In #RememberanceDayforLostSpecies I dedicated this blog, some 5 years, in an attempt to bring to attention of readers in Algeria in particular, where the Algerian Goldfinch is endangered.
I launched an SOS , like a message in a bottle into the sea:
Save the Algerian goldfinch!
When you write, who is watching you?
It’s true, that for a poet, he has his own muse, Erato, a musician his own muse it’s Melpomene, but Calliope, the muse for a writer, she never shows up when he needs her the most, she is whimsical at times. So we are always fascinated, in our quest, by the blanc of a page, waiting for the moment when inspiration strikes, and we forget to look around, to things that we treasures for the longest, they are witnesses of our moments in life, or some we lost, that is_
“Somewhere, those poor things must still be knocking about”__Constantine Cavafy
It has been in the traditions of to many countries, and their cultures as well , for the longest as we can go back in to the past, in the history of literature, in humanities, we find that people has an intimated affection for the goldfinch, in particular, either through the religious interpretation of icons, in Arts, like in Christianity, referring to biblical scriptures, or for the profane, in the folklore, and artisanal arts and crafts, in poetry, and in writing prose.
I had a photo of a pet, a Bird, The Goldfinch, that I took while I was in Algiers, I framed it and put it on top of a corner of the TV furniture, just facing me, on the spot, usually where I use to sit to write. It had a sad look, it seemed like, it wanted to tell me something, like bagging me, for a plea, each time I look at it.
I couldn’t bring a caged bird with me, on board the airplane, 5 years ago, when I returned home because, simply it’s insane, for, imagine having a cage bird inside the cabine, or put in the belly of the plane with the luggage, for 10 to 14 hours, it’ll be dead at the arrival. Secondo, not only its prohibited and a protected species, but with all hustle of authorised documents, and vaccines, and with the flu bird, forget it. I resigned one’s mind and gave the bird as a souvenir from me to cousin, then.
So I gave up after that on the breeding thing. And the very idea to have a pet bird.
I get inspired by two WordPress prompts, “Witness, and Last Call! commenting Boot camp.”
Here, with the same post below, that I posted 4 years ago, it was my fist blog, the story is:
It all started, more or less, like this_
Dear readers, يا اللاحبا ب ، و ىا لولاد ,
Chers amis , l'heure est grave, time is running out,
El_Mackeen, The Goldfinch, the Elegant Chardoneret Parva est en voie de disparition,
the bird is endangered, and in its way of disappearance, do you know that?
Dear friends in Algeria , let's do it, let's make it happens!
Let's make the first day of spring un event, let it be the day of El Mackneen
At first glance, five years ago, it’s looked like gibberish, for anyone who has stumbled upon my blog, accidentally, or in purpose, he got there by chance, looking for some kind of, a matter of inspiration, he might said, “what is this!”, and passed on in a click, to the next blog. Continue reading Save the Algerian goldfinch!
This is it
I have read the post “Capturing the Goldfinch, by Mr. Nevala Lee, and wondered how come it slipped from my mind, to put ink to paper all the moments in my life I passed reading books, and didn’t get the idea to start writing, although sometimes, I got inspired, first by my father who was illiterate, and saying to me that if he could write, and read, he can fill a tome with his experiences in life. Then, I listen to music, of all genres, but my preference goes to opera,Puccini, and Algerian Chaabi music, whereas the lyrics in a story that moves you to the edges of your feelings to get inspired to write your own history. Capturing the Goldfinch
To begin with, start by capturing the idea, before writing a book; first, catch yourself a goldfinch , then the moment you sat, write; just write, and keep writing, while listening to the tweeting of the bird, don’t edit! just write!
