Saturday, January 26, 2008


A Minor Bird

I have wished a bird would fly away,
And not sing by my house all day,

Have clapped my hands at him from the door
When it seemed as if I could bear no more.

The fault must partly have been in me
The bird was not to blame for his key.

And of course there must be something wrong
In wanting to silence any song.

Robert Frost

I long have wished to silence the bird song that lives within me. To allow my heart to sing a joyful song, unfettered, all day long--how glorious, but how dangerous that would be. In singing, do I not perhaps attract the attention of predators, or put myself at risk? How much safer it is to sit snug in the bushes, not making a sound. Hidden among the leaves, unnoticed, unmolested. Alone to arrange my nest without interference from others. No need to tie myself to others, to allow myself to become dependent upon another living being. To be hurt.

But to gain that safety, I must stifle the heart, layer by layer, with cynicism, self-doubt, false indifference. I build it up, day by day, until I do not remember that the heart still beats beneath the rigid shell. It has always been this way; I have always been this way. The jaded eye, the deflecting quip, the curling lip, are all used to convince myself this is how I want it. Alone, independent, unable to be hurt.

But then something happens. I hear a new voice singing from a nearby tree, and its beauty, its keenness, its utter truth vibrates within me until the hardened shell around my heart chips, cracks, shatters. My inner self is laid open, exposed, raw, vulnerable. It is frightening but exhilarating. My stifled voice sings out in a torrent, feverish, uncontrolled, unstoppable. And after the flood, when I am calmer, I see the truth. The shell I built for safety did not only stop inward barbs from piercing me. It also blocked all attempts at outward seekings.

So now, a new beginning. A way to sing my song, for it to be heard. And, therefore, to hear the songs of others around me. I hear them all singing in the forest: trills, whistles, chirps, coos, shrieks, clucks, all calling to me, and I hear them, and I answer. I add my song to the symphony around me and I revel in the harmony.


Wade said...

Your song is beautiful. It gladdens my heart.

kirtina said...

anglo, you are terrific.

amy d said...

Glo, I love your writing style! You communicate beautifully and clearly. And (I can't resist), you fill my nights with song .