Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year


The stage for this drama was my totally chicken wire enclosed terrace. Our board had enclosed it years ago because pigeons kept nesting on my terrace.
So, just before Christmas – how did the healthiest, most handsome pigeon find his way on there? He spent two unsuccessful days trying to get out. My cat made me aware of him by charging from window to window which overlooked the terrace, scratching at the glass attempting to catch the uninvited guest. 
The cat was enraged when on Christmas eve day I went out and fed the bird. I then fed the bird every day until I managed to get him released. As a woman who once had a parakeet who lived 8 years, I am fond of birds. I even named the pigeon Coo-Coo San. The third time I fed him, he practically ate out of my hand.
I needed him to leave for his sake – he deserved freedom. I planned to contact the powers that  be to get him the day after Christmas. But the day after Christmas was a giant blizzard. I went out to feed him several times. He was wet and miserable and shivering tn a corner.  I scarcely slept all night, fearing he would be buried alive in the snow. But at dawn Monday I saw him atop a two foot drift against the outer part of the terrace.  I went out, cleaned off the sundial and put down his food. While he ate I also cleaned off a large flower pot where he had perched several times before the snowstorm.  He preferred the sun dial. I emailed a neighbor, the super and the building's managing agent.  Monday, even when a large hole was cut in the chicken wire, CooCooSan did not leave.  I took his photo and he posed proudly. Tuesday at dusk the super came, caught him, carried him down the hall, into and down the elevator, across the front hall and released him out the front door.
My wish for him and all of you is a very peaceful, pleasant, carefree and liberated HAPPY NEW YEAR.  

As for discoveries, I wandered into a book of collected works of author William Maxwell. How have I lived so long and never known his work?
Here is a man who writes about men and women without needing to make all women sex objects and all men macho. Here is a man whose work is factual and yet introspective.  He uses his life and events from it as we all do, but he uses it more boldly.
Here’s a riddle he inspired – the first riddle I ever came up with, Whet two words meaning fact turn into fiction by merely changing one letter in one of the words? Solution is in sentence below.
It is less obvious that the magic which makes what is into what if is used here with great delicacy and emotion. All fiction writing.stems from an author’s concept of what if…? It was the basis of the fictional versions of real life odd and even eerie experiences in my family when I wrote IMAGICS, changing names, dates, places and some important details.
Since childhood, I have preferred books about women or girls. Not for me Stevenson’s or Dickens’ stories . I did not appreciate the way most male writers depicted male - female relationships.  Not for me D. H. Lawrence, Philip Roth or Ernest Hemingway with their masculine grand standing or their pre-occupation with war and hunting, conquest and slaughter. Also not for me the many plays of disagreeable people in dysfunctional families or disgusting situations which people most of today’s stages. I do not want to read books or see plays about people I would not want to find in my living room.
So – I guess I am reactionary.  But what I am reacting to is not progress, but regression.

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