Birdsong, Blather & Bread Flour
It's still dark out there.
I'm in my writer's garret.
Befitting a garret, the roof slope is steepish.
The skylight by my head is open. Forgot to close it last night. A faint breath of cool breeze drifts in.
It carries a chaos of warbling, chirping, peeping and quacking.
Dawn here launches gray, fresh and filled with avian audio.
Our fowl-feathered friends seem thrilled to be doing it all over again this morning.
Finches, jays, juncos, mallards-COVID-19 has changed their behavior not a wight.
("Wight." The obsolete word from middle English that was kicked to the curb by the snappier, sexier, more streamlined "wit." Nobody gave the birds the memo about obsoletion. They're still using it and just not giving a wight.)
As we transmogrify 21st century living, the planet is apathetic. It doesn't even know it's the 21st century. It just keeps doing what it does.
But few of us just keep doing what we do.
Mother Nature, coming out as an infectious agent, has slapped the contrivances of culture right out of our little human hands.
Since we're all doing whatever label you apply to your version of Staying At Home, travel is down by 90%.
Which means air pollution is also down.
Maybe that's part of the reason the birds are so jazzed this dawn.
We live at a ski resort. The biggest one in the US, in fact.
Besides the birds, nobody's here.
They're at home.
What are they doing?
If the situation at Walmart is a decent predictor, they're riding bikes and baking bread.
I was in there yesterday.
The grocery section is devoid of bread flour. Has been for weeks.
And in the sporting-goods section, no bikes. Well, a couple. Tiny, purple. The seat reaches my knees. Plastic flowers on handlebar baskets. (Suddenly, I want to don my Lycra and ride that baby down Main Street.)
Science Friday on National Public Radio let me know that people are cooking more than ever. Listeners are bragging about making all manner of fermented foods.
How's your sauerkraut coming?
Or is kimchi more your mojo? Yummy yogurt?
If you're looking for something new, you'll get a kick out of koji. That's the fabulous fungus that gives us soy sauce.
The thing is, we're not "in this together."
We're in this uniquely apart.
We're all doing our own things.
Just as we've always done. Only different.
My experience of the zeitgeist is different than your experience of the zeitgeist.
And in these uncertain, unprecedented, trying times of new normal, we are not in this together as essential social distance employees amid hot zone lockdowns sheltering in place making an effort at curve flattening.
Was that even a sentence? I can't tell.
Flail away at the fog.
Push through the mental mush.
Seek some clarity.
It's worthwhile. The birds may not care. But the person on the other end will appreciate a missive from somewhere beyond the buzzwords.
Not that this one was much help.
But it shows what can be done with zero direction other than writing something that Is. Not. That.
Your Lean, Mean Creative Director in
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Blaine Parker is prone to ranting about any and all things related to brand. In many ways, he is a professional curmudgeon. While there is no known vaccine for this, the condition is also not contagious. Unless you choose it to be so.