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For All I've Created Returns Unto Me

On my way back from the gym today, I realized I had a cheque in my wallet to deposit into our business account, which is at a bank near the gym. So I doubled back and turned off to the bank. I wedged my bicycle in the usual place; I don't bother locking it, since I'm there such a short time and it's generally safe. So I was turning away from it to go into the bank when it suddenly jackknifed and threw my duffel to the ground. I picked it up and took the duffel with me.

See... without these unintended delays, the point of this post would have been lost.

Because as I stepped over the curb to go into the bank entrance, something struck my arm from above. I looked down, and it was a male red-naped sapsucker (a kind of woodpecker), its legs clenched up at the sky. I hesitated before picking it up, wondering if I had anything to keep it warm. I figured my breath would have to do, but on lifting it, I saw that its lower beak was shattered and its head was lolling in that unmistakable broken way, exposing its brilliant scarlet throat. I watched the last flicker of life leave its eyes, the black lids quiver still. I didn't want it to get crushed on the pavement, so I took it to an out-of-the-way grassy place and put it in a hollow in the grass.

Then I went in, used the disinfectant they make available to the public, and made my deposit at an ATM. The bicycle had thrown the chain in falling, so I had to adjust the derailleur before getting on my way home.

So, pagans and aficionados of all things ancient and Roman... What does this portend? The fall of a sapsucker isn't one of the classic portents. But we need our own portents for our own birds here in this rugged land we claim as our own.

Comments

( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
asakiyume
Apr. 4th, 2012 02:25 pm (UTC)
I had this intuition that your post was going to be about your bike being stolen, and that didn't happen, so my intuition sucks--but I'm glad that, on the other hand, your luck is not as bad as that!

Maybe it means that no one knows who's going to witness their final hour, and that kindness can come from unexpected places. /too serious...

the fall of a sapsucker reminds me of Leonard Cohen's line in "Chelsea Hotel": "I can't keep track of each fallen sparrow." Sapsuckers, though. He's on that.



moon_custafer
Apr. 4th, 2012 03:27 pm (UTC)
Robin. Fallen robin - still doesn't quite rhyme with "I don't even think of you that often," though.

I think I'm more inclined to grieve the sapsucker than inquire what it portends; otoh, I felt impelled to brush a spider off the streetcar tracks today so it wouldn't get run over when my ride arrived.
asakiyume
Apr. 4th, 2012 03:31 pm (UTC)
fallen robin
closer than "sparrow," though, so props there :-)

I think I'm more inclined to grieve the sapsucker
--death comes quickly and carelessly /more too-serious...
barry_king
Apr. 4th, 2012 03:46 pm (UTC)
Re: fallen robin
Yep, God looks after fallen sparrows, Leonard can't do robins. But Red-Vented Sapsuckers? The kind of god that looks after them would be small and energetic. A Theodore Roosevelt kind of god. With a pith helmet, and large aye-aye eyes and clever lemur-fingers.

A god that fits comfortably under raspberry bushes and smiles secretively to himself from under his waxed moustache.
asakiyume
Apr. 4th, 2012 03:50 pm (UTC)
the god of red-vented sapsuckers
I like him very much. He needs an illustration. maybe tonight....
barry_king
Apr. 4th, 2012 03:53 pm (UTC)
Re: the god of red-vented sapsuckers
Ooo! Look forward to it!
asakiyume
Apr. 4th, 2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
Re: the god of red-vented sapsuckers
Not so very much like Teddy Roosevelt, but pith helmet: check! Aye-aye eyes: check! And hands like a lemur? Wellll....

Also, his mustache got bigger.

Sapsucker protector
moon_custafer
Apr. 4th, 2012 05:33 pm (UTC)
Re: fallen robin
Sort of like this Emperor Tamarin?
barry_king
Apr. 4th, 2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
Re: fallen robin
Yes!!! With glasses!
asakiyume
Apr. 4th, 2012 07:42 pm (UTC)
Re: fallen robin
Oh yes, he's much better! Let's use him--with glasses.

Can anyone photoshop? (I cannot. I haven't got the program)
barry_king
Apr. 4th, 2012 09:41 pm (UTC)
Re: fallen robin
There. I think I have it!



Edited at 2012-04-05 01:42 am (UTC)
asakiyume
Apr. 4th, 2012 11:39 pm (UTC)
Re: fallen robin
Perfection!!
asakiyume
Apr. 5th, 2012 12:05 am (UTC)
Re: fallen robin
Wonder twin powers, ICONIFY!

sapsucker god
barry_king
Apr. 5th, 2012 12:08 am (UTC)
Re: fallen robin
Hmmm... I've been wanting to change my ugly mug for a while, now!
asakiyume
Apr. 7th, 2012 07:51 am (UTC)
Re: fallen robin
Ha ha ha--excellent: this crop lets us see the face better.
barry_king
Apr. 7th, 2012 07:53 am (UTC)
Re: fallen robin
Although it was done more for PS's "unsharp mask" filter that I re-did it.

I should add "unsharp mask" and "levels" to my list of favourite tools. Somewhere between regular expressions and BCC.
asakiyume
Apr. 7th, 2012 08:07 am (UTC)
Re: fallen robin
I don't have Photoshop, but "reduce noise" in iPhoto sounds like it's a simple version of "unsharp mask"

Speaking of, you need to watch this episode of Strongbad email from Homestarrunner, and then when you get to the very end, put your cursor on the screen and hit the tab key, then hit the space bar to reveal the easter eggs. The third one is a hilarious continuation of the photoshop battle. "Find edges! Sharpen more! uhhh... Nudge!"
asakiyume
Apr. 7th, 2012 08:08 am (UTC)
Re: fallen robin
(It's old, though--it was made like five or six years ago)
asakiyume
Apr. 7th, 2012 08:09 am (UTC)
Re: fallen robin
--okay, just to clarify which easter egg: click on "crappier" when you get to that final screen.
barry_king
Apr. 7th, 2012 08:13 am (UTC)
Re: fallen robin
Thanks. I'll wait until Cara Sposa comes down for her coffee. She's been working WAY too hard on her coursework, and she could use a laugh.

(She taught me practically everything I know about PS back in the day when people were still using x-acto knives and UHU sticks for layout.
barry_king
Apr. 8th, 2012 11:41 am (UTC)
Re: fallen robin
Tee-hee, that was brilliant!
peadarog
Apr. 4th, 2012 03:23 pm (UTC)
Twitter is dying and everybody will return to livejournal.
barry_king
Apr. 4th, 2012 03:47 pm (UTC)
The former perhaps. The latter, "outlook unclear".
peadarog
Apr. 4th, 2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
I hope you examined the entrails! Otherwise, you'll never know.
barry_king
Apr. 4th, 2012 03:52 pm (UTC)
Somehow, questions of the fate of LJ is not sufficient for me to perform extemporaneous dissection.

Besides, the Romans would only do that in the case of sacrifices. Falls of birds were portent enough in their own right.
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )