The barnyard

2021-11-06 @Creative

On the way back from a long walk down the river I pass a barnyard, the perimeter barricaded by a fence, most of it obscured by climbing growth save for a few openings where I like to peek.

The scene opens to the usual suspects - the poultry. The raging roosters, for the most part, are constrained to the small cages. The hens, the ducks, the geese are left to roam at liberty. Some prefer the upper ground: the lower tree branches or the cage tops. The chickens and the cocks, those two predominant forces, interact by whatever auditory means at their avail, though the incarcerating division challenges more intimate relations.

Beyond, not much wildlife is to be found, save for the incidental rabbit on this last occasion. The creature appeared to constantly sniff and dig, sniff and dig. Having thus sufficiently labored, unsatisfied, it slightly alters course, all the while shortening the distance that separated us, coming ever closer, closer than I recall that species to ever have approached, as close as a meter’s distance.

Much screeching, chirping and rattling accompanies the vista. The birds move in patterns beyond my comprehension, something I might call erratic or whimsical in a more peremptory mood. It’s a hypnotic setup, a tantalizing setup, tranquillizing. Be there a bench at a reasonable vantage point, I could thus linger for an hour, versus the 10-15 minutes espying as a vagrant.

Caught by a gush of pensiveness, I thought of computer monitors and screen savers: the effect the latter actuated on the former, and the effect of the same upon the observer. I used to gaze at screen savers for hours as an adolescent of the 90s and into the early twenty-first century, before I deemed the blank screen superior and the optimal energy reducer and saver of screens, before I cleared the desktop of all icons (while still operating the computer in a point-and-click type of manner), before I discovered the command-line terminal, before I’d come across such terminology as minimalism or meditation, or necessitated their application.

For a riveting period I’d lose myself in the flock of winged toaster ovens migrating from the left-hand side to the right, or the solitary island drifter engaged in such occupations as fishing, eating and sleeping by the fire; or that strolling cat that ever defied the screen saving bounds and continued to pursue the mouse pointer once I’d resume control; or the randomly generated landscapes of frighteningly steep ice glaciers; or, to further abstract, the fractals and the lavishly chromatic polyhedra.

I think these were paid products. The Open-Source ecosystem was still uncharted territory that I’d not even heard of. Something like $40 USD one could empty on a suite of screen savers. I must have owned a pirated copy.

However briefly, the screen savers grounded my dispersed and over-fatigued mind. And so had the barnyard animals.

Does the sight of erratically moving objects have bearing, complimentary or adverse, on the eyesight? Neglecting the rhetoric, I guess that depends on too many factors akin the observer, the objects, and the lens. Motion can ignite life force as well as traumatize. Motion can bring stillness, and stillness, the inverse.

Questions, comments? Connect.