My Honeyguide Bird

There's a bird in the Old World that, when signalled by humans, leads them to honey nearby. Generation after generation, man and bird have partnered for mutual benefit: one gets a sackful of honeycomb, the other a full belly of grubs and beeswax. You can hear their call on BBC's October 30, 2014 Tweet of the Day, and watch them in action in East Africa with the Maasai people, from an excerpt of a BBC documentary (the name of which I can't recall). 

It's almost magical—too good to be true. A bird that guides you to honey? Imagine: a creature that leads you to that which you most desire: so long as you feed itWhat other mystical, otherworldly phenomenon can compare to that?

Do you have a honeyguide bird? I do.

It's silence.

If I feed silence, follow silence, pursue and listen and wait for silence, inspiration follows. Creativity is my honey. Inspiration is my honey. Brilliant, deft, archly worded passages of plot—that's my honey. Or so I think, anyway. 

It's only too fitting, that the only thing I allow to pierce the silence of my "writing days" is the serenely sweet Songza soundscape of "In a Quiet Park". The little trills of those cheery tree birds guide me somewhere wonderful.

Photo credit: Tuomas Seimola, Finland. Accessible at