The bird-related synchronicity in my life has increased to an almost comical degree this year, but, perhaps more than anything else, as I'm riding the brown line toward the Loop, watching the sun rise over the lake, I always think, with great fondness, of this quote from Salinger's Seymour: An Introduction:
I found out a good many years back practically all I need to know about my general reader; that is to say, you, I'm afraid. You'll deny it up and down, I fear, but I'm really in no position to take your word for it. You're a great bird-lover. Much like a man in a short story called "Skule Skerry" by John Buchan, which Arnold L. Sugarman, Jr., once pressed me to read during a very poorly supervised study-hall period, you're someone who took up birds in the first place because they fired your imagination; they fascinated you because "they seemed of all created beings the nearest to pure spirit--those little creatures with a normal temperature of 125°." Probably just like this John Buchan man, you thought many thrilling related thoughts; you reminded yourself, I don't doubt, that: "The goldcrest, with a stomach no bigger than a bean, flies across the North Sea! The curlew sandpiper, which breeds so far north that only about three people have ever seen its nest, goes to Tasmania for its holidays!" It would be too much of a good thing to hope, of course, that my very own general reader should turn out to be one of the three people who have actually seen the curlew sandpiper's nest, but I feel, at least, that I know him--you--quite well enough to guess what kind of well-meant gesture might be welcomed from me right now.