Here on the west coast of Canada, spring has declared its intention to once again astound us. Purple crocus open when the sun beams on my yard, snow drops gradually lift their finely patterned white faces, daffodils gather in buds that will burst into buttery trumpets when the temperature is consistently warmer.

But what I've really been noticing are the birds: a thrush surprising me when I thought it might just be a dead maple leaf skittering across the stone path; little brown wrens, fat even at this time of year, their tails like pinky fingers scribbling at the sky behind a bare branch; creepers pecking at the moss on my Siberian elm. Just now, on my walk up the hill, I felt almost threatened by the breathy whir of the ravens flying over, beaks full of what looked like building material for nests, squabbling with other ravens in a part of the forest I couldn't see. They flew so low, their voices so loud, so menacingly squawky. On the beach, oyster catchers trot, their long curved red bills poke, their shrill whistles pierce a cloudy afternoon. A robin lands on a driftwood log. The ubiquitous seagulls, but more of them, it seems. Rafts of golden eye ducks, the males so crisply black and white that when they turn a certain way I might be seeing the crest of a cranky wave. Herons hunched into their necks.  A bald eagle sweeping towards the ferry terminal, wings outstretched on an up draft. Two human friends make sure that their virtually resident hummingbirds can continue to sip from feeders, by taking the feeders in at night so they don't freeze. Ah, birds inspire such reverence.

"Hope is the thing with feather, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words and never stops - at all." Emily Dickinson

"I watch in the morning when I wake up...a blackbird... He seems as if his singing were a sort of talking to himself, or of thinking aloud his strongest thoughts. I wish I was a blackbird, like him."D.H. Lawrence

On a rainy Saturday morning

Birds seem to have a single The pitch and clarity of their songs, the robins, towhees, thrushes. The twittering and tapping of the red-headed sapsucker pair that poke patterns into the Siberian elm outside my window. Back to work now that their babies have flown. All except crows, who gather on wires, on a branch of the walnut, buzz, click, complain, scold. Squawk. Lift up and pass over the neighbourhood with a steady flap I can hear, a whir as air sifts through their jet feathers. My favourite sound is the one I can mimic by tapping the tip of my tongue against the roof of my mouth.

On a recent Sunday Edition, the director of the Ontario Art Gallery talked about abstract expressionism, the influence of the first atomic bomb on artistic thought. Pollack, his presence in the work, the relation between the canvas and the artist's body. From static to kinetic. Hmm. Television came along around then too.

I had recently seen the surrealist show at the VAG, on a night when three young composers presented new work somewhat inspired by the surrealists.To me it seems that the surrealists were imaginative in a more hopeful, glorious way. Did the bomb destroy hope? Or did the a-e's feel that their work had to be more immediate than reflective?

Calla lilies to look at each day!

Annie Dillard: the writing that so thrills and exhilarates you, as if you were dancing right next to the band, is barely audible to anyone else.

C'est vrai.

My new one act, have to find the basting stitch and pull it together. Ceiling... You Again... Unspecified Perils. It is harder to find a publisher and near impossible to get a production. Imperfect has been put on three times. As often at this point I feel a little sadness. The new work is not finished... not what it could be, I think; but my sense of urgency has been dulled a bit by time, my chronically sore shoulder and arm, and experience. Resolve continues to be tested each day. This is what I do, how I occupy myself. Take a break, get a clear handle on what I'm doing with the comedy, try to somehow interest someone in it. It has been fun to write. I say to David, no wonder you like writing comedy. To laugh as you write!