“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

9.28.2013

midnight thinkin': birds and death and long lost dreams

it's late and sleep is off somewhere kicking up its heels, not home where it belongs.  my ankles ache and my hips hurt and the m key on this keyboard is playing hard to get.  each month it's a different key playing this disappearing game, to keep me alert, i suppose, keep me watching the screen.  there are baseball scores to be checked, but i am saving those as surprises for tomorrow morning, and the air conditioner has come on, a surprise for right now, blasting too cold air against the back of my neck.  i climbed out of bed to get into this chair, and now i will have to get out of the chair to turn that cold air off or down or something.  i fall into resistance mode, not wanting to get up from this comfy spot, annoyed, noticing that now the s key is sticking,

or ticking, if you give leeway to the keyboard,
like a cartoon time bomb about to explode with a jagged cloud of black smoke left behind.

i get up.

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this week:
i have been writing birds, reading apples, and painting nothing.
a busy week will do that to you,
and you will be grateful for the birdwings and appletrees that carry you to other places.
i have been saying blessings and thank yous to the ordinary everydays.
when i work late into the evening, standing on legs that want to sit,
i whisper gratitudes to the work before me.

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my uncle died last weekend, and as with every death, as with every funeral, i asked the now gone soul was it enough?  this life the world would see as small?  was it enough that there was a boat you could sit in and while away the hours under the texas sun on a texas lake, was it enough that you stayed here, that you lived and died in this almost small town?  was it enough?   i sit through the services and i think it must have been, i hope it was, i hope the unanswered prayers and dreams not achieved meant not that much, not there at the end.   and i wonder what they might have been, those dreams.  so many people i see online say dreams must be big, must scare you or they're not big enough.  i'm not sure i agree, but perhaps that is just my age speaking.

i watched the birds during the burial service and after
and hugged my aunts and cousins and friends and uncles.
my heels sunk into the earth when they wanted to fly.

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i'm not sure what i know about rare birds;
whether they are loners or fly in rare flocks,
whether they hide in plain sight or sit still in secret trees,
whether what makes them rare is a good thing or bad.
whether i'd rather be one of them or one of the hundreds of blackbirds on a wire,
with gossip to share and shoulders to cry on and eyes to roll when that bird down the line,
that one, right there, you see him,
tries to impress me with smooth birdtalk,
leaning out from amongst his friends, winking and ruffling his so suave feathers,
scattin' bad birdpoetry in my direction.
not sure i would laugh as loud if i was a rare piece of color against the sky,
not sure i would secretly wink back if not for the safety of numbers.

not sure i would.

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13 comments:

  1. I'm sorry about your uncle. There really is something about night writing, isn't there ... a magic or mysticism which seeps through the words. Yours are beautiful (but then, whatever the time of day).

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    1. you are so kind. and yes, writing in the silence of the night is such a different energy than writing by the light of the sun. i think some things must wait for the darkness before we can say them out loud. xoxo

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  2. oh my... i love this so much. my week was also crazy busy and filled with pain (migraine), and i smiled big at the writing birds and reading apples part because i was doing just the the same thing (though i couldn't have said it so well), and being grateful.
    to me, this feels like the key to something. and there it sits, right in our hands.

    that last part, about the rare birds... love love love...i'll be the blackbird any day, some of those rare birds are pretty and all, but they have a harder time flying. xoxo

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    1. i've been thinking about it since the day of my uncle's funeral, watching blackbirds on lines, watching cousins and aunts all dressed in black. and i realized . . .

      xoxo

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  3. Funerals do that to you. Like reading newspapers, I attend as few as possible. My own Aunt was buried yesterday and instead of speaking of all the good she had in her life, I was exposed to all that she did not have or accomplish. I did not go to the funeral with Mama and her two other sisters. That is not the way it should be. Sorry for your loss...though you gained insight once more from it and found positive energy to write from it. And, as always, you shared it with us. Always a Blessings,

    Love and Blessings,

    Connie Jean

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    1. ah, connie. i'm so sorry. you are right - it should never be as you described. my uncle's funeral - and this sounds odd - was the best funeral i've ever attended. :) it was a true celebration of his life and loves, full of stories, and music by relatives (you would appreciate my father's family and their musical talents). i was so glad i'd gone. xoxo

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    2. Your site needs "like" buttons...Blessings,

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  4. whatever subject comes to your nightime mind and fingers on keyboards that won't work right, leaving you with words that sometimes don't read right...it always pleases me to come here and read the words. sometimes i feel like i know you inside and out. mostly inside. and i really am captivated by what i see.
    in fondest always, tilda

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    1. awww, thank you. inside is the most important. :)

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  5. so sorry about your uncle, I have one that is having health issues and it saddens me greatly-I am close to him and my aunt. I find it interesting on where our brains go during times of sadness, stress or facing the reality of life on earth. I can easily go down the worry path so I stop thinking and switch to enjoying each day (not my innate way of thinking!). I never thought of how writing differs at different times of the day..

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  6. Oh. I love how you spoke of the birds. Love.
    I came here tonight with the intention to say hello, and read a few posts.. tried really hard to read only a few, as I try to catch up with everyone. But, like always, I get caught, over and over again as I keep clicking on "older post". I can't stop. And even as I am prepared to leave after I publish this comment, I probably won't. I'll linger even longer and click on just a few more "older posts".

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