The Third Bird

Her dreams showed her things would be changing, although her mind tried never to entertain the thoughts.

*Tendrils dig diligently, separating dense patches of earth and maneuvering around rock, bone and root as they attempt to quench their thirst for strength and solidity. Rugged, sturdy branches reach and flex with agile dexterity as they twist, tighten and hold firmly to everything within their immediate reach. Vibrant green leaves unfurl tenderly, resting their backs across sturdy thorns like small trusting bodies on a thousand tiny beds of nails, opening gently in relaxation and contentment. The wind breathes a heavy sigh as the array of brilliant greens begin to chatter in melodramatic movement, instantly catching the regal eyes of many rich, calm, delicate red buds that pepper the lush vegetation.

Deep within layers of life there exists a deadened space, barely perceptible to an untrained eye.



Rushing through the busy streets, juggling objects as well as her perception of time, the girl’s attention is whisked away from her racing mind and redirected towards a soft, delicate sound barely audible against the turbulent downtown traffic; the flit flit flit of breathlessly labored wings. With a turning of her head she views him; a small bird completely drained of physical effort and mournfully immobilized, his feathered breast pressed tiredly against the warm bricks of a nearby building. Instantly observing broken feet and a damaged beak her heart drops as quickly as all that rests in her arms. Without thought or hesitation, the bird is suddenly resting in the palm of her hand, looking up at her with one lazily half-closed eye. She looks down at the objects she carried previously in her arms, unsure of how to proceed regaining the focus and determination of her juggling act. 

“Ok. Now what..” She thinks to herself.

“What’cha got there?” Says a bright-eyed man adorned in a smile, exiting a nearby building. He picks up speed with the swaying of his arms as he walks briskly towards her.

“Hey there - I think he’s a small warbler. Seems pretty beat up, I.. I just couldn’t leave him.” She says.

“Well then, let me run and get a box and some bedding for him. I’ll be right back.” The man says as he quickly heads back in the direction of the building he just previously exited.

Within moments he returns, box and bedding in hand. She places the small bird on the soft bedding, carefully arranging the loosely packed crinkles of tissue to support his exhausted frame. He rests, breathing heavily against the cardboard wall.

The vibrant greens of abundancy begin to slowly fade, thinning and transforming the lushness of life into near transparency as the deadened space begins to flow, seeping through veins and methodically injecting stillness into each leaflet. Tendrils soften and decrease in their urgency for stable ground as one by one, blushing flower petals begin to lose their baring, fatefully releasing their grips on stems as they take to the air, drifting aimlessly in the static summer heat. Thick, able bodied branches, once headstrong and ruthlessly determined, begin to soften into a lazy fog, their thorn encrusted necks retracting from their punctured holes from which they bite all that surrounds them. 

Sensors are triggered and alerts are raised, urging delicate red buds to rouse and straighten their weakened poise as they become painfully aware of this foreign body. They struggle to retain balance as lethargy consumes them, making any defense preparation futile for the imminent threat to their system.

 Crackled flower petals begin to collect, littering the soft ground.


She is called to a different part of town, a variation on her usual journey. Her head points downward as she observes her thoughts aligning seamlessly with the placement of each foot on the pavement. As she looks up from this mesmerizing unity, she is surprised to see a variety of automobiles swerving synchronistically in the street ahead of her, just barely missing a small grey object. She wrinkles her nose as she squints in an attempt to narrow her scope on the image before her. As she walks closer her ears instantly grasp the sound of a dull, melancholic shrill. The small object begins to gain clarity, focus and definition, transforming into a small baby gull. 

Hunched back on his round knobby knees directly above the piercing double yellow lines, he sits crying with all he can muster, just opposite a small, unmoving gull. The plethora of brilliantly engineered automobiles perfectly execute turn after turn as they whoosh passed the gull, ruffling his immature feathers with the wind they create, but alas, not a soul to stop.

She stares in shock as cars continue to swerve.

 “He’s been here all day, since 8am crying over that gull friend he lost.”  Says a woman standing nearby. 

The girl’s trance is broken as her head turns to acknowledge the woman.

“…. All day? And no one has done a thing?”  The girl responds, sickened.

The girl walks a few steps closer as the baby gull turns, softening his shrill and staring at her wide eyed and lonely.

