The Three Bodies of Song Sparrow Singing Away

The whole idea of separating life into a taxonomy of species misses connection. A little water, some sage brush hills, a lone siya? and some Douglas firs peaking over from the Head of the Lake Reserve, and song sparrow looks like this:

Add some sun and drop three hundred metres, and song sparrow looks like this. He starts to sing a little as you walk through, just a whisper of what might be.

And down at the valley bottom, Song Sparrow is finally heavy enough to sing, in light that is heavy enough to be made into song.

These are the mysteries, yet maybe not so mysterious, because it plays the other way as well. Here is grass, compressed by air density, into the legs of a small, singing bird:

And here is grass, right where water first meets heat, climbing the beams of the sun, before the core of the earth condenses it further:

And here is grass, when it is all breath:

These, of course, are distinctions of the human mind as well. Nonetheless, it works all ways. Here is breath rising as fog off of (hidden) Kalamalka Lake:

And here is breath caught halfway between breath and wing, taking flight yet already settling down …

… into its heaviest form, which, paradoxically, has as much flight in it as either of the other forms!

Only breath doesn’t sing, and yet, it does, down through the scale to sparrow and back up.


4 replies »

  1. Thanks for this post. Taxonomies may have some value, but when it comes right down to it, they are created ex post facto, so to speak, by people who are looking for categories–always tentative and partial. Ask any birder and he/she will refer to a bird by place, location, habit, habitat, song, no-song, associates, etc. Not by binomial nomenclature–unless a pedant is in the area?


    • A good observation, thanks. In agreement, I was intrigued by what a different organization might reveal. What I found was a system of relationships and a sliding notion of seasons — so sliding as to be beyond a concept of seasons at all. In other words, that there is a yardstick but one that lies in a flexible point. Intriguing. Mysterious. Curious. Cool.


      Liked by 1 person

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