Posted by: cctracker | February 10, 2013

Living, Again, in the World of Birds

“Looking at birds really takes away sadness in a lot of us…Looking at birds takes you out of yourself into the real world.” 

-Starr Saphir

Have you ever had a week when you felt like you were suffocating? As if your private obsessions–tasks and lists of tasks at work, the failures of others and even more your own failures, dark thoughts about the world’s troubles–create a mood that comes down over your head like a plastic bag, cutting you off from those around you, making the real world outside your head feel opaque and remote?

If you’re like me, you feel guilty on top of being miserable after a week like that because you know that you put the bag on your own head and, for some strange and shameful reason, refused to take it off.

I’ve come out of such a week and I’m grateful to all of the people and small graces that cooperated in helping me to take the bag off and breathe the air of the real world again.

I was already breathing good air by the time I read Starr Saphir‘s obituary this morning in the NYT, but her voice was a reminder that, for me, looking at birds is one of those ordinary graces.

Here’s hoping we can all keep spotting the little invitations to keep it real.

Photo James Burton

Photo James Burton


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