“Seems like he’s meant for you.” Says the nearby woman. 

“I… I guess so.” Says the girl.

“Here,” says the woman, reaching into her overflowing bag of groceries, “I picked up some tuna from the general store. Better he have it.”

“Huh. Thanks. I’m sure he’ll appreciate it.” Says the girl.  “Do seagulls even eat tuna?” She thinks to herself.

The girl walks down the street, the football-sized baby gull zipped up against her chest in her red sweatshirt, soft grey feathers tickling her neck as his head pokes through the front as lookout. Careful step after careful step, she appears as though she’s attempting the most awkward feathery touchdown of her life.

Finally making it to her parked car, she fumbles entry for a moment until key succinctly enters lock, and with a swift heave of her hip, the door quirkily pops open. Inside she sees a small, open wicker basket occupying the passenger side seat.

“This will have to do. Funny I delayed dropping off that old thing... ” She says as she unzips her red sweatshirt and removes an arm from each sleeve. She gently places the gull in the small basket, tucking the sleeves of her sweatshirt around him comfortably.  He stares at her, completely unafraid and visibly contented by the presence of another being, regardless of species.

The girl pulls the round tab on the lid of tuna fish, instantly popping it open. The pungent smell of fish explodes into the air, awakening the senses of the baby gull as his eyes widen. She places the can in the basket near him. He stares blankly at the can, confused. Eventually his eyes make it back to hers.

“… Not so much?” She remarks.

Not ready to give up, she looks around for inspiration, rummaging through her car until finally her focus settles on a package of unused chopsticks. 

“Voila! Well, they’re all I’ve got at the moment, dear friend.”

Immediately recognizing the visual sensory stimulation of this method of nourishment, the gull graciously guzzles down bite after bite of chopstick delivered tuna fish, until all three cans are completely polished off.

He stares into her eyes warmly, like an old friend.

Limbs are brittle, shaken and scared, bracing for the remaining effort of internal protection from the strain; the playful intrigue of their surrounding stimuli only a distant memory. Browns, blacks, dull pinks and yellows dominate the once brilliantly youthful display of nature, transforming all remaining brightness and breath into the sickness of the deep, far reaching deadened space.

One by one, rosy buds drift sleepily, heads bowing as luscious reds slip soundlessly into the pink-brown hue of silent, eternal transparency.

She walks at an accelerated rate, being careful to gingerly sidestep discarded bottles, cans and street trash that cling desperately to the sidewalk. Beads of sweat pour down her face and neck as the sun reaches down from the sky, the taste of salt seeping through the delicate crease separating her closed lips. The leash that is firmly ensnared in her fist is tugged vigorously by a mammoth black dog; distressed, determined and strong-willed, the dog exerts all the force nature has to offer as he drives forward, harshly exhaling with every step as she is pulled relentlessly forward.  The sound of claws clicking and rubber soles dragging is interrupted by a familiar noise. 

flit flit flit… her ears open wide.
flit flit flit.. her eyes search for the source of sound… 

A robin, old and decrepit, bounces into the air where she is supported only for a strenuous moment by the lack of strength in her wings. She releases control and plummets, plopping heavily on the ground. Once more, she tries to break her contract with the earth, jumping into the air to rely on wings that fail to support and hold her any longer. The girl stops and stares at the all too familiar scene. The large black dog pulls the leash taught as he urges her farther down the sidewalk. She firmly digs her heels into the earth as she halts his headstrong determination. The girl motions forward to offer aid to the small bird, but stops.

She listens.

“You can’t save everything.”  She hears the voice say, as she stands frozen in place.

By surprise, her body is immediately commandeered by a sorrowful heart and determined brain, paying no mind and overriding this wise voice, pushing her body to continue. She gently scoops up the faltering bird and holds it dearly to her chest.

Sweat rains down as she wrestles her way back home, leash firmly grasped in hand as the hound spreads her thinly across the sidewalk. Finally she makes it home, eager to assist the small feathered friend. As she opens her arms, the wind breathes a heavy sigh as the breath is carefully swept away into the infinite; the bird is left silent and unmoving. 

A tear rolls down her cheek as she releases all resistance, painfully aware of her reality.

“I guess it ends today.” She says to herself. 


