I could hear them singing in the morning and on a given day would glance at them flying high in the afternoon sky but I never gave them the attention they deserved. I come from a family that loves nature and appreciates its beauty but it took me a little longer to understand their devotion. Of course I love going on nature hikes, having flowers around the house and there is nothing more visually stunning as a sunset by the ocean but the simple joys or countless conversations about some tree or the many types of flowers that exist were not something I could really get into.
We were sitting outside a cafe on a blue sky summer day when this little bird wandered by your seat. I heard you greet the bird lightly and I thought it was so sweet. I didn't think you noticed that I overhead or maybe its second nature to you so it didn't phase you. Either way, since that moment I started paying more attention to the little birds. any friend of yours is a friend of mine.
Since the last day I saw you and after several failed attempts at getting in touch with you, on some random day, a bird flying by me as I walked down the street or those serenading the morning with a song near my window made me stop and take notice. And while I was missing your company, these little birds carried thoughts of you to me and on some occassions that meant running into you several times a day.
"time flies when you're having fun, I heard somebody say"
It was a year later and I was in Mexico. It had been a decade since I had visited my relatives and my parent's hometown; it was great to be back! And the amazing thing about my trip was that my mind was no longer cluttered with all the things I was accustomed too back home! I'm usually inside my head way too much for my own good but everything was erased when I got there! I know it seems like a slight exaggeration but it was true and it wasn't because I was preoccupied with other activities; my days were actually spent enjoying the tranquility of the town and listening to all the sounds when their was no noise.
"Turn down the daily noise and at first there is the relief of silence. And then, very quietly, as quiet as light, meaning returns. Words are the part of silence that can be spoken." - j.winterson
I found some peace on this trip and I lie in bed embracing it. I was looking outside my window and in the distance I could hear the cows, birds, chickens, and dogs deep in conversation. It was a welcome change from the city's sounds. I saw a big group of birds flying together and I can only imagine they were playing a game, having a race or maybe line dancing as a group, who knows. I was looking at them and as I got up from my bed, all of a sudden one of the little birds bumped into the window frame and since it was open she stood on the window sill, as you can imagine this had more meaning to me than it might to someone else. Guess who entered my mind?....you. This was such a lovely moment for me. The little bird wasn't hurt, which I thought might be the case because it was a rather loud bump when she landed. Instead she gathered her composure and flew out to join her friends and the fun continued for them. It reminded me of children and how they do the very same thing; fall, get up, brush off the dirt from their knees and carry on.
I took this bird as a sign, a little messenger sent to comfort me and tell me that maybe I do cross your mind on occasion, since I was afraid you had forgotten me amidst all your happiness, and that I shouldn't be so sad when I think of you. I know you might think its crazy how I could read so much into something but I only took it as far as that so I think that makes me fairly sane. Like Milan Kundera said in his novel, people who find meaning in daily occurrences are the beautifiers of life and I'd like to think I'm one of them.
(excerpt from LightHouseKeeping by Jeannette Winterson)
I told him it was about meaning, and he suggested, very politely psychosis.
"You think meaning is psychosis?"
"An obsession with meaning, at the expense of the ordinary shape of life, might be understood as psychosis, yes."
"I do not accept that life has no ordinary shape, or that there is anything ordinary about life at all. We make it ordinary, but it is not."
He twiddled his pencil. His nails were very clean.
"I am only asking questions."
"So am I"
There was a pause.
I said, "how would you define psychosis?"
He wrote on a piece of paper with his pencil: Psychosis: out of touch with reality.
Since then, I have been trying to find out what reality is, so that I can touch it.
I'd rather hold a bird in my hands.