Birds in the sky

For many years I longed to be in theatre.  My sister Ann starred in several high school productions.  Mother opened our home to the cast and crew for rehearsal, costume creation, and post-production gatherings.  I hovered in the background, mesmerized by the nonchalant sophistication of the seniors and the sharp sexiness of the aspiring stars.

Mother took my little brothers and me to see The Roar of the Greasepaint in the late 1960s.  Afterwards we belted out the signature songs in our living room. We relished the giddy glory of the rising strength of Cocky as he strove to gain equal footing with Sir; the bold embrace of freedom in the Negro’s victorious stride; and the tender, hopeful chanting of the chorus.  The  entire soundtrack became my personal survival anthem.  

A storm threatened the Delta yesterday.  I heard the stark and steady cries of the snow geese as they descended on the fields of Andrus Island.  I stood on my porch, straining to spy the staunch formations knifing the sky, south to north, high to low, swooping downward to settle.  My neighbor Robin scurried by, her dogs tugging their leash, urging her along.  The wind rifled the grasses along the creek.

Across the meadow, a solitary mourning dove settled on a slender branch.  I raised my lens to capture these moments, seconds which might be my last, which might be the ultimate instant on earth for any of us or any of these creatures.  The wide expanse of clear sky spanned unbroken above me.  The air snapped and crackled.   I stood in silence.  Then I went inside to start supper, closing the door against the gathering gloom.

It’s the fourteenth day of the seventy-fifth month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.

Feeling Good

Birds flying high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Reeds driftin’ on by you know how I feel

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good

Fish in the sea you know how I feel
River running free you know how I feel
Blossom in the tree you know how I feel

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good

Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don’t you know
Butterflies all havin’ fun you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done
That’s what I mean

And this old world is a new world
And a bold world
For me

Stars when you shine you know how I feel
Scent of the pine you know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And I know how I feel


Soundtrack to “The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd”


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