Friday, January 13, 2012


The birds of Silicon Valley are numerous, strange and enchanting, a welcome dose of the natural into the denatured digital world.

At the San Carlos Caltrain station, a group of pigeons welcomes us early every morning from their telephone line perches, looking like a John Cage musical score written after a consultation with the I Ching.

I have long felt that birds in nature were sending personalized, fateful messages but have never known how to read the omens other than a generalized, "be alert, something's up." It's reassuring to discover on the internet this evening that bird divination has a long, ancient history, and one of its many names is ornithomancy. There's probably even a school for it in the Bay Area since there seems to be a class for just about everything else.

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