Sticks, logs, salted beams, tiny shells, great clumps of seaweed: people, places, events. Storm-whipped breakers and ragged gusts in place of time and chance – apt.
Dark mounds strewn down the years, the sandy strip at dawn stretched out, as if to walk it until dusk; else cut down at midday, gulls’ pickings.
A black shape flashes by, takes my breath: seaweed. Then the beach lifts whole, is hurled, blasting all. Collar to the storm I edge ahead, eyes clenched, searching the biting, thrusting world.
Dark, deep flesh, singular, silent. Beset by a galaxy of grains.
One eye to the sky, one to the sandy grave, gravity has wrenched it from the waves, cast up, laid low, headlong, side-on.
Alone I cannot save it. Only wait for the sea. Pray.
I’ve heard it said the future can be whatever you make it if you put in the effort. Try telling that to the blackbird couple that made this nest. (OK, they won’t understand, but anyway..) Unfortunately by the look of the last remaining chick just before the nest became empty, I doubt it flew out of there. But the nest is beautiful. How do they do that? A little unconventional perhaps, on the concrete outside the tearoom.. Maybe they had a bad experience with a tree? They put a lot of effort into those chicks too. Check the other post with poor mum in the pouring rain, babies warm and dry underneath. Anyhow, seems there won’t be fledglings this season. So much effort just to produce some feathery compost or a quick takeaway meal for a passing cat. But if its like that for a blackbird, how can we pretend that people are always the authors of their own misfortune? That we owe no one anything, they all had their chance? One morning it was cold and the last chick was there alone shivering, I thought, oh no, where’s mum? I can’t rescue the chick, can I? How long will it suffer if she’s gone? Should I even put it out of its misery? Why couldn’t it just disappear in the night? Then she came back and my conscience rested. When the chick finally did disappear it was much easier, I saw nothing, whatever nasty thing happened was hidden by the dark when I was nowhere around. Like some child in a slum on the other side of the world, or where shells explode and adults lie bleeding, children wait in vain for them to return. No one’s life is in their own hands alone. But we can make a difference.
So Jesus is on his way into town – Jerusalem that is – its early and he hasn’t had breakfast. Or lunch or dinner the day before. That’s not uncommon for Jesus, he’s used to roughing it on the road, food comes when and where you find it. Still its not often you read that he was hungry, like this morning. I’m picking he had a rough night, rougher than usual. His time is up, he knows that. That’s why he’s here – to finish it. Still, now the final scene is here, it just feels empty. Something is not right. Judas? Well that was always coming. There might still be a chance – but its hard to see how he will make it back from here. He’s had chances plenty already. Focus, get it right these next two days and its done, everything’s done. Play it right.. but that’s just it. They’re all playing to lose. I’m playing it for them, they don’t even see. Well, how was it meant to be anyway? Father? Hungry. Pulling up short, that’s what it is. I’m almost there and I’m pulling up short. Well that makes sense, I was always going to be home on empty. Ha! Figs!
Spare a thought for this blackbird nesting outside the tearoom at my place of work. It was very wet this morning and its mate was in no hurry to bring it breakfast. The tiny speck below its head is the beak of one of the youngsters.