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
Taking a nap afternoon, has been a tradition in most of the countries riverine to, or living around on the other banks of the Mediterranean Sea, and in Latin Americas, as well. But, it remained peculiar to Spain were it was established as a “holy” costume among people since dusting centuries, it was raised to the same level of holiness as Toro corrida, Flamenco dance, the toreador El Cordobes, bullfighting in arena, torero Ole, the collective joy in shared moments of farnientes. Dramas, passionate crimes and feuds were committed at this singular hour; the napping time, the moment of predilection: when inspiration strikes. Painters, Picasso, Miro, Salvador Dali, Living Art, Poets and writers like Frederico Garcia Lorca, Ernest Hemingway, who wrote masterpieces narrating the particular hour when the drama occurred: Death In The Afternoon_ https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1455.Ernest_Hemingway
Sleepy Time Napping time, it was introduced to Spain by the Moorish Moslems as part of their daily religious rituals; like ablutions before each prayer, the respect of one’s privacy, and by the fact that their work day starts from dusk to noon: The south of Spain is known; by being arid and hot, it tends to less activities, and more to farnientes . In a given time of today’s work, it’s already equal to six, seven hours, thus the break after lunch imposes itself de facto. In modern time, taking a nap, it is still in use, and with the same respect for the tradition, preserved intact same as times ago, that businesses close by law, between noon and two-thirty, to resume work until 5:30 PM. _The photography of the daily prompt emphasizes well a phenomenon that I had seen a longtime ago. Back then, as usually it was years ago, as I used to stop somewhere, Paris, Geneva, Bamako or elsewhere. That night it was at Alicante, Spain to spend the night, a stand-by, of the time I was a flight attendant, like bird of same feather stops for the night. I used to go to one of the café terraces to relax, as it remains a couple of hours of day-saving at its début of establishment–before dusk to enjoy the lovely late afternoon; the hotel in which we stay for the night was a few steps away from the plaza and cafeteria terrace, there, they were hundred of townsmen, owners of businesses, and families they came gathering there, to relax and chat after work for happy hours, sipping coffee, and indulgent sorbet. The phenomenon was queer enough by itself, at moments, as the shout of the crowd rose so loudly, then went crescendo riffed in to the air, to become indistinct from the clamored chirping of the birds that gathered also on the limbs of the trees like on predisposed design. Then, it ceased instantly, in to a sustainable silence like, for a split of a second, to resume to its brilliant cacophony. People and Birds that seemed comfortable with it, in common accord were both alike were indifferent to each other’s, they had come there for the sole purpose of this: to chat; the ones just perched on the limbs above the heads of the lasts, the people sitting there on the chairs, under the trees. For a person foreign to the uses and costumes of the country, who chance to come sitting there stress-free, —-not writing– and just contemplate the scene, it was naturally for him to find it strange, that with all that tumult clouding above and without annoyance and disturb, that anyone of being aghast of it, where it seemed like nobody was listening to nobody, while everybody is talking, just for the sake of it.
Another day, another night, this time it was ten stories atop of the bank of Niger River, sitting there in a balcony of the Hotel De L’Amitiée at Bamako, the capital of Mali, cleansed by a faint of freshness of the air at building heights, coming for the river, a mile away. I was watching thousands of bats, and flock of birds of the same feathers invading the sky at dusk in a chase of insects for the last meal, over the crests of Flamboyant trees baobabs, bananas and mango-trees, while twenty feet under, people were heading home after an exhausting day of torrid Heath, in swarm of bikes, cars and taxi-brouses–a shared car or truck for a ride by ten to twenty people– as the streetlights turned-on in the city and on the bridge, they were crossing the river in long beam of toots hanks, lights and vaporous dust . Somewhere in a distance, I silhouetted an angler on a pirogue who was throwing his fishing net in the river. People there, mostly Moslem, they stop working at noon for lunch, pray and taking a nap, to resume work at around four o’clock, the call of the muezzin for Asser prayer time Modernism, and automation focusing on generating profit, extending out-put, had taken over traditions, rituals, and the artisanal arts and craft to becoming obsolete, they are fashioning a new way of life, and style, in a fast-paced environments, at the expenses of taking time to live, and appreciate the gift of the present moment: such as, the benefit of taking a break. Recently some corporates traduced a séance of relaxation in a hub in to their office, for their employees, besides the lunch break, to increase their attentions, during their work. Ps: just for a zest of humor: if you yawn in reading this, just take a …drink and think of it, sometimes inspiration strikes, never knows, when and where.
