The only Cardinal who dares visit Bird Station Redmond. Braveheart and his wife are regulars.
Country pleasures are many. There is a direct and quiet satisfaction to the ritual of collecting small branches on the ground and hand sawing them to size. I use an inappropriate tool, a finish saw I bought years ago in a hardware on St. Clair in Cleveland. My assistant told me when I moved to get rid of it, it was worthless now. But here it is serving me with each pass, giving me clean cuts and strengthening my weak painting shoulder. All so primal but so satisfying.
To experience the land after years in Manhattan is a return for me. The city did not care when I arrived in late June of 1966. Nor does the land now. People who are exiled are not noticed when they leave nor when they arrive. One is reminded, swaddled in ones insignificance in the workings of the Earth, that things just keep going. No one is more important than a small finch flitting across the branch. The individual’s small data stream in the city is against the backdrop of the marketplace, fast trade, commerce, but on the land it is the Earth’s necessity that takes precedence. These impressions are fleeting and in a month or so will be gone as I adjust to the rhythms and become lost in the details of my life. For now, though, I note the difference as the sole witness.