“Seize the thing, and the words will follow.”_Cicero, Roman centuries”
How to catch a Goldfinch à-l’ancienne_ the olde way
First, go to the pet market, buy a caged goldfinch, preference goes to a five to ten years old one, it’s expensive, by the way, and because of the ramage; it has a long-lasting tweeting, and it serves as a bait for capturing a goldfinch. Then, plan a trip to the wild, where hiking is a must. The trick is, to capture a goldfinch you need to conceive a recipe to make a natural glue made from thistles milk that you rob with some tiny sticks, that you fix on sprigs of a thistles once in the wild, on the spot where a flock of finches drop from the tree to feed and bath and drink from a pond or a rivulet; one might stick to the tricky sticks. Why thisles? Because it’s a preferred plant for its seeds for a goldfinch, and it’s from where that it is French named. Then, It’s risky, it’s illegal, and you can pay a fine, get arrested for poaching if you don’t have authorization from The National Parks; (you can keep a bird for one year, for studies and the like, than you must return it to its environment site. Otherwise, Take with you your watercolor kit your camera, and a sketchbook if you are just a bird-watcher,like me, plus a notebook, for when you are sentences watcher like me
Then, how to write a book, a novel, one of a kind, to get inspired ; by chance I get across the book, through the Reader, when I read the post about The Goldfinch.
Literally, it’s so true, and captivating too, a page-turning, pining to seat, and all, and all. Have you ever read the book_The Goldfinch?_a novel, by Donna Tartt. I Didn’t get the chance yet to finish reading the book, to capture the moment, alas! Time flies. It’s annoying, that you keep reading after a hundred pages, pined to your seat, waiting for the writer to come to the point, but you can’t give up; and this is the secret: “The fascination by the Quest.” I wish! I could do it, at least once in my life, like Vladimir Nabokov did it, and the happy few other writers of the last century also, who had the time to run after butterflies, live their life, and write. To leave a book that others read, like” Speak, Memories.”
Hemingway, also did it, “The Sun also rises,” it makes you travel with him by car, seated as you were a discrete ghost-writer, invited for a journey from Paris to Spain through the landscapes, and you discovered surprisingly, that he stopped at inns, had the time for fishing, and to go on foot to a river faraway, and forced you to follow him, you can’t stay alone in the inn curious about what happened, with the sole idea of thinking of it, it is enough to discourage you to go buy cigarettes at the newsstand, next door, when outside is 94 F by noon. Then, to fish, to swim, to lunch, and to take a nap, it is a luxury, and a gourmet, nowadays…I don’t know if writers still do it, with a half-hour lunch break. Then, (It is in the book), the author, writer, and character, all in one personage, he walked you through pages, to beautiful Spain villages, and dusty towns, with a couple of friends, looking after corrida, toros, depaysement, a change of scenery, and love affairs, and to resume and leaves you at a cross-street lights, puzzled.
“Seize the thing, and the words will follow,”_Cicero “
“Capturing The Goldfinch”_the book, literally it’s so true, also
I know why The Caged Birds sing,
ah me, when his wing is bruised and his bosom sore
when he hit the bars, and would be free;
it is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his hearth’s deep core,
but a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings I know why the caged bird sings__Maya Angelou
I have named my blog_ Mackneen, The Algerian Goldfinch, some five years ago, and almost two years before Donna Tartt, the Author was writing her novel, it was a good omen for me, some sort, although I didn’t know the project then, but mine, it was that, I was dedicated to write a book about , a goldfinch, this small bird, symbol of freedom, dear to Algerian people, to whom and for, I pay as a tribute of the episode in their fight for their liberty from 132 years, an usurped and occupied country, until 1962 , until to be freed.
El Baji, an Algerian songwriter, wrote “El Mackneen”, his song, in prison in the later 50s, and was imprisoned for political protests, at the epoch of the French occupation of the Overseas Colonies. Unfortunately, decades later, after the Independence of Algeria, after that the joy of celebrating freedom was consumed, the breeding of the birds, and encaging of the goldfinch, became a business flourishing, so anarchical , and devastating that It put the species at risk of being an endangered bird in Algeria; so I write posts, in that regard, to bring to attention to the youths, and the audiences throughout posts to mass medias.
So, please join me by your likes and follows on my blog. I don’t expect too much popularity, but it may help to persevere it, and to strife; it’s a challenge, and time is running, although the species became protected lately, thanks to the Authorities whom they struggle restlessly to put an end to the sordid business, but still, it’s still remains endangered, and in its way to disappearance.
