A Murmuration of Memories

yellow bird

I often see murmurations of starlings, swimming in synchronous sea clouds.

The fluttering of their collective wings exceeds their calls’ volume, so one tends to hear them before seeing them, in an insistent whisper from the air.

Like an embrace, which would be incomplete without the melody of a beating heart, a murmuration calls on more than one sense.

A fan of terms of venery, I possess what I call an “accord” of Hondas, a “distress” of work due dates, a “howl” of beagles.

I could easily miss a single monochromatic starling.  My little golden friend was hard to miss thanks to his bright yellow feathers and exuberant high perch on nearly-barren branches.

I feel very much alone in the world (distinctly not on top of the world, like my bird buddy), especially in March. When I wander outside I listen first, and linger where animals other than humans gather. A slight rustle in marsh grasses led me to my first muskrat siting, two rotund, hilariously wobbly fellows with puddle-slicked fur.  One red-winged blackbird’s frenzied call inevitably will be echoed back, and I will suddenly be able to spot their bright red epaulettes arrayed all around me as they strain forward to reply.

Memories are like that, too.  It’s not the lone wolf; it’s the pack. The deluge. And like hundreds of undulating starlings, the edges blur, the shapes shift, and sometimes all I can do is watch them unreel, regroup, hold me for a time, and then move away into a covey of clouds.

About Stephanie

In her spare time, Stephanie works full-time, and then some, as an attorney. She has published articles and delivered talks in arcane fields like forensic evidentiary issues, jury instructions, and expert scientific witness preparation. She also is an adjunct professor at a law school on the banks of the Charles and loves that dirty water, as she will always think of Boston as her home. You are welcome to take a look at her Facebook author page, or follow @SMartinGlennon on Twitter. All content on this blog, unless otherwise attributed, is (c) 2012-2020 by Stephanie M. Glennon and should not be reproduced (in any form other than re-blogging in accordance with Wordpress protocol and the numerous other wee buttons at the bottom of each post) without the express permission of the domain holder.
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5 Responses to A Murmuration of Memories

  1. rutakintome says:

    Memories connect us to the pain, glory, and joy of life, and, therefore, connect us to reality. Always enjoy (is that the right word?) your poetic reflections.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I hope that’s the right word! Thank you. Another prosecutor once paid what I took as a high compliment by referring to the “exquisitely lacerating” tone of my brief toward an amazingly dumb pre-trial decision by a trial court judge….maybe it’s more like that than enjoyment….

  3. Allan G. Smorra says:

    I am particularly struck by your visual reference of the Lone wolf/pack/Starlings with respect to memories. Sometimes they are like Art and we just have to let them flow over and through us. Thanks, Stephanie.

  4. I love a murmuration – and what a great title. Lovely piece.

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