Up just with the early sun, I listen to the repetitive code call of a bird outside my window. It is not a bad way to wake. This is how I think of it, formative morning anthropocentric fog: bird chimes rung to wake a biped pleasantly.
But on the bird codes until it stops abruptly. And all the ambient morning sounds from other aware creatures stop with it. A great horned owl is announcing its range in the area, and I hear it now in its hollow hoots seeming far off.
Great horned owls are apex predators, and I appreciate them in an arrogant nod from one apex predator to another. They have keen hearing, tuning their antennae in a cool turn of the head, picking up movement and breakfast calls alike. They are intensely beautiful animals.
I head downstairs, amused by the hush the owl has induced, tap into the coffee my wife has made, fire up the laptop. I tell her about the owl and how it ended all other singing, and she appreciates this with me. It is a small morning moment if you are not one that can be eaten.
I catch a David Graham piece on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor is portrayed as a Mormon on the loose in an affluent San Diego enclave where he has recently bought a home. Romney has a personal aversion to marijuana, Graham writes, and he is pushing his perspectives on the locals.
Romney “harshes his California neighbor’ mellow,” the Graham headline puts it. There is a story of a kid getting high on a stretch of La Jolla beach and of Romney telling him to stop it. This is a scene: three hits in and taking in the sun and timing the great swells of the cold Pacific reach and lost in the click of the day when a character actor from a political pop-up book interrupts everything and asks you or tells you or whatever and thoughts are reassembled and the music of the small moments is dashed and it is just this man running for office and blue sky and beach and sea lions.
Mitt Romney could be a great horned owl.
To harsh the mellow is to seek a death. It is the simple utterance of a line from a dark song. It is an obese and horribly tuned release on a feeble ear. We listen and we do not concur and we are eaten.
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