It was by chance that I discovered the subject, last time when I went back to Algiers, I was invited to a wedding party, and during a small talk that I had with an old friend of mine; a passionate guy about goldfinches, fishing, and Chaabi music, (a world Blues genre,) at a detour of a conversation, in wich he told me that the bird was becoming rare, and the irreversible disaster caused by Bird breeding was already consumed. And, knowing that I am native from Kaddous, Oued-Roumane, a small village in the shrubbery region in the suburbs of Algiers, and then, ago was the natural home and habitat of the goldfinch species, a small town of a hundred families, hidden among orchards, vineyards, and woodlands, just at a throw of stone, in the vicinity of Algiers, the capital of Algeria, he asked me then if by any chance I know someone, of my relatives that could have one. This is it.
For instance, the species worth ten thousands Dinars each, almost two hundred dollars, just to have an idea about the whole birdie business. Actually, it’s more than that, just have a look at YouTube.
So, please join me by your likes, and followings on my blog.
And Many Thanks
_Kalimelo June 21st, 2015 at 8:25 am Ps:Today, It’s the first day of Summer, the solstice, and the Celebration of Music, worldwide, sort of, a happy coincidence to write a post, and to listen to: El Gusto Orchestra Music Chaabi
If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
— J. D. Salinger
But wait, unless you don’t want to know further more and nor continue reading,
"Thirty years ago, my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'"
“Outside, it was the 1960s, the pre-America modern history…”
I was browsing the new look of Daily Prompt, when I stumbled upon the prompt: invent a holiday, which I had skipped earlier, at the moment when it was issued. In fact, the whole blogging stuff I was doing since 3 years; it was all about, and around the mean idea: which is, how to convince people, and make them adhere to that idea: The making of the first day of Spring, a Mackeen’s Day_ like The Earth’s Day, The Tree’s Day, and all the same as there is so many others Day’s to celebrate year around; it is a so vain, and simplistic idea, at the same time, then am I so credulous to that point, to be naïve to believe in such a dream. A symbol, utopia, a sogrenue as point of view. The 21st of Marsh, First day of Spring, or the 19th which is tha day of the cease-fire, and the proclamation of independence of Algeria; the choice is yours…
So, let me explain it, little by little, first; “bird by bird”: _I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings_Maya Angelou
_El Macknenn, The Algerian Goldfinch _ The Chardonneret Parva, if you prefer, it used to be the companion of my childhood, also was the musing pet of the Algerian songwriter, “El Baji,”who wrote the song– “El Mackneen-Ezzine”– (Oh, Beautiful Goldfinch,) in prison; it was in the late 50s, during the time of war, when Algeria was a French colony.
It is considered as A hymn to Freedom, sort of, this is, for the anecdotal. At that time, there was a saying; and by analogy to it: “Sing, oh my canary, Sing!” that the Paras– the French soldiers of that times– who used to say it to the prisoner and singer, during the interrogatory process, to let him talk about, see _The Battle of Algiers, a Celebre film as a reference.
_The purpose of the blog: it touched my feelings when I saw the scene; at the beginnings, when I returned home to Algiers, Algeria, some 3 or 4 years ago. I went to the village named Oued-Roumane, to visit my parent, it is a little town in the country side of Algiers, at a throw stone from the capital, which country side exists no more today, or what remains of it by now, is no bigger than a patch of greenery on the map, in the heart of what was to be known as a large greenery band, the banlieue of Algiers of olden, the Green Belt; The Fahss, whence in time of the French Colonies, where colonies settlers had estates, wast farms, and mansions, sides by sides, to the native people’s small lots of terrains.
It was a spot on the map, at the outskirts of the Capital, in the last century, where the urban dwellers who used it as a getaway where they went in villigiatures, and for picnics, then. And now, the landscape is transformed in to highways, and in to urban buildings, and sumptuous villas; it is the price or what we call it, the toll to be pay for; Modernism obliged. But, then where the stockings hurt the feet is; the environmental habitat, Kadouss _ a small bourgade, hidden between a luscious , and exuberant greenery is the home of the species_ El Mackeen, the Goldfinch. Furthermore, it constituted its natural habitat, since there were so many watercourses, and the preferred kind of seeds, the food for the bird, that especially existed only in this area. The dark side of it is, the sewer canalization of new cities, replaced the watercourses, besides the voracious asphalt tarn that covered the roads and had eaten each inch of grass, au passage.
