Wednesday, May 8, 2013

i pray to the birds

“The universe is a continuous web. Touch it at any point and the whole web quivers.”

- Stanley Kunitz

 “The spider is a repairer. If you bash into the web of a spider, she doesn’t get mad. She weaves and repairs it.”

- Louise Bourgeois

“I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.”

- Rumi

“There is an art to writing, and it is not always disclosure. The act itself can be beautiful, revelatory, and private.”

- Terry Tempest Williams

“I pray to the birds because they remind me of what I love rather than what I fear. And at the end of my prayers, they teach me how to listen.”

- Terry Tempest Williams

These blog posts happen rather organically. I take a walk, and record what I see on a particular day. Before I set out, I have no idea what that might be, how well I might be able to capture these small things that cross my path. A spider web, a robin, small birds singing their souls out. Singing my soul out. Or, I'm in the kitchen, cooking, or sitting at the table writing in my journal. I'll notice a certain slant of light. Or, there is bread, or dinner, or the dog lies down in a band of light. So I have these photographs, and I want words for them, so I go seeking. The image as prompt, then. And then the words I find, they are also a prompt. Today I found the words of Terry Tempest Williams. I happen to have read all her books, and most recently When Women Were Birds. (On my recommended shelf, above). I think it's one of those books you have to read, and then live with for a while, because I find that re-reading it this morning, early, it's speaking to me in different ways than when I first read it. I was initially drawn to it because of its formal daring, which this morning, seems even more daring to me than when I first encountered it.

It is a lot more difficult to sing like the birds than it might appear to be. And the further along in your writing 'career' the more evident this becomes. And even if you do manage to sing, good luck getting it published. Good luck having it heard. There are so many ways to silence birdsong, to dismiss it.


  1. Your images are prompts for me; reminders of the beautiful things, the sweet pleasures of living on this earth.


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