Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Idyll of the Nest

To continue talking about the visibility of birds’ nests in winter: the sight of some bird family’s cozy little habitation exposed on bare branches takes me back to my child self, because I used to view birds’ nests with so much awe and wonder, (and my children likewise showed a great deal of interest in nests). In “The Poetics of Space,” Gaston Bachelard describes “the naïve wonder we used to feel when we found a nest,” and associates the nest with archetypal images of the cozy hut, the happy household, and a secure refuge (despite the precarious condition of so many nests) where one can retreat to daydream. Bachelard’s writings are very much about how our material and elemental world associations shape our inner worlds of reverie and dreaming.

In a childhood dream which stuck with me for many years, I was snuggling in a giant rooftop nest with a bunch of sisters, (though I have no biological sisters). I periodically reflect on this idyll of sisterhood, but long wondered where the image came from, until a few years ago I realized it corresponds to a scene from the “Wizard of Oz” movie, (briefly shown in the scenes of Munchkin Land), where a clutch of little bird girls in a big nest are waking and stretching.

1 comment:

Janina Renée said...

The idyll of the nest ties in with that of the hut. As Bachelard says, "a dreamer of refuges dreams of a hut, of a nest, or nooks and corners in which he would like to hide away, like an animal in a hole." I am also reminded of Black Elk's comments on how Indians' homes were round like birds' nests, which is in keeping with the Power of the World, which always moves in circles.