Then, the birding, breeding and all the pet stuff business had, by the end, finished the job, when everything taken over, in the late decades_snobbishness is contagious per se, to the ridiculous point that the species becomes endangered, and by the fact that everyone in the community, suddenly is in a want of a goldfinch, as a pet in a cage…Coco Chanel, its First Class A. Then emitting people it’s a way of life, No comment…
Chaabi,The Algerian Blues An hour of delight
This was touching, the story of El Bahri El Baji–180 lbs of Poetry, and a piece wisdom, that It’s to hard to translate in to words, but just to listen to it. I’ll do my best to translate the interview soon, I promise…
“The places we have known do not belong solely to the world of space in which we situate them for our greater convenience. They were only a thin slice among contiguous impressions which formed our life at that time; the memory of a certain image is but regret for a certain moment; and houses, roads, avenues are as fleeting, alas, as the years.”
― Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way
“And so it is with our own past. It is a labour in vain to attempt to recapture it: all the efforts of our intellect must prove futile. The past is hidden somewhere outside the realm, beyond the reach of intellect, in some material object (in the sensation which that material object will give us) of which we have no inkling. And it depends on chance whether or not we come upon this object before we ourselves must die.”
When first I read the prompt, the bluelink_Proust, Urban Breackdown Poetree, then it just popped up, a lot of ideas, words, and image, I was itching with words to patch those broken fragments that we call meanings. The Golden Ages– at the turn of the 60’s, I was not taller than three apples, It was the years of the Rock n’ Roll, the Twist dance in France, and by ricochet, Algiers which was part of the French colonies. Elvis Presley and Johnny Halliday, the French idol and singer, we danced on their rhythms smorgasbord and yeye, with a coca cola glass-bottle in one hand. Wearing a blue jeans and italian shoes and a shit à la James Dean, we tried a Camel cigarette without filtertip, hiding in the lavatories courtyard of the school, we were so vain to be discovered by the teacher the instant we were coughing and gawking at each others with our eyes red and with open_we had not hat to hung on our eyes_Mark Twins. Oran, at the west of Algeria at this time was plugged on James Brown’ Getta Up ah, and Otis Redding. Then came the beat generation years, Hippies, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, and The Beatles back from USSR, and going to the USA, It has been a hard daysnights having fun. Suddenly we discovered Vietnam, as we grown up a little bit, still no more than four apples.
Then came The Golden Ages, the Seventies_Eighties, those were on our twenties, Le Bel Age, after had been teens forever
Algeria, the birth the tragedy, and or the rebirth of the Phoenix from its aches
I haven’t read this book of Nietzsche since high-school. Then, the “noire decades” came along after the few years of bliss that followed the Independence day of Algeria. Surviving the two bloody eras, I came across the book while browsing online, then it stoke my memory, and I recalled the subject. In my opinion, the tragedy that Algeria has lived lately, in 1990’s, which we called it by the blackened Era, resembles in most of its aspects the ancient Greek tragedy, save that it started the same day, the 8th of May 1945, while the whole World was celebrating the end of war world II –WWII with the toll of 20 millions people who died for democracy– the Algerian people broke out in the street parading and charging the joy of million people around the world, they were repressed in to their blood in response to his zealous audacity for asking for the promised independence, in tribute to their combat to free France, and the help they gave to get rid of the Nazism, and Fascism in Europe. Algeria yet had to paid more for a postponed liberty, with a struggle of seven years of combat, then after having tasted the savor of freedom for a few time, yet they had to discover the other mask behind the second act of the play; Democracy has an extra price to be paid for it, also, although they were debt-free.
In the last century we we’re spoiled from our homeland in the name of freedom, see_Seven Pillars of wisdom, Lawrence of Arabia, the Arabs Revolution. I am afraid, we will be enslaved intellectually, in this new millennium, in the name of democracy, if we will not produce our own culture, and reject the fabricated one_From freedom to democracy, if we continue to indulge the imposed one, what they call it by “The Arabs Spring”. Notwithstanding that if we continue to accept dictatorship, then it is pure nihilism, and that is the masochism that we have to suffer in the meantime, but still we have the genius to get rid of it with the use of our own tools–“Le butin the guerre”– dear to Kateb Yacine, Algerian writer_”Nedjma”
In the parlance of the time, people purchased the novel “for one thing only,” and they didn’t care about its mind.
