Reflections in an Avian Eye
My earliest memory of abject fear is from a Beatrix Potter story.
Yes. I’m a wuss.
The name of my fear is Old Brown.
He is the owl villain of Squirrel Nutkin. The terrifying, music-hating, tail-snipping ancient one…and his eyes. In particular in this picture.
In which Old Brown’s eye is black and peering.
I misunderstood (and misremembered) this image until I looked it up just now. I always assumed it was the owl curled downwards, looking up over its left wing with its left eyes.
When they are wide it is in the opposite of surprise: that is deep focus, it is intention, it is power, it is knowing.
Many birds have this effect on me.
Gannets, Shoebills…the more dinosaur of the types. The carnivorous bad omens.
Knowing what we don’t know: the primeval and dark fact that an owl is an owl is an owl. And you’re just a you are a you.