I make these lists year by year of the lessons I’ve learned and the truths that I’ve found. I make them in order to track my age and forge an alliance with myself. This little annual inventory is taken from a year of scribbling my thoughts down:
- There is always a bird singing somewhere. Always.
- Creativity takes courage. No additional skills are required.
- Pandora never had a box. She had a jar.
- Interrogate your ego often. It should never be bigger than your dreams.
- Tuesdays and Thursdays are the worst traffic days.
- BBC Radio 4 Podcasts are best played on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- There is always a way to give thanks and something/someone to be grateful for.
- Cynicism is lazy.
- Love Yourself and the universe will follow suit.
- Defiance Disorder: it’s a thing, look it up.
- Some people write to remember, I write to understand.
- My Orion is a Lady.
- Screw shame and the guilt it rode in on.
- The sea is always right.
- If you need an illustrated font to remind you to ‘Be Kind’ you are in big trouble.
- Trust Yourself, it’s all true.
- Shame’s trusted companion will always be regret. They come and go together. Be prepared.
- Re-read the words that changed you. Know who you are.
- There are no straight lines in nature. The concept is manmade just like perfection.
- We really are the stuff of stars.
- John and Abigail Adams had a remarkable and profound relationship.
- Trust your gut. Intuition only speaks when it has something to say.
- Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it. Forgive.
- I am an apt pupil, at ease in solitude. I am not a social creature but I do love people and that’s OKAY. (This one took a long time to figure out)
- Patience is Paramount.
- Be a detective. If something thrills your soul, dig in deep. Find out everything you can. Curiosity is its own reward.
- 38 years in and I am still astonished by the everyday assumptions we all make. Don’t assume anything about anyone ever. When people speak to you, listen completely, don’t let a preconception do the talking. The story, integrity, and beauty of a person will speak in the details.
- Shyness and insecurity, while all well and good, are not the same as quiet and contemplative.
- Take in the sunrise when you can.
- Write it all down, draw it all out. Legacy and expression are not reserved for an idol class. Everyone should write a memoir as far as I’m concerned.
- The sounds of a tapping keystroke, rushing water, and my daughter singing will always center me. Listen to your day.
- Cater to your imagination. Give it a safe space to grow up and run around in. Let it do the building.
- Everyone has his or her own personal battles. Anatidaephobia: A person suffering from this condition feels that somewhere in the world, a duck or a goose is watching him/her (not attacking or touching, simply watching the individual).
- Fear mongers in the dark, flock to the light.
- Look up, look up, look up, the sky is waiting for you.
- Embrace change, it is a reliable constant. Make use of it.
- Confront the Bear.
- When you give, give freely.
Note: My notes are personal truths. A collection of the reminders I write to myself and my Bird.
The dung twig sprouts
and the spotted Owl sings.
There is joy to be had
in old beginnings.
Seven crows, seven poles
digging in an open hole.
Into the red mud,
the centuries recounting.
This is my final turn
to begin again.
Drenched in the red
of this sweet Earth.
A new life planted in the dirt.
Seven rows for seven new souls,
the last of the firsts.
Because of the rooster,
the insisting, demeaning, and demanding.
The lonely loud cock
stained with the fortune
of freezing time.
Because of this rooster,
stuck in a cycle of violence,
stuck between day and night.
Because of this damn rooster,
the mornings come
before the light.
I’ve met my Owl, he lives in the wood.
He is large like my eagle, but harder to see.
His painted wings wear the mask of the trees.
How he found me, I will not know.
He was only in my dreaming then, decades ago.
My mind was an explosion then, ready to blow.
That was my beginning then, but now he is here.
Hunting and watching on this sacred ground.
I can see him, fear him, and love him,
my eyes are open now.
The birds are back.
You can hear them singing, loud and awake.
The winter is hiding, the land has been tricked.
The birds don’t mind it, not one bit.
I can hear them singing,
bloom spring bloom.
The birds are back to collect their due.
She, with her Magpie mind,
was drawn and fated, bound to shine.
She spoke in all tongues and made light of the dark.
She said yes to Bacchus and refused refuge on Noah’s famed Ark.
The black feathered Maven, white breasted and fair
would not be kept, so she took to the air.
Her triumph of choice taking on chance
evoked a curiosity bound for romance.
She made up her heart to make two of one,
and looked to the stars to see it done.
Determined to reach them, radiant and bright,
she forged a great bridge and lept into flight.
On the seventh night of the seventh moon,
she became forever illuminated in the arms of Altair.
Seekers in the dark still find her there.
Wary of wolves and worshipped with wine,
tales of her saga were shared far and wide.
One for sorrow, two for luck.
When the light goes out,
Count the crows and watch your souls!
We are walking in dark times.
Keep a window open, lock down your doors.
What goes out can’t come in.
Nothing can be the same again.
All of the pain inherited.
It has been genetically foretold.
The end of man will come at his own hand,
ravaged by his soul.
The Trinity complete,
the birds are watching now.
Three Crows in a row,
will see it all play out.
I felt them in my feet.
The weight of their knowing concealed me
as they circled overhead.
Hawks don’t fly.
Hawks don’t hunt.
I sit down to spool thread and watch the squirrels make lunch. The crows are here too, they always are. Together, the neighbors collect their spoils and keep watch. This is their living ground. They have been pushed to the rims of the park and they are almost outside of it entirely by now. They have been pushed out by dogs with coats. Dogs with owners in fine fleece coats and puffy jackets. Dogs who arrive to the park in new Subarus and Mini Coops. Adorable, well dressed Dogs with complete freedom to chase them out. They feed on the fringes now. They have nowhere else to go.