One thing giving me a lot of joy lately is Virus Vigil, a collaboration between Jim Blackburn and Isabelle Chapman to provide a daily piece of bird art and poetry during the pandemic.
Jim is an environmental lawyer and professor at Rice University. A familiar figure in Houston as an expert on the Texas Gulf Coast, he’s known for his work on policy and planning. It wasn’t until the pandemic that I discovered he is also a prolific poet.
Three things I love about Virus Vigil:
- It’s about birds
- It’s a creative collaboration between friends
- Their daily commitment to create and show their art
In today’s Virus Vigil, “Day 146: Reincarnation,” Jim invites his readers to consider what lifeform we would like to become when we are reincarnated here on Earth. As for me, I should like to come back as a Canadian Goose.
Five Things to Look Forward to as a Canadian Goose:
- Migrating. Migrating is a bird’s version of a pilgrimage. As a Canadian Goose, I will go farther north than I’ve ever dared to go. I will carry my blanket on my back and rely on the stopping fields for overnight hospitality and provisions.
- Flying in V-formation. I love a goose parade. I will fly over the people, moving specks on their roads and fields and porches. I will see them pause with a motion of their arm as they look up, and point at me and my gaggle. I will honk a little prayer, delighting at the way I meet their seasonal expectations.
- Taking point on the V-formation. This will be my moment, to lead the gaggle from the front! I will fly the hard flight. I will blaze the trailwinds and find the path. All the geese will flank me, encourage me, trust me. I shall be the one they rely on!
- Falling into position. When I tire of the responsibility and the loneliness I will fall back into the V-line. I will be a follower, receiving and giving draft in equal measure.