I co-exist with Chestnut-mandibled Toucans. They were here eons before moi. The especially noisy males are about one third larger than the females. They are the largest toucan species on Earth with the tallest guys nearing two feet in length from head to tail. When grouped up screaming out into the world they can make the leaves on banana trees tremble.
One more note about cocks (see my blog post Tail of Godzilla posted here). Human neighbors have chickens so I procure organic brown eggs from them. Although, I am thinking about getting a cadre of adult Guinea Fowl as they act like turkeys – deterring snakes. Then again, unless penned up at night these feathered domestics could become fodder for puma, jaguars, and other nocturnal predators.
My goal at Finca Vigia is to creatively live here in beauty and harmony without making any big footed intrusion while letting the finca goes as wild as possible. Today, one of the local howler monkey troops came by to forage in an endemic nutmeg tree – a favorite. Their golden backs glistened in the morning sun as they hung like furry trapeze artists picking only certain leaves. In the last week I have spoken to two humans, for about five minutes, otherwise my contact is with nature or here in social media. The alpha male of this troop and I are buddies. We talk through our eyes and silly lip motions. He likes my songs I sing to him.
Writers, cosmic adventurers, Earth freaks, artists, philosopher kings and queens, and reclusive politico ex-pats are use to being alone. Most of us of this tribe are alone in our heads and hearts, anyway, even if bombarded by screaming toucans or watching re-runs of Star Wars or 1950s Egyptian movies or the Amazonia psychedelics of undulating awareness.
When Arthur was alive we gave each other plenty of space – what I call ‘alone together’. Unless you hail from a family of sea captains, jungle hermits, creatives, inventors, or thinkers and understand the so simple it is complicated creative experience it can be daunting to those around you. They feel abandoned by you if they do not possess their own full life. We artsy types may be physically present yet our expanding imaginations are non-stop wondering around the universe.
I sorely miss conversations with fascinating Arthur. We could talk about anything relevant hour by hour and never re-trace our routes. My role as the widow on the jungle hill is not to be pitied, please. The wild creatures, beauty, and innate grace of Finca Vigia sustains my ailing heart. A power greater than myself and friends arrive to offer emotional support and advice. I am really shitty at grief, like every other human being.
A personal shift is drifting around in the airy breeze. I might miss what I use to call ‘some action’. Many of us are treading water knowing where the home is for our heart yet not there, exactly at this moment in the here and now. There are many missions underway some with sails and spinnaker set and others bopping along cork like, motor-less.
Creative introverts who are communitarian extroverts are a rare subset of humanity. Arthur exemplified service above self while living life like a buddha. He never was off-centered in his loving fuller version orbit.
Extroverts who are insightful introverts do not happily exist, at least none I have encountered. Many artistes who I know who drink and write/paint/create I have let go from my karmic circle. I no longer can stomach someone killing themselves self loathingly* slowly with booze and/or drugs. My empathy is too complete. I sense their spirit shriveling to the point I emotionally collapse, wimpy soul that I am.
Today, I barely handle a one wise wonder of The Nile who rides his two hump three legged camel through sloshing muds sticky with potato juice. He is a special case, in more ways than it is anyone’s business.
Besides being noisy and semi-aggressive this toucan species has medium cobalt blue colored feet and a red feathered arse they flash at each other. Throwing their banana sized beaks up into the air they can go on for sometime at dusk.
Toucan Visual Arts, was my design studio at 833 Market Street, San Francisco I opened in 1974. Today, real toucans sleep in the tree canopy not far from my bed. I am a lucky woman. Blessed, are we women of the jungle as my buddies Val and Tricia would say. I believe a brand new friend, Claudia, would concur.
* made up word.