Bayu and Ixchel actually take flight; I, on the other hand, just feel high.

If it were possible to high-five a period of time, I would have been high-fiving today like every couple of hours.  Great job, Today!  You’re awesome, Today!  Hey, Wednesday, November 10, 2010, you’re a real champ!

Et cetera.

So here’s what happened:

1) Bayu, my male Eclectus who has previously only flown when terrified, desperate, or both, decided this morning that flying was actually a pretty cool way to get around the house on his own.  He flew into the living room to hang out with me for a while, then, when he got bored, he flew back into the bedroom and back to his cage.  Like it was no big deal.  Like he’d been doing it for years.  His landings?  Immaculate.  Whereas his terror-flights always resulted in clumsy- or downright crash-landings, I think he’s been watching Cah’ya and Yodit carefully and learning how to land from their example, because it was beautiful to watch him put his little feet out, throw his tail up, and make a soft, clean landing onto my chair back.  Attaboy, Bayu!

I like to take full credit for his newfound confidence, because after almost three years of living with the boy, it finally dawned on me that what he really needed to help build his confidence and give him a sense of agency was free roam.  I opened his cage door a few days ago and have left it open ever since.  Normally, I don’t recommend letting birds just out to wander at will, as it exposes them to many more dangers then if they’re only out of their cages under supervision.  But in his case, my room is bird-proofed (heck, it’s practically a bird room with a human bed shoved in one corner), and he is so scared of the other birds that out-of-cage time when the others are out isn’t really very fun for him.  So I figured: let the boy decide, in peace, sans other birds, when and whether he wants to come out of his cage.  Let him go down onto the ground and forage around in the bird food and supplies if he wants to.  Let him have free access to the playgyms, window, bed, etc., when the other birds aren’t out to bully him.  Empower him to make his own decisions, to freely explore his environment, and wander without fear of repercussions.  And wouldn’t you know it?  Today he starts flying.  Yeah, it took me almost three years to figure it out, but hey!  At least I figured it out!  At least it’s working!  At least his quality of life is finally, finally improving.

2) Ixchel also decided to fly today.  She’s been doing great flapping exercises ever since I got her, but today when we were doing our flapping she actually lifted up out of my hand.  She couldn’t sustain lift, though, so I’d have to leapfrog my hands one in front of the other to catch her keel each time she took off, then sank, then took off, then sank.  So finally, she was getting enough lift that I thought she could make the short trip to the sofa.  I extended the hand that she was cradled in and gently tossed her towards the sofa.  Beautiful arc, beautiful landing.  She laughed softly as she landed.  I praised her like crazy, then we tried it again, a foot farther from the sofa than last time.  Again, she made it, and again, she laughed.  We tried it again, a foot farther away, and again: landing, laughter.  The fourth time, I was all the way on the other side of the living room, I extended my hand, but I didn’t even have to toss her.  She knew what was coming and started flapping her wings, then took off on her own, without my help, and landed beautifully on the sofa.  After that, there was no stopping her.  She tried to turn mid-flight a few times and head towards the other birds’ cages, but couldn’t quite  make it all the way.  She’d either land on the floor or I would catch her.  Regardless, every time her flight would end, she would laugh.  Which made me laugh.  Which made Cah’ya laugh.  There was a lot of laughter in my house this morning.

So yay!  Ixchel can fly!  Now that she’s fledging I can start taking her places with me to get her properly socialized and introduce her to the world around us.  If anyone wants to be a part of that socialization process, by all means, let me know.  I need volunteers.

3) Wednesdays are always as least partially awesome because it’s the day that I pick up our weekly veggies from our Springdale Farm CSA.

It has quickly become a treasured weekly tradition for me.  I love going to pick up the bags and chatting with Paula and Jennifer.  I love taking our bag to Nick’s house, finding out what treats and goodies they’ve included for the week, and divvying them up between the two of us.  And most of all, I love taking my portion of the goods home and figuring out what I can do with them!  I have discovered so many new recipes and experienced so many new flavors since joining this CSA, because there’s always at least one thing in the bag that I’ve never cooked with before.  This week, for instance, it’s fennel.  Never cooked with it before.  But I’m definitely going to enjoy doing something tasty with it tomorrow!

4) But also, Nick had a special treat for me when I got to his house today: he gave me a copy of his brand new book, which came out just this week!

I haven’t had a chance to read all of it yet, but so far it’s simply breathtaking.  I highly recommend it to everyone, ever, but particularly to artists and people who are interested in becoming artists.  I’m super inspired to continue work on my own book(s)–especially after reading his chapter on “Cultivating the Proper Mindset”.   That resonated with me so much because it’s what I want and need to do; I’ve just… failed at it, due to various distractions.  *coughIxchelandthisblogforexamplecough*  But!  Tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it!

5) That devastating discovery I made a couple of days ago isn’t so devastating anymore, mostly because I have had some time to learn more about it.  And yes, as I suspected, it is ultimately going to lead to healing some brokenness in me that has been there for years and years.  So…you take the bad with the good and recognize that oftentimes the bad is necessary to help lead us to the good.

And again, I repeat: tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it!

(Just give me about 12 hours to fuck it up proper!)


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