Winter is here, and - as every winter - a blackbird sits in a tree at the back of our house and shouts at a fellow male on the other side of the river.
I once happened to be equidistant between two such blackbirds, and - do you know - I understood every word they spoke. One would throw out a melody (I don't know who started it, I arrived late) and the other would pick up the main theme and throw it back again, but better. I did not think that it could get any better, but they somehow continued to improve on the tunes long after I had become tired and hungry and left them. They were still improving at about six in the morning, when I went downstairs to check on their conversation.
They spoke of history. They spoke of beauty. War, peace, love and death. They spoke of everything, but in such a way that it could not be recalled or written down as notation. I understood everything, and for that I am extremely grateful.
Theirs is an oral tradition, like Irish poetry.