Why Birds Quail; Why Kickstarter Now?

10 12 2010

 

Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
Round the corner. Through the first gate,
Into our first world, shall we follow

Why birds, why quail and why this push, using Kickstarter, to gather enough cash for a short, rough bit of field time with one particular quail?  As for the latter, it is because they have inherent value and are inherently mysterious.  Each little elegant quail, each individual–take yourself to this space–each individual being as an elegant quail has his or her own name for herself.  I wish that one–because there must be one, at this moment, eating that seed–I wish that one would whisper.

We want to see what in the world they might become.

We want no longer to give them names.  We want them to give us their names.  This is something that makes us more whole, more completed–makes you as well, you human being that has not until this moment thought about the name of one particular female quail.She had how many babies this year?  How many were taken–how many survived?  She is gorgeous although what I see in my mind’s eye is only a desperate ghostly shadow.

A coin buys us into the market

A coin buys us a space where we might actually hear some of these individual quail whisper their sweet names.  And sometimes these names on earth only a short while and some maybe even longer.

I dreaded that first Robin, so

And these names are not textual or verbal, they are more of a dimensional a being in many dimensions–

having lost definition

forces us to see in paradox

Paradoxically, we as scientists, in our objective-constrained place of narration and computation are given gifts of this sort of name from the creatures we watch. Though we have to reach far into their lives sometimes to get these gifts, though in some senses we are burglars, still they give these gives with strange generosity.  In receiving the gifts we find we are still human,

Ahab’s tear [is] the unwilled self-recognition that he is not inhuman ,that his eye is still a human eye

but also, maybe, a little bit more.

That is the bird and the quail–and a bit of the why.  But why Kickstarter–why money this way?  Here is my very own starry eyed idealism.   I believe that the constraints of science, the reviews, academic and grant panels, etc, are in place for what are often valuable reasons.  However, I think these constraints sometimes deaden the ways that science can operate.  And, I am in a peculiar position myself, midway between many things.  If I don’t try to find other ways to create the sort of place to practice my vocation now, I never will.NSF certainly won’t fund this vocation–nor will Fish and Game–it is too Natural History, it is to literary, it draws you in too much.  It may even be to risky.

human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.

I believe deeply that the human world benefits from the connection to the inhuman/ahuman/nonhuman/other animal/organismal world.  I believe deeply that a rigorous, respectful approach to this other world is necessary.  I believe that money into this pursuit is far more valuable than money put into 95% of the commodities out there.  I believe there are other people who want connection to these other animals these other places.  I believe that in offering this work of science, natural history, literature, photography, etc to you, you will see how it might feed aspects of the human that need to be fed–and that we may be able to make this work happen  because of your help.

[For More Information, Go To Kickstarter]

____________

quotes are from Dan Beachy-Quick, Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot

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