Depressing Songs

15 May, 2009

tired Odin

Songbirds do not have time to be sad. They sing because there is no other option. Even at the end of summer, when the winds change, signaling the beginning of another end, their songs are nostalgic, perhaps bittersweet, but never sad. I’ve known trauma before, and this, while significant, is not the world-wrenching grief of death, but it is a dramatic and sudden lesson I must apparently relearn. Purple finches are out in masses, the young and old and red and brown mixing into a cacophony of twitters. The cardinals fly swift red lines from the feeder to their nests, hidden inside thorny shrubbery. Wrens sing and hop through the forest canopy on the ground, dozens of exquisite replicas hopping along after them. A mockingbird displays the white stripes on the back of her wings, first extending one arm, then another, while dozens of shiny eyes learn from above. I sing, not because I want to, not because I should, but because there is no other choice. When it is so bad, so far, so much, too much- still, one foot goes in front of the other.

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