I think I have blog ennui. In regard to my own posting, that is — I still enjoy reading others, and still get exciting about discovering great posts on unheralded blogs. But I have a rapidly diminishing interest in the products of my own pen. For the last few weeks, posting anything here has seemed a chore. The thrill is gone. Anyone know any cures?
There was snow on the ground for the fifth morning in a row, an inch and a half of fresh powder — well, not powder, exactly, but just sticky enough to cling to branches and the furrowed bark of the black walnut trees in the yard, where three squirrels chased each other, spiraling up and down the trunks first one direction and then the other in mad, headlong spurts that left little puffs of snow behind them, like clouds of exhaust. A couple minutes of that, then over to the lilac where a pair of them disdained the natural pathways the branches afforded, treating them instead like rungs on a ladder — and barely slowing down. Maybe the weird weather is getting to them, I thought. Sitting inside, I heard nothing from their chase, but I know that sound of claws scrabbling on bark so well, I can’t replay the scene in memory without hearing it, in the same way that I can’t remember the characters in a subtitled foreign film speaking anything but English.
This afternoon, I watched a cardinal make threatening gestures at its reflection in the window, diving and fluttering. This wouldn’t seem at all remarkable — cardinals are among the most notorious of reflection-fighters — except that this was a female cardinal. After her third sortie, her mate flew in and perched in the bush below her. I wondered if she hadn’t learned this behavior from watching him in past years. Perhaps she was trying to lead by example, feeling that it was high time he start defending territory so they could get this breeding thing underway. If so, it obviously wasn’t working. He continued to sit in the bush, looking just a little nonplussed.