On Media: Regurgitations of the Past

Bird in front of Fire

After many days of rain, I emerged out from the cover of my caravan, feeling each pore of my skin breathe in the air, as if the oxygen of sunbeam could be taken deep within the skin’s own lungs. Every part and particle of the woods was embosomed in the daybreak. The woods emerged with a sweet innocence to them, a chaste-like quality that was impossible to taint or foul. Under the spread of trees, where even the shade was warm and new, the ceiling of leaves could be looked upon and admired—layers upon layers of translucent hue, a natural mosaic of earthly shades and tones cast under the same gazing star. The faces of the leaves let light shine through; their structural veins, especially those of the maples seemed to pulsate with the blood of the earth. Some vast indecipherable complexion of leaf and stem cast its momentary impressions of shade upon each branch and trunk. The entire scenic arena was arranged with the light-filled forms and functions spread from above.

Columnists and journalists too often write to fill space, as if fulfilling a required quota were their sole intent. The media is the small talk of conversation; it rarely reports beyond the trivial.

The entire woodland actively awoke from its repose. In the after-rain light, it was not only the ceiling of leaves that greeted the warming gaze of the sun; the sounds and movements stirred once more. I was squatted beside an oak sapling that was just four or fives years old, when a robin landed on one of the oak’s boughs. Even when perched, the golden-breasted bird seemed as weightless as when carried through the sky. He sat across from me, watched me with what seemed like a fair amount of interest, not caring to take any action or further more approach. His feathers still quivered with flight. His eyes were small and black with that wet sparkle in the top corner. He blinked slightly, keen and aware, like he was holding some wise and secretive admonition from the sky. He stood only a couple feet from my reach, patiently waiting for nothing, content, and calm.

Robins are generally cheeky birds. They don’t dash away with fright as most other birds do, but rather gravitate towards other activity or movement. They are moved by the intrigue of curiosity. This robin in particular, upon its bending bough and weightless swing, was a kindred impression found in the woodland. He looked as if he only wished to be warmed by the sun. He protruded his breast, and sat with a calm innocence in the glow of the after-rain light. We had a long moment together, just him and I. I’m sure he winked or nodded something at me, like a story of a skyward journey from the past, or a tale of the best insects he once found. I imagine him a noteworthy romantic, a true wind-greeter, a master of the sky-ballet. His protruded breast was too golden to be anything less.

Not long after he came, he was off again. He flew away with a serenading warble. His bounding stride carried through the weightless blue; a momentary glimpse, a passing flicker of winged extraordinaire.

“I do not know why my news should be so trivial,—considering what one’s dreams and expectations are, why the developments should be so patting. The news we hear, for the most part, is not news to our genius. It is the stalest repetition.” Henry Thoreau was adamant not to conform to any social construct. He reminds us of the “stale repetition” too often found in the news, the recorded regurgitations of the past. If one sport achievement, one financial crisis, one political scandal, one environmental disaster has been reported and read about, they all have. It is far more sensible to keep a tally of such events, and begin reporting fresh occurrences that invoke a deeper impression.

Columnists and journalists too often write to fill space, as if fulfilling a required quota were their sole intent. The media is the small talk of conversation; it rarely reports beyond the trivial. “All news, as it is called, is gossip, and they who edit and read it are old women over their tea.” News, in its truest form, reports what is new. Every financial crisis and political scandal is old. A meeting with a robin in the woodland is new; it is a noteworthy highlight of the day.

Global Walker

Global Whisperer Guy Walker is currently living and working in the Culdees Eco-Village in Scotland. He can be contacted at walker@globalwhisperer.com

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