Pristine feathers, tattered feathers

October 29, 2013

Yesterday I ended my walk by going through the small patch of woods behind the middle school and near my house.

I had run into a woman I know, while I was walking.  She was out on her regular route, I was improvising mine.  We had an enjoyable conversation about the This Old House renovation that’s been going on in our neighborhood.  It turned out we both had the same questions about it and the same reaction to it.  We talked a little about Willy, because she knew him, and knew the kids, through seeing them out walking the dog.  I told her today (it was “tomorrow” then) would have been his birthday.

At Eastern Avenue we went our separate ways, she to go up to the Water Tower and Park Ave., me to go down to Robbins Farm and sit and look at the Boston skyline.

When I finished and set off to return home, I went down a road that would lead me to one of the entrances to the patch of woods I mentioned.  Within the woods, I went up the hill, and on my way up, I came across two feathers, the first recognizable as a hawk feather, despite its being a little the worse for wear, the second, probably one as well, given its length and width and proximity to the first, but too tattered for me to be able to really tell for sure.

I am reminded of the quite pristine hawk feathers I encountered near Willy’s grave a day before his yahrzeit this past summer.

Call it what you will, I am drawn to compare and contrast and derive an interpretation.  What I come to is that Willy achieved what he needed to in order to return those tattered feathers to their pristine state.  That’s what I perceive from the inside looking out from my perspective, it probably looks quite different to someone, or everybody, else.  So be it.

I would link to Leslie Smith’s song “Words of a Kind” if I could find it on YouTube.  (Here’s a different one of her songs instead.  “Words of a Kind” talks about our tattered feathers, albeit from a different perspective, the more usual one, I think, but I love the song.  And it’s part of where I go when I start thinking about tattered feathers.  Only I can see how we may “redeem” them and return them to their pristine state.

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3 Responses to “Pristine feathers, tattered feathers”

  1. Richard Says:

    nice blog Not much say…

  2. Richard Says:

    I am reminded of a peom I read in school where a fisherman caught a fish and noticed many scars on the fish mouth indicating a long life struggle of catch and escape. Although the fish was big enough to be a ”keeper”, he released him out of respect for the life struggles he/she had endured.

    As I grow older I am so appreciative of the compassion that comes with experiential wisdom


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