Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Pain Goes Away, But The Wound Stays Forever

"It's a rush that a lot of people will tell you is higher than any drug they've ever tried or even heard about, and maybe better than sex...which is a weird theory and often raises unsettling personal questions, but it is a theory nonetheless, and on some days I've even believed it myself.

But not really, and days like that are so rare that I usually can't even remember them...But when I do, it is like a nail in my eye. The pain goes away, but the wound stays forever. The scar never quite heals over - and whenever it seems like it's going to, I pick at it. I have some scars that go back 33 years, and I still remember how they happened, just like it was yesterday."

Who said that? It seems like something The Great Ornithologist Felonious Jive would birth out of his twisted mind...some babbling screed about what it is like to be a depraved bird addict. And if he did say that, he would be right...perhaps we are all picking at our own scabs.

This Xantus's Hummingbird was photographed in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur. Expect total coverage of this trip in the near future. And now that I look into it...it was Dr. Hunter S. Thompson who should be credited with that quote, speaking of being a guilty political junkie. But an addict is an addict...cold sweats, shaking and vomiting seem to be the normal withdrawal symptoms of any birder who is deprived of birding for too long.

Perhaps this comes off too strongly for you. You can't be sick with bird fever. Maybe it's all a joke. Don't believe me? Just try it. Stop birding. You will find yourself enshrouded in your own personal darkness, trying to remember what it was like to bask in the light of a good bird. The last thing you want is to find yourself reaching out to #7 for help in your most desperate hour...once you've crossed the Rubicon, not even I can help you.


  1. Ahh yes, a post that strikes multiple chords for me. I adore Todos Santos and anything named for that crazy Hungarian Janos Xantus, and there was this amazing time Hunter S. Thompson came to speak at UCSB... And the high of discovery? Nuff said.

  2. You got to see HST??? That IS amazing.