Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hope and Magic Feathers

Last November, faced with journeying home alone for the holidays for the first time since I was diagnosed with a severe physiological anxiety disorder three years ago, I asked my readers to send me feathers (magic ones, like Dumbo used to convince himself he could fly) as tokens of support and encouragement, as symbols of the strength and magic that were hidden from me, but which were there all along. Far more of you responded than I expected and I received countless feathers––from peacock to pheasant, watercolor to ink drawings––which I kept in a sheer and shimmery bag, propped up on my dashboard as I made the fourteen-hour drive home to my family in southeast Idaho.

Recently I received a package from my friend Lori (who keeps a mighty fine blog herself at Fermented Fur). She was excited to contribute several feathers which she obtained from the Macaws which are occasionally groomed at the holistic animal clinic where she works. I was overjoyed at the arrival of her gift and in awe of the silvery green, the liquid blue and sunshine gold feathers she'd sent. She is a wonderful friend, smart and funny and beautiful through and through, and I'm looking forward to October when I finally get to meet her when she'll be in Denver on business.

Duncan and I were walking at the top of the park tonight, just below my friend Mark, who was flying one of the the magnificent kites which have entranced my spirit. I was looking out over the water and realized it's been nearly a year since that very first post last September. I had no idea that my walks with my best friend would lead me to so many unique and magical experiences, that my eyes and heart would be opened on a daily basis, that I would learn so much about myself, or that I would encounter so many wonderful people along the way who have all been unexpectedly kind and generous. I am very thankful for the love and devotion you've shown Dunc and me. I never could've hoped for as much as I've received. Thank you.

In addition to her feathers, Lori reminded me of a poem I hadn't read in a very long time and had almost forgotten about:

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me
(Emily Dickinson)

4 comments:

Greg said...

Congratulations on the milestone.

May the next year bring many walks, fabulous feathers, good music, wet noses and much inspiration to you, my friend!

duncan's internet friend said...

We are the ones who receive from you and Duncan. You are doing all the work while we get to enjoy! Congratulations on many accounts! Lori is splendid! She led me to you.
You are worthy of all good things that come your way.
My sister lives in a neighborhood here that has had a peacock for a couple years. We were on her deck and lo and behold, sitting right next to us on the bannister was the peacock! She went inside to bring some food outside and fed him (or her) right from her hand! It was a sight to see.

Lori said...

Awwww... so that's what you were talking about! :-* The macaw feathers came from my friend T's bird. She comments a lot on FF. I can't wait till October, either! I might lick all your pens, but I promise to treat the feathers with respect.

Curt Rogers said...

I think your comment needs some explaining, Lori!

I have a thing with my pen. It's the only weird quirk I have. I just don't let people touch my pen and I don't use other people's pens either. I always carry one with me and even at my desk at work I won't let anyone use it. When Lori found out about my hang-up she threatened to lick every pen I own, just to see how crazy I'd go.