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  • Spring came a little early here in the Northwestern United States. I was just sitting on the deck, drinking a hot cup of strong black coffee, and allowing my mind to wander among the raindrops falling on the canvas canopy above me, protecting me from the downpour, and hearing a chorus of either crickets, or tree frogs that seemed to be narrating the scene with commentaries that only they could understand. Though the language was to me unfamiliar, I fully understood their joy at the conclusion of their long winters sleep. I understood, because the scene was right there for me to connect with.

    I’m kind of odd in this respect, I see things around me a little differently than most people I know. This whole experience lead me to imagine a venue, one in which one could narrate a feeling, or vision out loud, and still be understood by anyone, without being thought of as nuts, or to be speaking in some foreign language. To express myself in true narrative, and not seem insane.

    Crazy people that speak to themselves, or to an imaginary partner, do this. One that comes to mind readily is one, known only as “Mumbles”, a character that was part of the downtown scenery in Spokane Washington. Most avoided him, few knew him, but most everyone knew of him. His insanity was reportedly the result of shell-schock that occurred during a term of service in Korea. He spoke as if he was narrating some event that was happening right in front of him, and if one actually listened to him, without being scared off by the lunacy of the context, his narration was quite intelligent. It was just missing the scene, for anyone listening to identify with.

    That venue I referred to in my opening, It’s here on cowbird. Presenting a picture as the scene in relation to the story we tell, gives the writer the opportunity to narrate their tale, in a way that wouldn’t otherwise make sense to anyone, but with the scene to relate to, it becomes something other than mindless rambling. It makes sense where there was none.

    The story then is something like the contents of a glass, By themselves they’re just what they are, nothing much worth talking about. In the glass, they become more defined, even if they don’t belong there. Something that has a tale to tell. Trying to describe them, without an image to clarify the telling, can make one sound crazy. Together, with the image, no matter how incongruous that image may seem, they make the sense that’s otherwise impossible. Without the image, it would be like the glass is speaking gibberish about it's imaginary contents.

    This photograph I titled; “Winter Wine (complete with a hint of prickly-pear)”

    Thanks, cowbird, for the opportunity to be a crazy person.

    P.S. When I read my own narratives, I try to imagine the voice of James Earl Jones performing the read. The best I can muster though is, Ed Begley Jr.
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