Thursday, November 26, 2009

"Little Bird Inside"

Fragment of a dream, from April 2006, that came to mind this afternoon...

I buy a pair of slippers. I have in-store coupons but at the end of the transaction they are still in my wallet interspersed with bills. The clerk refuses to cash them out since I'm a first-time customer and they want to be sure I come back. I leave the shop feeling annoyed. I step down an exterior staircase onto a wooden deck. My bag is cluttered and I decide to clean it out, but it’s too much and I’m littering. There’s no place to throw out bits of paper so I gather them up again. I find two stamped grey metal coins on the decking. They're unfamiliar to me, the size of small cat plates. I pick one up. It seems that they're $1 coins. I take them both, wondering if it’s stealing (are they there as decoration?), but they seem just to be lying there, and they make up for the coupons I couldn’t redeem which cheers me. I step around the terrace and notice a tiny birdcage. Pinned to it is a handwritten note, printed in faint green crayon, that reads: “little bird inside.” I peek in. Sure enough there is a tiny pale yellow songbird, all by itself, hopping against the walls. It seems to be in poor shape - are the feathers on its head thinning? I feel sorry for it – is it lonely? Has the cage been placed there so that someone will adopt the bird? (I can’t because I have cats.) Then I see that the cage has an opening that lets out onto a decorative branch, festooned with blossoms, that has been deliberately set there. The bird is able to leave the cage, hop on the branch to sing, and return to the cage whenever it likes. It has freedom, and safety too. I realize that the bird is in a wonderful situation.

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