"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…
I felt so good, sometimes ago, last summer, when browsing YouTube, I came across a video of “ El Gusto” Group Orchestra, during its passage at the RockefellerCenter, in New York, taken by aficionado of the Chaabi Music of Algiers. Which exhibition unfortunately I missed, alas! Then, after show, it’s averred to be a grandiose manifestation of a coterie of remaining talented artists , who were still alive, belonging from all of the communities that existed in Algiers before the events of 1962. Which venue reunites them to un orchestra, thanks to a lit’le bout- de- femme, named Safinez with a tremendous talent, for a unique Concert in the history of the Chaabi music of all times. And that event will make history for the next coming generations of fans, for sure. There were a golden time for the Algerian Chaabi music, a Blues Genre in the Algerian music repertoires in the 60’s, that was just after the Independence of Algeria.
—Once in a while—
___….AND HERE IT IS!…___
_Spring is here, Brooklyn is blooming.
Happy, but a lit’le upset, I would be glad, and more if I had an Algerian Goldfinch “Makneen”, my pet caged bird, then I would put some music Chaabi, a Blues genre, open the window, have a cup of Algerian green tea mint, and just sit, and write.
My Aim, five years ago, it was an invitation to the people of Algiers for a plea, a petition to make this day –the 21st of March– the Mackneen Day, an Emblem of Algiers City, the capital of Algeria, since it is a symbol of Freedom, for the Liberation of Algeria from the French colonization of the country during 132 years of occupation. The plea was in homage to El Baji, who wrote the lyrics, and sung it for the first time, the El Ankis, another Algerian singer, Dahmane El Harachi, El Hachemi, and all the other masters of Algerian Chaabi Music, a Blues genre, whom they sung_ El Mackneen, afterward, the Chardonneret, or if you like, the Goldfinch.
It didn’t work all this time , so I persisted in blogging about small things, peculiar to the subject, like the environment in wich the bird is living, the anarchic breeding, the people who bird breed , and the disaster that the urbanization caused, the housing projects, pollution, and all these factors that concurred to endangered the very existence of the Goldfinch, because it is the first thing obvious and an alarming fact, that it became hard to find in nature, and I was brooding around as much as I can to acknowledge people about it, but, it was not in vain.
Dear Reader, guess what!
It’s amazing! Today, I have a five years Anniversary blogging with WordPress.com, and a congratulation reward. An achievement, finally my blog got a name,” Mackneen,The Algerian Goldfinch
_ a “Name; though it seem a superficial and outward matter, yet it carrieth much impression and enchantment.”__ Francis Bacon
It’s a consolation, about the stats of the whole period of blogging, it’s a meager score: 2000 hits, 200 likes, and 100 followers, but I got comments, from writers, poets, photographers, and very nice people from all around the world.
Still I have a year to go untill the next Spring! Inch’ Allah, Isn’t it?
_You hold My achievements on your hands,
so please, don’t forget to click on the Like button, before you leave the page; it’s for a good cause, and a noble ideal: the protection of endangered species, among others, like the Goldfinch, and many others poor little things that still, they are knocking about
Hello there, few more days, and spring is here!
“So what! is it insane to mule about ? to have put it in a cage? it’s my pet!” you may said that, it’s your right, and I totally agree with you. You can even have an alligator, or a boa constrictor with free shipping delivered directly to your door. So, are you ready to set him free, the little dude? not the alligator, I mean the Goldfinch? you do? do you know that there is more than a hundred thousand birds “Mackneen”, a goldfinch in cages, just in Algiers, the Capital of Algeria only to cite it as an example, besides the rest of cities in the country. So, imagine that’s actually exist one bird per a cage in a house, then if we count per habitat, then we do the Math, provided that just as it is existential for you to be free, and leave free, think about “it”, so be the first, get some guts open the damn cage, and just do it! just like that: and baby fly, yes baby, fly!
I saw in YouTube a video of some teens freeing a couple of goldfinch from cage. Provided that someone stumble upon my blog and by chance had read my post in the past, or by instinct, took action just like that, it makes my day and I am happy.