As we inched our way out of Bel Air Market parking lot yesterday, we saw another day-before-Thanksgiving shopper crossing our path with her last-minute purchase, an orchid --a table centerpiece perhaps-- and watched her walk by with blossoms bobbing over her head with each step she took --much like the topknot plume of the California quail. I doodled her over "Wavin' Man" because it was a similar situation and Wavin' Man wanted in on it. You might say they're on the same page.
Thirty years ago, I carved two quail --ground-birds still welcome and plentiful on this property-- over some sheet-aluminum reinforcements on our back door. I headed them into each other because they describe a heart between their heads. Observe:
I thought this sculptural collision positive, life-affirming and even romantic --still do-- but, when I think of humans trying to emulate it with feathery hats, I cannot escape the the strange memory of a college class in Restoration Comedy. High-elevation headgear only amplified the middle-school tenor of the scripts and caused me to withdraw from the class after opining "Thank heaven for Oscar Wilde". Prof. didn't like that and became adversarial. He thought the jokes had to be 300 years old and I was not equal to the task of enjoying them. Restoration was important because it produced art in defiance of Puritan dominance, but if it is to be effective, it must refresh it's punchlines again and again. One doesn't always take the right classes, I know, but still one resents the fact that mistakes are not realized until after they are made.
So, on to the closing Normaphoto of metal sculpture purchased on an outing with our sister Christina:
It shows a typical family of Callipepla californica --the sort that runs around our yard. When I pass by it, I forget about mistakes, collegiate errors, Puritans, middle school, everything except the garden. I strongly suspect Nepenthe is not a drink but a garden that leads us not out of but INTO reality, dream and discovery. I am thankful for that.
Happy Thanksgiving to you, all of you.