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11 February 2006 @ 10:18 pm
Yesterday, two birds flew into my sliding glass door.

I heard the first THUD and barely had time to draw breath before I heard the second. I shoved my feet into old hiking boots, threw a woolen wrap around my shoulders and went out into the cold to see what was what. Tiny grey feathers, a match for those smeared against the glass, drifted downward. Directly to my right, a goldfinch lay on the flagstones. Even as I knelt down, its head dropped, wings stilled, and it died.

But there had been two moments of impact, and only one bird in sight. I looked around. There. Behind a snow shovel was a plain sparrow, wings spread wide and tipped forward onto its breast. I stroked its back to right it. It stayed balanced but made no move to fly away. Its beak was open and it breathed rapidly. My instinct was to pick it up and warm it in my hands. Very Snow White, but probably not too practical. Truth to tell, I wasn’t sure what I should do.

Thank all that is good and merciful for the internet. And for Google. I went to that page and typed in “bird flies into a window” and the very second link promised information as to what to do when a bird collides with one’s window. I scanned the information and set to work at once. It was sheer luck that I had a shoe box (actually, it was a gift box that once held superb skin care products my husband gave me two Christmases ago; I kept the box because it was pretty - as luck would have it, the design on the box included birds). With the ruthlessness of an amateur wildlife-rehabilitator, I stabbed holes into the lid and then lined the box with paper towels.

The sparrow was still alive - mind you, this had only taken about two minutes, but then the goldfinch had died within seconds - so I gently slid my hands beneath it. Its tiny feet curled about my finger. I placed it into the box, replaced the cover and secured it with a rubber band. I’d already set up a heating pad (lowest setting) in barleymash’s office and covered it (the heating pad, not the entire office) with a towel. Onto half of the pad the shoe box went. I closed the door behind me and set to waiting.

Twenty minutes later, I checked on the (I hoped!) survivor. To my great delight I heard movement within the shoe box. From this point, the website’s instructions were clear: take the box outdoors, point it away from you, and open the lid. The bird should then bolt for the nearest tree. Easy enough. I took to box outside, tipped it away from me and carefully opened it. The bird hopped to the edge of the box. It sat for a moment, apparently considering. Then, it flapped its wings and lifted off... and hooked back toward me to land on my shoulder.
I told it I did not mind this, but it probably didn’t want to go back inside with the kitties. No response from the sparrow. I stood up. Still, nothing. I walked slowly toward a pine tree. At last, the wee bird seemed to have found his bearings. He fluttered for a moment, then gave it a real go and flew to the nearest branch.
I waited a moment before turning to go back into the house... at which point I had to pass the poor cold body of the goldfinch. But still, one bird saved is good, yes?

It was hours later when it hit me that this whole thing could serve as (an admittedly wacky) metaphor for what I’m going through right now. If I may apply a bit of headology:

There were two birds, one bright and the other drab. They both made sharp, sudden impact with an immovable object. The bright, beautiful and flashy creature lay, still and broken, its life quickly fled. The drab? It was stunned. Dark and warm and quiet restored it, gave it wings once more.
Faire - especially fighting and jousting - has been amazing. Brilliant, amazing, beautiful. It is over, at least for the time being. That part of my life may well be done with.
What I want - what I’ve always wanted - is admittedly quiet and everyday and average*. It has been unnoticed and overlooked for some time; easy to get distracted by the shiny. But now that the shiny is gone, a bit of quiet and rest might just give rise to the beauty of the everyday.

*Let me qualify. By ‘average,’ I suppose I mean what has been a constant. As far back as I can recall, I’ve been writing stories. Whatever other dreams and ambitions I might have had, being a writer was always part of that. So - average. Normal. Part of who I am. Make sense?
I feel: contemplativecontemplative
(Deleted comment)
Kel: Robin wildladyjoust on February 12th, 2006 04:42 am (UTC)
Thank you. Honestly.

Heh. If only I wasn't so much of a gooey mess!
Amanada (rhymes with Canada): jack framed by stargatemandasarah on February 12th, 2006 03:40 am (UTC)
I'm still in the part of my life where I crave the shiny. The fun, the adventure, the unknown. I appreciate the quite and everyday and the average and I'm very glad that it's there for me to come home to, but there's still that part of me that wants to do crazy things and go on adventures and feel that rush. I don't know if I'll ever grow out of it. I'm know that I'll enjoy it while it last because the part of me that likes the shiny is the part of me that lets me do the things that everyday me would never do.

Hmmm, I think there's a poem in there somewhere. *goes away to try to find it*
Kel: starmanladyjoust on February 12th, 2006 04:39 am (UTC)
See, I still want the shiny. Very much. I guess I just want to know that the Everyday has merit, and OH! I want to be good at it. So very much. I still want to explore new things, and chase after the will o' the wisp.

But then, there are moments when I just feel OLD.

Bah. I'm blithering, and no little bit at sea. If you find that poem, I do hope you are willing to share.
Amanada (rhymes with Canada): giaus is tiredmandasarah on February 12th, 2006 05:00 am (UTC)
I guess I just want to know that the Everyday has merit, and OH! I want to be good at it. So very much.

Understand that to a ridiculous degree.

If the words stop bouncing around long enough for me to catch them, I'll be happy to share. The sometimes don't though. 'Tis very aggravating.
Ratesjul: Magic Peter Panratesjul on February 12th, 2006 04:37 am (UTC)
*hugs Kelly*

I love your writing. I love your metaphor. Just wanted to say that.
Kelladyjoust on February 12th, 2006 04:40 am (UTC)
*hugs back*

Thank you, sweet. Coming from you, that means so very, very much.

Kerryscreamingdolai on February 12th, 2006 07:21 am (UTC)
I am weeping for those birds. Birds mean so much to me. I'm glad you were able to save one. ;-)
Fjordhopper: little match girlfjordhopper on February 12th, 2006 12:56 pm (UTC)
A really great story, it is amazing sometimes, how things can happen for a reason and are put before us to teach us or lead us somewhere.

And I think being a writer is pretty shiny! It may not be tinsel bright, but has the warm glow of nickel or pewter....there is depth there.

Your story also touched me, because I had a sparrow as a friend once - it was never able to fly and had been kicked out of it's nest - I raised him and was devestated when he died.
Mairearanturas on February 12th, 2006 11:24 pm (UTC)
What a great story.

As far as the metaphor for life, keep in mind that the sparrow survived because someone like you decided to try to save it. :)
orangefae on February 14th, 2006 12:14 am (UTC)
What a beautiful story. And I think it's amazing that you saw such a relavent metaphor. That means that you ARE ready for this and want it and are ready to do the things in your life that will truly keep you alive from the inside out.

Ilena Ayalanetsearcher on February 15th, 2006 01:45 am (UTC)
Bird strikes that end in a dead bird are always sad, but it seems that this incident left you with something to think about.

Keep in mind hon that *different* does not mean "not shiney".

You may well have shiney, it may simply turn out to be a different sort of shiney.

Walk the list, work the list, either way, you have a goal.