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Birds Art Life
$22.00

Birds Art Life

A seminal work, Birds Art Life recounts Maclear's year-long adventure of discovering inspiration in the intricacies of birds, bird-searching and bird-watching in a big city.


     The natural world has played muse to generations of poets, writers and artists alike, inspiring them to step away from their work, even for a short while, and observe its rhythmic phenomena. From the pastoral evocations of Wordsworth to Sylvia Plath's fascination with bees, to Monet's artistic renderings of his residential gardens, observing nature has influenced many a creative mind. When Kyo Maclear encounters a Toronto musician whose side hobby has taken him into the world of birding, curiosity drives Maclear to join him. What follows is a year-long journey of two artists tracking the minutiae of birds, chasing these oft-ignored small, soaring creatures through the bustle of an urban environment.
     At once a philosophical meditation and an observational diary, Birds Art Life ponders the nature of creativity and the quest for a good and meaningful life, all the while celebrating the creative and liberating effects of keeping your eyes and ears wide open, and exploring what happens when you apply the core lessons of birding to other aspects of life. Moving from the granular to the grand, Maclear imparts a deeply profound lesson in learning to see the significance in all the small things in the world--especially those we take for granted in the noise of the cityscape. In one sense, this is a book about disconnection--how our passions can buckle under the demands and emotions of daily life--and about reconnection: how the act of seeking passion and beauty in small ways can lead us to discover our most satisfying life. On a deeper level, it takes up questions of how we are shaped and nurtured by our parallel passions, and how we might come to cherish both the world's pristine natural places and the blemished urban spaces where most of us live. 
     Beautiful, moving, and maybe just a touch zany, Birds Art Life is a gentle reminder to stop and listen to the birdsong every once in a while.
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