"There's no point in spending your life in the pursuit of something that's easy." - Alice Kuipers

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Broken Birds

Yesterday evening I didn't go to the gym. I stayed home to write. At least that's what I told myself. But as I went into the office to work, I was arrested by the unfinished state of the room. It was almost there, very nearly the perfect writing retreat, but remained unpolished. It was missing all the special little details that would make it sublime.

I'd bought four ceramic birds from a home decor store, 3 white and 1 blue, to hang on the wall. They were still sitting in a box on the floor, waiting. Before I could sit down and start writing I decided that I must hang those birds. If they were no longer sitting on the floor bothering me then I could concentrate on writing. I grabbed a hammer and nails and set to work. But the birds were finicky, slippery, refusing to hang on the nails, and before long two had fallen and broken into pieces on the floor.

With a string of obscenities I crumpled to the floor, gathering the broken pieces in my hands. I felt like the shattered birds I was holding. Broken. My incompetence with such a simple task seemed like the perfect metaphor for the rest of my life. I could start things but not finish them. I'd painted and wall papered the entire room, but I couldn't finish the bits and pieces. It was the story of my life. I got the broad strokes right, but not the details.

And yet, there I was, writing the first draft of this post. I'd stayed home from the gym to write and instead I'd fixated on hanging the birds, positive that inspiration would come in a good working environment. But it was the broken birds that had inspired me, not the room. Breaking them had broken my resistance. I wanted to write.

There are two birds left. With a hot glue gun the other two are probably salvageable. I'd be lying if I said I didn't still equate myself with the birds. Because I can't help but think maybe I'm salvageable too.

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