Friday, December 7, 2007

Magic Feather Update

A quick word of thanks to the people who have sent or given me feathers:
  • Matt, for grabbing the first one and calling it "Arapahoe Community College's contribution." It's a lovely striped goose feather, small and round, shaped like the belly of a spoon or a canoe paddle, the kind of feather than could float and drift for days at a time.
  • Amber, for bringing two lovely white feathers from her pillows. They are long and icicle white and curl into elegant points like pale, sinewy quotation marks. They will be the voice of my journey, calling out our coming across the long Wyoming miles and winding Idaho roads.
  • Penny, from work, who knows nothing of my feather seeking, but picked up a soft gray chalk smudge of a feather and was told by Amber to bring it to me.
  • Karren, who sent a lovely, lovely feather she inked by hand. She was clever enough to notice that I did not specify the feather had to be real, but figured out it could be imagined as well, then made real by the magic of her long years of friendship. It is long and dark with the slightest, most delicate of arcs at either end, round on the tip, whispy but strong, the kind of feather that could both guide an arrow or tickle a nose.
  • David, in Illinois, sent a single, whisper of a feather, like the sheddings off a summer cloud. He included a lovely note which said, "this little fellow popped to fore from my featherbed where, for years, he has offered comfort and warmth to me during good times and bad, during the coldest of winter nights. On this feather I have fretted, dreamt and slept in peace. Now it insists on lifting you as you fly."
  • Carol, a work colleague from days of yore. We both survived our time at the Quality Inn in Pocatello, she as the snappiest, smartest waitress in the place and me as her ever-laughing, acne-marked busboy. Carol had big dreams and decided she wanted to be a pharmacist when she grew up, which finally happened. She is one of the most imaginative people I know. She sent a single long feather from the tail of a pheasant, which she said came from her grandson. It's gold and amber with stripes of dark chocolate, rough near the quill, but soft and downy along its length. It's a feather for a Robin Hood, or Powhatan, or a feather that when dipped in ink could write many tales of one traveler's journeys.
Thank you all. Your contributions mean the world to me. I feel more and more brave with the arrival of each one. And I look forward to receiving more as Christmas draws closer. Before I leave I'll be sure to post a picture of my collection.

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