Monday, November 12, 2012

I Don't Know the Name of This Bird

White-Eyes by Mary Oliver In winter all the singing is in the tops of the trees where the wind-bird with its white eyes shoves and pushes among the branches. Like any of us he wants to go to sleep, but he's restless— he has an idea, and slowly it unfolds from under his beating wings as long as he stays awake But his big, round music, after all, is too breathy to last. So, it's over. In the pine-crown he makes his nest, he's done all he can. I don't know the name of this bird, I only imagine his glittering beak tucked in a white wing while the clouds— which he has summoned from the north— which he has taught to be mild, and silent— thicken, and begin to fall into the world below like stars, or the feathers of some unimaginable bird that loves us, that is asleep now, and silent— that has turned itself into snow. I read this poem and imagine this bird wrestling with its idea in the tops of the trees manifesting in the brilliant winter storm we have experienced over the weekend. I think of something large and definitive, a creator or director or maybe simply a grand observer, who puffs and blows the turbulence we all sense in the storms of our lives. I imagine this being as blustery at times, yes, but one who ultimately reaches me softly, a real touch, by sending gentle, delicate, and cold kisses floating through the air, landing silently on my face and shoulders and eyes. Something as simple as the snow falling silently around me manifesting the Divine’s love for me. “I don’t know the name of this bird. . .” but I can feel it. It stops my stomping in my tracks, ankle deep in dark and cold, my brow furrowed and mind brimming with business, and lifts my gaze for a moment to watch the dazzling show of fat, silent flakes, filter through the streetlight. The beauty of it all! “I don’t know the name of this bird,” but I can feel it move through me in yoga. It breathes me and makes my body move and sway, undulate and reach. It arrests my busy mind and opens my eyes. Come and listen and watch your deeper self this week in the warm studio as the Divine, who has turned itself into snow, sifts softly down and touches and blesses the ground around us.

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