23 Oct 2012
In recent weeks I have been wandering Central Park's rambles and unmarked trails, kidding myself into thinking I have departed the century. At first it was the warblers and a handful of vireos that showed how to bend my knees like a willow and examine trunks from the ground up. But who could know that it would be the apodiforme brain that would pass along the virtues of torpor with us mere mortals, or that the correct pronunciation of "whistle" is "aw-tum, aw-tum, aw-tum" intoned beneath a burning ailanthus? I could bore us all, believe me, with the technicalia involved in examining the world through a pair of lens--one made from the cataract of a recent downpour, the other commonly referred to as tealeaf--and spew like a true geiser on the virtues of grain. Though who am I to flout the plodding nature of an ornamental mind examining every dry twig underfoot, or reading into the globs of sap catching the light just so with the concentration of a shiny worm? And who are these souls, anyway, who come to this place, too, with their scarves ruffled and a little too much world on their backs? And deep red-brown as the rotten log can get this time of year, wasn't it the sanguine robin falling to pieces by the creek that got us all choked up in the end? One click, and it's all over, the stance and heavy brow leaning over the inverted image. Slowly we make our way via the air holes into the den of a photograph. At least in this way we afford ourselves the pleasure and humility of a fugitive extinction, albeit quite often with our trousers down.