Courtezy to the Aurhor
Why El Makine? Why to fuss about, an obsession for, and all those blogging posts around?
Of all times, this little bird was a companion-pet of aficionados of all trades and crafts. As you can see in Wikipidea, and YouTube, there is a lot of video-clips on related suject to it, and one of them in particular, it shows an Arab cafe of old , in the 20’s-30’s, and if you look closer to it, just under the awnings, several cages adorned the entrance.
These Moorish cafés were a kind of, the speak-easies that existed in that time in America or the clubs, and tea houses, and lounges in London, but the only difrence, it’s by the facts that in Algiers, these places were the only ones where it was permitted for the Arabs to regroup, due to the separation between the Europeans, and the Arabs, on those times.
But this is not the topic of the moment, but what I mean, a bird in cage, it was sort of, a companion pet, exposed under the awning of a Moorish café, where it was the only place where to listen to music, the presence of a duet, a trio, or a quartet of Chaabi music were always performing on soirée constitute a substitute for the gramophone and, or a radio sets that they were at it debuts of their invention, that they were too expensive for the small people to afford them.
Beside that, it was in the habits and costumes, to find a bird in the Andaluzian style of the houses, The Riads, since in their Arab-Moorish design, and their way of life and costumes, the Arabs and the Mores, that their pets had been always existed, as a part of there life. Even though in the wild, the Bedouins had a great respect for the animals, and birds. Taken for example, the Slougui, the Algerian hound, and the falcon, El Baz; the relationship, and the care of the master for his dog is cited by the first orientalists explorers of the deserts and its cities and oases inthe last centuries in their journals, and books.
The Chaàbi Music , The Goldfinch, and thé mint, a long story of people that came to gather
The Masters of the Chaâbi-Blues music in the Jewish-Arab and Andalusian collective heritage is the pure proof of existing songs
A final word, like the saying goes; any excess is evil, that is, it becomes chaos when everyone wants to have a chardoneret just to show off, a snobishness, like everybody does.
Just as I published the precedent post, I saw the pop-up notification with a quote from the kind Author Anne Rice, about the love of words, unfortunately, I can’nt reproduce here without the permission of the author, and courtisy to her, I would say that I could’nt find a way other than words to reach an audience out there, in Algiers to say: there is a lit’le bird “Makneen” endangered, please take care of it.
It is Springtime, and the breeding-predators in their quest of the bird will put it at risk
Someones might be asking themselves, why I am so persistent in talking about something as futile as a little bird, to the point to be boring, after all it’s a pet, no too different from the common sparrows perching on trees around, and not so endangered, as other animals and, as matter of fact, as it is pretended to be.
Well, the Chardoneret Elegant_(Carduelis Carduelis) is a goldfinch; for whom it might be concerned by such a small bird living, in all the countries around the Mediterranean Sea, and a well praised pet, by people sharing the same cultures, and having the same tastes, and affinities, although with some variants of rituals in forms, but all ending up to resemble all the same in front. Birds, and humans alike, had migrated from place to place, since the beginning of humanity as well, and Live as it began existing on earth, in general, since the first flitting “thingy-anosor”. Obeying the natural instant of conservation proper to the species, they follow the channels of migrating to pertuate the kind. The similitude to human behavior is so natural and identical, although unconsciously, that the representation of the bird is retraced along the history of humanity. Sacred by religions, and as profane Art as well since the grotto’s drawings, to Egyptians Hieroglyphs Ibis, Aztecs, Mayas , The Condor, Greek Icarius, and Indian, Chinese, and Japanese cultures, and mythologies; all the cultures carry in them the image of the bird, buried in their subconscious, Icarius, Isis, and so many others, in their dreams, with respect, worshiped , with fear and devotion.
The perpose of this long entry was to sense the importance and grave and alarming effects of Global warming, in fact it is depending on everyone’s responsibility of one’s own act; to preserve the most essential element for Life is Water, first. Times change, and the climat affect the life of every living being in any part of the world, caused by the human behevior and its outcome on the environment and the habitat, the smallest gesture we do can influete on it, as all.