expert, who tells me my new feather is from a seagull, probably a Thompson gull. Go figure. I never even knew there was such a thing as a Thompson gull.
The gull feather works well as a tool for waving smudge through the air. I toyed with the idea of making a pen out of it, but quickly talked myself out of that project. The dexterity needed to make the quill pen, not to mention use it, is beyond my humble talents.
More complicated still would be to try to turn angel feathers into pens. Angel wing cloud formations come into being, then dissipate within ten or fifteen minutes, hardly enough time to write even a haiku. Though it would be a hulkin' dude of a haiku, no doubt. It's the nature of angels to be ephemeral. So be it. Thank you, dear bird people of the troposphere and stratosphere, for dropping your beautiful feathers into the sky over Washington DC. Bravo! Brava! and thanks!