Saturday, January 28, 2006

why does a chicken do the things she does?

And what is the definition of a chicken anyway? A person who faces her first hill of the season and tells Mr. B: forget it. I’m walking.

I biked far yesterday afternoon. Errands pushed me to the now distant west side.

Ed, come ride with me. I want company.

We set out on a brilliant sunny day. Thermometer topped fifty for sure. January in Wisconsin.

Mr. B can’t keep up with Ed’s fancy racer. The thing is, I like Mr. B’s easy manner. Mr. B can navigate streets like no other. Still, I think I am a groggy pedaler on the rural Old Sauk hills. Adding to my ridiculously slow pace is my habit of stopping to take pictures.

Burning question for my cycling friend: why is it that you don’t spend money on clothes but have this monster bike and biking shoes and an electric air pump? All you need is latex pants.
You will never see me in latex pants. Ever.

It is a beautiful landscape.

I understand the university’s sheep expert (we have a sheep expert??) keeps his herd here. They’re out today, getting fat on scruffs of dried grass. (Of course, I don’t really know what they’re eating, but what else causes them to bury their snouts in the ground?)

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I have a friend who lives around here. He makes furniture for galleries and rich people on Michigan Avenue. Want to see?

We turn off toward a barn, converted into a workshop. The space is dazzling. The tools alone make you believe you are in the presence of a skilled master. With a bent toward orderliness.

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The crafted furniture is exquisite. I mean, beyond exquisite. If I had a single piece I would get rich selling tickets for people to come and look at it.

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Dick in his studio, with chest

So what is your current project?
Actually I’m in between things. Occupying myself with a few chickens we recently acquired. Come look.

Here, life is beautiful…Even the chickens are beautiful.

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big bird?

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Sadly, nothing that we lawyers do is this creative, I say this wistfully as I stare at Dick’s portfolio of finished pieces.
Now wait. My favorite TV show is about the law these days. So don’t knock the creative impulse there.

I once said that I am in awe of people who manifest creative brilliance in some domain of their lives. The trouble is, hanging around giants can often make you feel, well, small.