I have a cello in my living room.
It was given to me by a friend who teaches stringed instruments to middle schoolers (brave woman)
she reassured me it was beyond help
I should make art on it
or in it
or with it
she gave me two, but I sent one to a friend in Virginia, who said she wanted to do something with it
or on it
or to it
and this one was in my studio for a year.
I love the tuning pegs (only two remained)
and the curve of shoulder and hip that is so human, and the gorgeous curl at the top of the neck
but it was weighing on me
so I lifted it out of the space it inhabited, and the neck came off
and part of the top right shoulder peeled off, so I can see inside it, and all the empty space
that is supposed to remain unseen, but full of music to be brought forth
but I spilled it out, or someone did, starting with the crack in the front, and the next in the back
and losing the tuning pegs and strings falling off (just thinking about this is making me weepy)
and so it sits, hopeful, broken, expectant, on the floor in my living room
Yesterday I drove to Amherst with a dead sparrow on the windshield.
It was stuck on a wiper
no red light lasted long enough for to me to leap to its rescue
until I pulled in behind Morrill and waited for Alice, and rescued the tiny body
into a plastic tray that held the frozen macarons from Trader Joe.
Alice thought I had a very realistic fake bird, with tiny wire feet
I was stupidly pleased to be able to hold a bird, and see how well I have been depicting the feathering
around the neck and head, of the birds I drew in February,
and how far I have yet to go on the long flight feathers, depicting the texture and direction of them
And now it is resting in the plastic tray in the back seat of my car,
because I cannot bring myself to toss it under the hedge,
where it was going originally before my car got in the way
I keep holding it gently
spreading the wings to admire those pinions that lofted her to the neighbor’s feeder
and back to the hedge
Both things, a dead bird, a dead cello, feel too precious to simply throw away
but too useless to keep, and keep how?
The cello in the freezer? The dead bird in the living room?
Cutting seems …rude, or unkind
I would like to make art with the bird and the cello, or on them or to them
but it doesn’t feel right yet
and so I wait here
dead cello in the living room
dead bird in the cold car
and see if the future will speak to me