Monday, January 28, 2013

we imperfect birds

"Each has to enter the nest made by the other imperfect birds."
 ~ Rumi

Although I've read Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, (what writer hasn't?) I haven't yet read her book Imperfect Birds. Which of course comes up when searching for Rumi's line. These are her words from an interview in Salon in 2010:

Can you talk about the meaning of the title? What does it mean to be an “imperfect bird”?
It’s from the poem by Rumi, that each of us must enter the nest made by the other imperfect bird. If we want to have human connection, we have to enter other people’s ragtag lives — which is, of course, a nightmare, but which also makes us grow and stretch, and get out of ourselves, which is literally heaven. All we have to offer each other is the welcome into our own crummy nests, which are always half-coming-apart. And it doesn’t seem like it could possibly be enough. But it always is.


The nest (can you even tell that it's a nest?) is in the mock orange shrubs in front of our house. (You might remember the leaf cup of snow from last week - same shrubbery...) It's barely a nest. I spotted it in the fall and I've tried to capture it from time to time, always deleting the photo because it looks so sparse. Maybe the snow defines it a little. Maybe it says something - that no matter how sparse, how makeshift, how incomplete and slight.....still the thing will hold. It will be a cup to the snow. Stronger than it appears. It does what it was designed for - it holds. And it is, as Lamott says, enough.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
~ Rumi

So many strange and beautifully heartbreaking things as one walks. The snow, curling away from the fence, into the sun, pierced, wounded. 

And then this colourful bit of debris, caught.....small and bright in the middle of this relentless winter. 

"We are a warm spell
that comes in a relentless winter.

We are the sun with all the different
kinds of light. We are wind."


1 comment:

  1. Lovely post! Imperfect Birds is a terrific novel, though harrowing -- and I'm glad my own daughter was grown and out of our own nest when I read it. It strikes such a clear note -- well, more than a single note; a run of bars, an extended composition -- about some of the difficulties of being a teenaged girl.


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