"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Saturday, November 19, 2016


I have surrounded myself with wings.

It wasn't a consciously intentional act, but wherever I look from where I sit, I see wings. Dragonflies. Eagles. Hummingbirds. Angels. Fairies. Hearts. It's a collection that has accumulated over years. Whether they're lacy and insubstantial, or muscular and heavily feathered, wings comfort me and lift my spirits. Never more so than right now.

If it were possible, I would have wings.

Not much imagination is required for me to feel my shoulder blades sprout beautiful furls of feathers attached to hollow bones that unfold into appendages that might lift me high above the ground. They carry me beyond myself, and defy the weight of gravity. When I walk on a particularly windy day, the air dancing on my face and pushing against my body allows me to feel the lift, even though my feet remained firmly on the ground.

Wings would allow my body to soar as my heart often does.

Maybe to join one of the myriad V's of geese that fill the air here this time of year. Maybe to float high currents of air with the eagle who has returned to the river in the last few days. Maybe to migrate to warmer climes to wait out the cold and dark of this season in a place of light and abundance.

With wings I could rise above this unthinkable new reality and my sadness.

I could look down and see a much larger world than the one my human, grounded, eyes can perceive. One that might offer hope. The view from beneath the buoyancy of extended wings might allow beauty to shine more brightly against the shadows. I'm not trying or wanting to escape this grief. I know better than that. But I am seeking relief, air, lightness, from which to bear it. I search for the particular and unique beauty that comes only in the days of mourning, to hearts that are broken and tender and raw.

The whispers of wings deliver truth to a listening ear.

It's the small still voice. The one that encourages love and kindness. The one that is the opposite of shame and fear. Sometimes the whisper is so low it sounds like silence. It offers a space in which to simply be with it all: the sadness, the beauty, the joy, the hope, the ugliness, the shock, the uncertainty.

Things with wings are messengers of the highest order. I wrap myself in the protection of their strength and breathe in their fragile beauty. I fill my eyes with the unlikeliness of their form and function. Their existence, bird and dragonfly, make angels seem probable. Their existence and my ability to know them make now seem less hopeless, and tomorrow as open as the wide sky that those beings paint with their wings.


Linda Myers said...

Oh, my goodness, Deb. You have done it again. Beautiful.

Fly away!

DJan said...

I cannot help but realize that I have had the ability to fly, for countless hours in freefall. I know what it means to fly, and I know that you, dear Deb, were born with wings, one that come out when you craft these words. I am gobsmacked by this post. :-)

Sally Wessely said...

I think we all would just like to fly away about now.

Linda Reeder said...

I cannot make my brain think like you do to create such imagery with words like you do, but like you, I am seeking a lightness of being that so far I have only caught glimmers of.

Linda Reeder said...

I cannot make my brain think like you do to create such imagery with words like you do, but like you I too long for that lightness of being that so far I have only caught glimmers of.

Lisa Angeley said...

Your powerful words move us all, Deb. Thank you for sharing this hope eith us.

Sandi said...

I love all your posts, but this one really resonated with me. I've always loved things with wings, and wished for wings, for reasons you express so beautifully. Being lifted up, above the sorrow, allows us the healing perspective so needed. I needed to read this reminder, and love you for sharing. Hugs.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

On the wings of a dove, I so want to fly and have joy. Hope, though, is always there, and on another day, we shall all soar.

This was such a beautiful, inspiring post.

Kathryn Grace said...

Your self-awareness as you navigate the ever-changing territory of the heart is a model to us all. Thank you once again for being vulnerable and sharing with us so much of your inner turmoil and struggle, as well as your sources of strength. So many ways to take the wings!

Incidentally, I tried to add you to my feed, but got a message from WordPressdotcom that they couldn't find a feed on your site. I clicked on your follow-post-atom button and got a page full of code, so I think perhaps something has gone awry there. Please do let me know when you get it fixed, if you can!

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

It's not just that you are a wonderful writer, though you are. It's that you are such a beautiful spirit, attuned to your feelings, to nature, to the realm of the possible, and probably to whole ranges of forces I can't even name. DJan said it: Gobsmacked.