Pungent patches of black and grey dominate the surrendered remains of the vibrant, lucid dream of what once was; dried up roots once surging with life and purpose are now crumbled and cracked, hopelessly static and unreachable in the depths of moist soil.  Only one pink bud remains, struggling to stand proudly in a sea of crisp brown leaves and blackened thorns. The ground is littered with seasoned petals and fallen chunks of decayed limb.

Swift and methodically, limb after brittle limb are cleaved and muscled toward the ground as fierce blackened claws viciously attack skin, leaving deep cavernous lacerations as a result of the bitter resistance that ensues. 

Strike after strike releases the blackness as it is sheared and shed, collecting in a battered heap of sick, littered upon the earthen floor as the mass is whittled down to a small hollowed stump.

Deadened roots are peeled from the soil, dangling lifelessly from muddy, scratched hands before the final action is complete; the stump is finally ripped from the ground with all that is left of remaining strength.

Her chest heaves as she regains her composure after such heavy exertion. She leans forward and peers into the hole where the stump had been.

Immediately she notices an object just at the base of where the stump rested; a smooth, palm sized, rose colored stone.

She reaches in the hole and extracts the stone from its place of rest.

There she stands, blood dripping from scratches on her arms, face and torso, stone in one hand and the twisted remnants of the stump held firmly in the other.

A voice becomes known from behind her.


“That’s exactly what those plants love, you know. They love to be hacked down to nothing. That’s how they grow best!”

She turns her head toward the passerby in the street, startled. Completely astonished, she smiles deeply as the passerby promptly disengages and continues walking down the street, grinning.

The girl looks up towards the sky and watches as a single white feather floats downward.*

 

 

It can certainly be difficult to find the confidence to make big changes when they desperately need to occur. I believe this to be the case because most humans are under the impression that it is possible to make wrong choices. What if we choose wrong, what happens then?

At this point, it is worth examining the notions of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’; both concepts created by the intricacies of the human mind. In all honesty, I don’t believe it is possible to live a life of wrong. The idea of choices being either right or wrong are seemly just that.. Ideas/thoughts created by the mind that are chosen to be believed or not believed and from there, the body is instructed on how to take action. So in that sense, would it be possible to just simply live, not choosing to believe these thoughts of right or wrong and just simply BE in whatever avenue you choose to venture down?

This being said, I don’t believe in right or wrong choices in life; I do however, believe in resistance and resonance.

The body does an excellent job at letting you know when you are not living your truth, generally triggering your emotional guidance system- a mechanism that is perfectly installed into these wonderful bodies of ours. If an avenue is not lining up with your inner truth, there will be emotional resistance, usually in the form of heavy vibration; anger, rage, sadness, anxiousness, depression, frustration etc. These vibrations trigger emotional responses for an important reason; to guide you. The emotions prompted by these vibrations can be extremely seductive, as we tend to exist and wallow in them, paralyzed, afraid and simply quite daunted at the task of changing and rearranging our inner beliefs and outer lives in order to align with our highest truth and vibration. It almost seems less traumatizing to exist in these perpetual states of distress rather than choose to remedy the issue and bring our guidance system (emotions) back to a healthy range (happy, contentment) where we find harmonious resonance between what we do and how we feel.

This means that we are most often scared at the risks we will need to take in order to bring ourselves back to what makes us happy, leaving us frustrated and stagnant. This affects us in all areas of our lives; careers, jobs, friendships, romantic relationships and hobbies. So often we are pidgeon holed into making decisions about which choices to make due to outside expectation (societal norms, culture, family/friend pressures and thoughts believed by others), eventually becoming so far off of our paths that we slip into an overwhelming state of fear at what we will have to do/who we will have to disappoint to bring ourselves back into our own state of balance, happiness and fulfillment.

On this earth, in these bodies, during this existence, what other purpose is there then to find your total bliss and fulfillment through aligning with your own truth? 

No matter where you are on your path or how far you are away from it, the opportunity is always there to align with it. The farther you stray, the deeper you will need to dig. Neither path is wrong, it just simply IS, and you will learn valuable life lessons no matter which avenue you choose.

Sometimes things must be cut down to nothing in order to regrow and blossom into abundance.

And in the words of my good friend JF,  
Don’t Be Scared.

Pia