"She has never forgotten that
time when she had tried to write a story about her
sparrow. When the story was first conceived and first
lived it began, she could recount the exact words: "She
heard the voice, a common voice, the voice of a sparrow;
their sound encircles the world" … so what?
Well, she once had her own
sparrow. July 20th she arrived. September 15th,
she departed, joy departed, love remained." No. She
couldn’t write any more, it was not as it should be,
written on the day after the sparrow left, too
emotional, too melodramatic.
Then, weeks later, she
recollected now that she began again. "This is a little
story, about a little baby bird, a little old woman, and
the sorrowful joy of finding the missing tears of love."
She wondered aloud, "This is trying to be a story about
a sparrow and a human being…OK. Not the right opening."
However, how does one tell a
story about such insignificant creatures and such a
trivial event? Where to begin? At the very beginning to
the end, at the end of the story to the how it began,
then ramble on in a memory charged scattering of events,
or should she find a twist, an irony in the telling? Why
had it been so important for her to pursue the time of
this story? What to say and who is going to say it? To
whom am I telling this story? Therefore: she composed
her self and began again: The familiar:
She heard the voice, a common
voice, the voice of a sparrow; their sound encircles the
world … so what? Once she had her own sparrow. July 20th
she arrived. September 15th, she departed,
joy departed, love remained. As she sat there
recomposing, her hand opened, a warm breath of air
stirred the leaves, browns fluttered around, filled the
atmosphere. And the drama, unfolded in her head, written
in chronological order; it began and ended there without
"Imagine this, I wrote and read
that fragment and more the day after."
So, she began again:
When the sparrow first entered
my life, it was perhaps a week old, featherless, eyes
still shut. It has become a part of my life that will
always be there. No! Terrible!
I didn’t know that it was a
sparrow; it had fallen out of a borrowed swallow’s mud
nest. Uh, uh.
This adventure began on a usual
non-descript day in Southern California. There was an
unexpected knock at the door, her student Jerry. It was
too early for his lessons.
"I found this baby bird in the
dirt. Can you save it? You know how to raise baby birds,
please, save this one."
And after that:
Truman Capote gave Holly
Golightly these word in Breakfast at Tiffany’s,
"Never love a wild thing…the more you do, the stronger
they get. Until they’re strong enough to run into the
woods. Or fly into a tree. Then a taller tree. Then the
sky… If you let yourself love a wild thing. You’ll end
up looking at the sky."
She couldn’t help but smile,
whenever she thought of Little Bird, she always smiled.
"I loved a wild thing; I ended
up looking at the sky. But it was good; loving a wild
thing for the wild thing loved me back, left me with
glorious memories and the spontaneous desire, to cry,
real tears; to mourn on the outside; to dismiss hidden
inside anger." She began to recite to herself,
"Why should I feel
Why should the shadows
Why should my heart feel
She couldn’t get the next lines
into her head but:
His eye is on the
And I know He watches
More words had departed from her
remembrances of poems past: But she still recollected:
I sing because I’m
I sing because I’m free"
"Little bird always had a song,
simple but delightful." Again, a smile crept across her
lips as she thought: "I remember: Grieving. Who’d a
thought that grieving was a gift waiting out there: for
years and years, and years, to be accepted, given to me
by a sparrow?"
Gifts had always been so hard
for her to accept, to trust and to understand.
No so with The Babe, her
little one, her sparrow."