Sometimes I feel I’ve floated free of the Earth. Yesterday was one of those times. I drove to work in some kind of space ship, gazing out at an unfamiliar, alien world. I didn’t understand that world and it seemed so disconnected from me. I feel like this at some point in every week. This is much better than the everyday space trip I used to be on in the early days. Now it usually kicks in by the third day of my fantastically short working week. I only do three days. About one and a half days in I usually say something that I then worry about for the remaining one and a half days. I can’t seem to stop myself from voicing opinion, and then I endlessly berate myself for not being smart or humble enough to just go with the flow. I know this is meek and annoying and rubbish and passive.
Not so long ago I watched an inspiring short film from the ‘Women who Spit’ series on BBC iplayer. Vanessa Kisuule, an amazing sassy woman, performs her poem ‘Take up Space’. I aspire to do what she says but I find it incredibly difficult to follow this through. My chickens are showing the same contrasting characteristics.
My Light Sussex hen has more or less chosen her own name. She is completely focused and industrious in the way she goes about things. When I say ‘things’ I mean eating. She rips through the undergrowth like a machine, clawing at the ground, turning out any unfortunate bug that happens to be there. We’ve called her Rita Rotavator. The others follow in her wake, testing the ground she has already cleared for leftovers. They do a bit of their own clawing, but it’s tentative, held back, nervous. They move nothing and no one. Rita, on the other hand, really means it. She strikes the ground with confidence and intention. The other two flap around and go into panics at the slightest thing. They seem to be quickly overwhelmed by information overload. They literally take flight, bumping into each other, trees, the dog, me, anything and everything really because they have no idea what they’re flying from or to. They’re just frenziedly flapping to get away. But the sorry truth is they can’t fly higher than a few feet off the ground. So they bump into things. And they miss out on their bug dinner. Meanwhile Rita works her way steadfastly round the yard for the most part unconcerned. I’ve even been able to stroke her while she is eating. And Rita is the only one who has so far produced a glorious, perfectly-formed, full-size egg. It’s not difficult to see which chickens I currently most resemble.
Now to find names for the flappers….
P.S here’s the link to Vanessa Kisuule: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B72_O9D4jNg