POSTCARD #185: Bangkok: The ceiling fan is situated in the open air of the balcony and hasn’t been used in years – the on/off switch sealed with Scotch tape now the birds have claimed the space. When the nesting bird left this morning, I took the photo, standing on a chair with arms stretched up, hands holding the phone-camera at a slight angle pointing downwards at where I thought the nest would be: click… a few tries and I got the picture showing the egg in a fragile little nest, then got down and quickly put the chair away. A very small nest, temporary structure made from stalks of grass individually placed. There’s lightness, like the wind and the air about it.
Shortly after that, the parent bird comes back, sees me watching (it knew I had been up there), looks around with an almost 180° sweep of vision that brings the cranium all the way round as far as it’ll go, then back the other way to where it started and there’s just that little bit of vision obscured by the back of the head. Also some movement on the vertical plane looking up and down with eyes on each side so, somehow choosing which eye to focus with. The head appears to spin around over the top in and in absolutely any direction… it makes me quite dizzy to watch. Bird gets back on nest by sliding through the upper bar of the ceiling fan guard and shuffling in.
Now I’m pacing around the room wondering if this is what it feels like to be expecting a child? The womb is placed outside the body; parent bird feels pecks from a small beak. Tiny beings find there is a way out of their enclosed shell. They learn how to fly quickly and abandon the nest to the monsoon winds, which will demolish it immediately.
Our own life is the instrument with which we experiment with truth. [Thich Nhat Hanh]