Music: “The Whole Catastrophe,” by Hammock.
At AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference) February 2010, I chaired a panel entitled A Chorus of Hauntings. For my part of the panel, I passed along a “true” story—a tale of the parakeet that appeared to me out of the blue in a south central Texas town during the summer of 2005. When animal control in Gonzales suggested by phone that I put the bird in a box, I refused. I wanted to find a home for this bird (a label, a category, the place the bird belonged). But I did not want to confine it (a restriction, a lack of freedom for the bird, a closure). Then, there was the parakeet’s apparition in New York. I came to understand this entire experience as a koan of freedom and belonging.
This rendering for Trickhouse became a way to negotiate that koan. I began taking video for this Correspondent piece in May, 2010. The correspondent is the parakeet. This dispatch comes from a place of longing, of great loss—death and placelessness, yes—but also a place of connection. The Oxford English Dictionary includes dispatch’s etymology as “a hastening, a riddance; also a pleeke or packet of letters.” Even in the word’s beginnings, there is this paradoxical element. The parakeet’s dispatch speaks from the back-and-forth, longing sense of displacement of being caught between worlds or between multiple homes. But this dispatch also speaks from the places of potentiality that such longing creates.