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bird is the word (nine days to Martha)

This video is 19 minutes, 17 seconds in length.

I started working on a bird is the word video back in the winter of 2015, after visiting Martha in August of that year, while she was on display as part of the Smithsonian’s exhibition Once There Were Billions: Vanished Birds of North America. There were many reasons why that video never got finished. And there were many reasons why this past winter I felt I had to return to it.

During the past few months I’ve enjoyed and appreciated the slow and labour intensive process of video editing this piece. It has offered me space to be with feelings of loss and beauty … to listen once again to what is heard and not heard … and to think about the pace and rhythms of daily life. It has reminded me of how much there is to experience and re-experience. And how much there is still to learn.

On this first day of spring, it feels good to finally post and share what has become bird is the word (nine days to Martha).

(March 20th, 2019)

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There were earlier bird is the word pieces (postcards, poems, a bookwork, and a series of flipbooks) which grew out of the time I had with Martha in August of 2015.

Before that, on May 27th, 2015 I shared some thoughts in a post called preparing for my visit with a dead bird here on this website as I tried to mentally, emotionally, and physically prepare for this trip, the work, and the yet unknown experiences that lay ahead.

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I want to acknowledge the Canada Council for the Arts, whose support allowed me to make the trip to Washington, D.C. back in 2015, to spend time with Martha and to carry on with work on my bird is the word project.

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