this moment and other flighty things…

by shadymama

{this moment}


A Friday ritual inspired by Soule Mama.

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment to pause, savor and remember.


free association with wings

i am sitting outside, downtown, main avenue, green bench, mind wandering back to mexico.  i think of quiet pueblitos, a lack of rain, dirty city streets, ranchero music and botas de avestruz.  a man walks around the corner, he has a beautiful woman on his arm.  they are speaking spanish, and on his feet? 



i am standing outside, downtown, main avenue, slightly drunkened, giddy and smiling.  we are chatting, my wild friend and i, about life and children and exes and lovers, and as we turn to go back inside, there is an awkward movement on the ground.  i look down.  there, on the sidewalk, and featherless, a

baby bird

lay dying.  for the rest of the night, i cannot get the image out of my mind.  the way that newborn bird moved just like a newborn child.  my heart breaks for its mother.


i am walking outside, downtown, 4th avenue, around the side of my house, barefoot and bra-less.  there is a small grey shape in the middle of the path,

little bird,

one wing tucked all the way underneath her shivering body.  i approach and she does not (because she cannot) fly away.  the lover and i bring her water in a baby jar lid and place it close to her beak.  we leave her, only coming back out to chase away the neighborhood cats that stalk our alleyways like the wild that they are.  a few hours later, she is gone.  flown away or eaten, we still can’t say.


i am sitting outside, downtown, 6th avenue college porch, skipping “personal finance 101” to get stoned and smoke cigarettes.  there is suddenly a great flapping of wings, a thud, frantic cawing from the intersection. a 


still and crumpled, is dead, struck by a car.  i call my bravest.of.brave friend, veevee, out of the house.  she gathers a towel and some courage, goes and gets the limp black shape out of the road and places it at the base of the big tree across from our home.  the five remaining crows that the no.longer crow was flying with alight on the branches and begin to keen.  for the next hour, the crows come, one by one, two by two, three by three, and join their kin.  add their voices to the death song.  the tree, bare branches reaching, becomes a mass of wings.beaks.and mourning.  then, as quickly, yet much less remarkably than it began, the crows take their leave.  one by one, two by two, three by three, until only the original five remain.  veevee turns to me “i’ve never been to a bird funeral before” and we go inside. 


i am sitting outside, downtown, same 6th avenue college porch, different cigarette.  a


tears through the sky so quickly, i have to look twice, and when i do, she is almost long gone.  close on her tail are a group of livid, shrieking crow mamas, carrying death on their black black wings; in her mouth, the small still shape of a baby crow.  i stand up and watch their race down the sky of our street.  the furious crows catch up somewhere down the block, dive bombing that fleeing bird of prey with a relentlessness and ferocity i have yet to experience.  i wonder if that hawk learned not to fuck with the crow’s young.


i am sitting outside, downtown, 4th avenue shoebox, no cigarette, uncomfortably pregnant and dreaming.  the lover comes out, kisses the top of my head and heads off.  at the corner he stops short, surprised; i can see it on his face.  he motions me, quickly but silently to come look.  i waddle to him and squint across the street.  there is an


eating a crow, his beak bloody, his eyes huge, the down of his chest dyed red. 


i am sitting outside, downtown, cuahtemoc, balcony of el hotel princesa, 20 years under my belt and  i find that when i sit on the floor of the second story patio with my back against the sliding glass door, the space between white washed ceiling and white washed walls form the perfect proportions of a movie screen.  the film i watch daily is blue sky crossed with one or two stray power lines, an occasional cloud.  the hotel sits right next to the town plaza; a park with a gazebo, some grass and 20 or so high reaching pines.  they are the only trees for miles.  at dusk, nightly, tiny black birds with bright yellow throats,


flock home to the plaza, to the trees.  to feed.  to roost.  the onslaught is spectacular, whole swarms, diving and weaving, spiraling through the cooling air.  and from my cinematic view, it is black on blue on flight, every.time.  i sit, and enjoy the show, played out to a soundtrack of wings beating, ranchero music and the click of botas de avestruz on the pavement, down below.