there is a unique bird at the farm. it’s spring, as we all know, and it being spring this is the time for courtship and mating, showing off and chirping, displays of friskiness and feather fluffing, prowess and plumage (i’m still talking about birds here). but this fellow, a brilliant little bluebird, is different than all the rest.
he seems to be in love with himself. his own reflection to be exact. instead of flitting after the females, he hops about in front of the window of the barn, courting himself. he is gorgeous, i’ll give him that, but his antics are a bit bizarre and if he’s not careful, may trigger some unpleasant and unintended evolutionary mechanisms. not that he cares much. because the sun is out and the frogs are singing and life is good. the worms are abundant, there are some foolish farmer chicks who keep planting succulent things for him to eat, and his beloved is always waiting by the window, to dance and mirror back affections for him at all hours of the day.
speaking of love, last night i had a great conversation with a friend on the phone. he’s currently in new york. he’s also currently falling head-over-heels in love. he’s three weeks into it, this love affair, and last night he hit his first snag. and by snag i don’t mean a blackberry thicket, i mean tiny tiny blade of grass. all that had happened, by my estimation, is that in the dreamy-eyed bliss of the honeymoon, he’d momentarily lost track of taking care of himself. even when he sensed that he needed some time alone, he just kept throwing himself back into party. his attachments increased, his neediness soared, and his insecurities trickled in. that’s the moment, i gently told him (as i often have to tell myself), that no matter how much you want to fold yourself into the body of someone else, you’ve got to stop what you are doing and take a frickin’ walk. or write. or call a friend. or do anything but let yourself be sucked back into the love vortex. just take a break. do something for yourself and with yourself. the vortex will be there tomorrow morning when you see your love again.
willow and i made fun of the bluebird today, but upon telling his story i now feel i owe him and apology. i don’t think i had flushed out our feathered friend’s complete narrative. perhaps he’d just got back from an long weekend of being with his love, across the field on the telephone line. slightly worn out and still a little intoxicated from so much flirtation, he just needed a little time to check in with himself. so maybe instead of demonstrating his level of derangement, he was teaching us a lesson in self-love. we spend so much energy, us wing-less beings, on either putting ourselves down when no one’s looking, or pumping ourselves up for the sake of others’ attention, affection, and/or approval. but what if sometimes we brought ourselves the best worms? what if instead of waiting for someone to take us on a date, we took ourselves on a date? what if every time we looked in the mirror, instead of chastising ourselves, comparing, or assessing what we think we lack, we were just like, “damn girl (or guy. or bird), you look awesome today, way to be you, way to rock it.” and then you hopped around in order to get the good view of every angle of your gorgeous body?
i only saw the bluebird today for a few minutes. willow and i were potting up the some seedlings by the greenhouse when he began his dance by the window. but eventually he disappeared. upon deeper reflection, i’m pretty sure that what we witnessed was a very healthy self-love practice. afterwards he probably went off to get himself some breakfast. alone, singing a little tune, and fundamentally happy in his own feathers.