Goldfinch

The Goldfinch

Goldfinch
The American Goldfinch. © SCOTT A. EDWARDS, 2015

DANDELIONS APPEAR IN EARLY APRIL OR LATE MAY, depending on the temperature’s rise.  It was March and ice interrupted the week’s warming patterns. Norman shrugged. One tilting of the earth’s axis and a single shift of the jet stream would draw back the curtain.  He’d be riding soon enough.

Two things worked in Norman’s favor.  He had been through the seasons long enough to understand survival was inevitable.  Second, he had learned the trick of awareness, which paid dividends.

Once you got past the winter solstice, things got better if you simply awoke recognizing that the sun hung in the sky a bit longer each day.  With imagination, a fellow could see through a passing March storm and understand it might be the last of the season or as was sometimes the case in Chicago, maybe not.  When it came, snowfall was magical to Norman whether it fell gracefully from the sky or blew sideways, painting a holiday card portrait in his windows. He could not imagine a year without it and once understanding that only several more snowfalls might occur then magic ensued.  He watched nature’s parade of life march down his very street – an icy string section of the teens and 20s was followed by the chirpy percussions of the 50s and 60s trailed by happy guitars in the 70s, a warmer clime for shedding layers of clothing. From Norman’s perspective, a cold winter’s morning was as much a reason to celebrate as the fourth of July.  Indeed, with awareness, every day was affirmation of life and things to come. In the case of the living, the sheer range of Chicagoland’s temperatures could entertain for years on end.  Norman knew all too well that the Mayor of Life would one day cancel the parade and the band would march no more.  With this in mind, Norman could smile on a cold winter morning even as others whined. Oh, woe was them for they were cold.

This was the trick of awareness. It worked on weather but not on his loneliness.

One week had passed since his goofy encounter with the mysterious girl on the train, his new Galadriel of the famed-in-his-mind Dark Roast Honesty brand.  And if Norman were being honest with himself, it was time to stretch his rules a bit.  A conversation with that girl could be a real pleasure.  Yes, it was often best to worship celebrity from afar for people could hurt and disappoint but this girl got his heart beating.  There was something especially credible in her eyes that had triggered a pitter patter.

So on March 26, Norman sojourned to the Evanston coffee shop.  It had been easy; the video project was progressing and he wanted to discuss another several films.  He had an excuse.  The question in Norman’s mind was whether the mysterious girl was a creature of habit.  Was she the goldfinch returning from Mexico?

All photos and writings from Scott Edwards. (Edited 3-08-2015 pm.)
© Scott A. Edwards, 2015

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4 thoughts on “The Goldfinch

  1. Breathtaking picture. Beautifully written.

    These two lines particularly struck a chord with me: “Norman knew all too well that the Mayor of Life would one day cancel the parade and the band would march no more. With this in mind, Norman could smile on a cold winter morning even as others whined.”

    I may not whine about a cold morning ever again. Your writing has affected me. Thanks 🙂

    1. Mahesh – This is such a kind post. I’m writing several stories in my spare weekend hours and will (infrequently) share some select passages. They might not always make sense as I’m literally trying to rip them out of my “book” and match them to photos I’ve taken. It’s a new “free form” style that I’m making up as I type this… so stay tuned. Thanks again as I know we’re all motivated to write and share, and the giving and receiving from writers and non-writers brings joy and helps us all shake the world up. Scott

  2. Lovely writing. Your reply to Mahesh above put a couple of gaps in perspective for me.
    “He had been through the seasons long enough to understand survival was inevitable.” After winter, spring. After spring, summer. Sometimes experience makes like make sense.

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