Jan 29...wee hours (you don't need to know how wee)
Okay okay okay....I've been away. Everyone has to know by now the big week-long legendary ice storm coincided with my computer catastrophe. It snowed and it iced and my puter had great longings for it's tropical origin and rebelled. It's a hard drive thing I won't go into except to say I'm now working out of a tiny closet's worth of space as opposed to a mansion. It's in hiding. So I could be in the same algae-covered bottle floating seaward any moment... banished from Cyberia. The snow plow did its thing to the wrong side of the road for that entire week. My buried car had to be found purely by animal instinct. My heart was stricken with despair when finally I assessed that I'd be going nowhere until the spring melt. Unless! Some Arctic explorers (known for their steel will and fortitude) happened by and worked shifts just so muah could be free. But alas, there was only me. I worked shifts; it came off in four thick layers. The 4" outer snow of the day, a 2" layer of chunky crusty ice, another several inches of softer snow. And then. A hellish layer of ice requiring a hatchet. Many times I almost lost balance as my legs each were stilted in snow almost thigh-high. It took all day...it was during one of those rest breaks between that I wondered if I were crazy. If, indeed, I succeeded in chipping out the wooley mammoth, where could I go? Forecasts were unchanged. Usually snowed-in is a good feeling, but the dual action of no car and no computer left me near comatose.

Saving grace were my bird books/mags. Did you know that some birds lay their eggs with utter disregard to numbers, so if one disappears--no matter, carry on per usual (that would be me.) However, some birds want to lay a certain number of eggs, and by dammit, every one of em better be there when they get back if for some reason they have to leave the nest. Researchers discovered this by removing eggs from nests during egg laying days. Some birds seemed oblivious to the loss, but others kept laying and laying and laying like the energizer bunny, day after day as researchers continually removed eggs. Some layed up to 21 eggs in a stretch trying to retain a 9-12 or whatever count. That egg-snatching seemed a little sadistic to me, though comical. Poor birds, their bodies working feverish as a factory. They must have been frantic. Worn to a frazzle. (There's a limerick in there I believe!) Anyhow. Having thereby been immersed in my favorite subject for a sustained length of time, I had this epiphany. A large percentage of birders do their thing in groups. Crowds of birders with cams and binoculars line up along banks, wooded areas, waterside, and go on exotic birding excursions. Together. Astounding isn't it? The epiphany was that even as a birder my introverting tendencies persist. I know now that most of my birding will be solo or with just a couple others. Never really thought about that. The very thought of myself amongst a row of scopes set up along say the Niagara with a multitude of others is beyond annoying. Reading such triggered a strand of claustrophobic thoughts leading to an "if only" freewrite which follows.

if only I could get away from this crowd
if only there were an open window
if only I could walk away
" " I could escape this traffic
" " there were a breeze
" " everyone would go away
" " I could just back away invisibly
" " there was an open door
" " you'd rub my back
" " that dove would careen over this way
" " I could hear
" " there were a fan-feigned breeze
" " they'd leave
" " my absence were not offensive
" " the questions would end
" " the rattling of the damn fan would stop once and for all
" " the rain would cease
" " it were morning
" " the sun would come out
" " it would start crashing thunder and lightning
" " 3 more sparrows would land on the wire, then I'd be free
" " I had one more
" " I had a way of getting there
" " I hadn't said that
" " I could hide and still be there
" " they didn't need me
" " someone needed me
" " it could be fixed, mended, patched
" " I couldn't hear the clock ticking
" " night would com
" " I could not hear the hideous clicking and chirring of insects on
this insanely black night
" " I could leave one leg dangling out of the sheet free and cool

Jan 28