The willow tree is in the middle of the river, downstream from the bridge looking east. I often see it in the morning as I look into the rising sun. Willows like to have their feet wet. I've done several drawings of it this year beginning in January.
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
I wondered how it had died. Did it miscalculate and crash into the stone wall? Maybe it came up over the wall only to slam into a truck or car passing by? I'll never know.
It's death looked instantaneous. A small trickle of blood had seeped from its bill and dried on the granite blocks. Everything else about it was unruffled and gently curved. No feather seemed out of place and its marvelous orange feet were folded neatly tucked close to its sides. There were jewels of dew on its breast and I could appreciate the fantastically fine texture of the feathers on the duck's head and neck.
I felt anger. My anger and sadness surged and I resumed drawing: a preening duck, it's wing raised in a defiant "fuck you!" I didn't have the heart (or stomach) to nudge it off the wall and to a watery grave. I came back on Monday and made this drawing. By Tuesday, someone or some thing had moved the carcass and it was nowhere to be seen.
And, as you can guess, all the other ducks down below on either side of the bridge could have cared less. They just went on preening and squabbling and getting on with Life. My life, on the other hand, paused.