“Write what should not be forgotten.” -Isabel Allende
While my journals are filled with landscapes, urban scenes, and birds, I sometimes use my journal to simply take notes. Such was the case when I attended a talk by bird guru Kenn Kaufman at the Monterey Bay Birding Festival. Kaufman is the author of Kingbird Highway, an autobiography about his quest on a shoestring to see as many birds in one year (a big year).
As I was waiting for the talk to start I began sketching the black oystercatcher that was displayed on the screen. I placed the sketch in the far corner of the page. As I looked at the shape of the bird and concentrated on its beak, what happened then is what always happens when I sketch, I lose sense of time and I don’t seem to realize what’s going on around me. I am just focused, seeing. A meditation in public. Sometimes when I pause, I sense that I’m being watched. The odds that someone would be looking at me in a room full of perceptive birders is very high. But I sensed that someone to my right was watching my progress. That never really stopped me from sketching. I didn’t look up from my work.
When I did look up from my work, I met the woman sitting next to me. It turns out that she is the editor of the Albatross, the newsletter of the Santa Cruz Bird Club and she took an interest in my note taking. There are times like this, these serendipitous moments, when life provides a fork in the trail. A time when the right person sees my work and as a result my note taking page, which was done for no other reason than self knowledge, is published in the November-December issue of the Albatross.
You can find the article here:
A black oystercatcher at Big Sur.