Back in the mid-Eighties, when the men of our great city were Masters of the Universe and their women wore LaCroix puffy skirts, this was our kitchen sink. I'm very fond of this picture; as the Spouse said, "It indicates so many things are wrong, all at once." Yet it never fails to touch me, the idiot pigeon's resourcefulness in squeezing herself through our then-broken windows and creating this short-lived masterpiece in its convenient niche. St. Philip Neri recommended that his followers' residency in oratories, or prayer communities, be characterized by permanence; lacking (I am told) a precise Italian equivalent for the English word "home," he envisioned the oratory as il nido, the nest.
Sadly, permanence was not the hallmark of this nido. In fact, every trace of the old kitchen except a stained-glass window was hauled to the landfill in 1990, and the only egg-residents now are destined for omelettes. (Don't worry, there are still air-rat nurseries elsewhere under the Stable's eaves, and their gargled pre-dawn serenades awaken sleepers in our third-floor guest room.) But it is a vivid reminder of that first winter, when the concepts of "inside" and "outside" so often seemed to merge.