The red on a blackbird’s wing

I’m finding it hard to write. My mind is so full of things it wants to say that it has created a logjam like the drainage stones I sometimes put in the bottom of a pot for a plant, the pressure of one against the others keeps them all captive and unable to slip through the hole.

So I make attempts to organize the information:

Letters to my mother—

Why did you have to leave when I wasn’t ready for you to go? Why was there so little time at the end, and that taken up by the necessities of life drawing down to an end like the last stingy trickle of shampoo squeezed from a bottle held upside down? I wish I would have known thirty years ago what I know today and then maybe I would have taken the time to really know who you were.

Observations on how the world has shifted, and why nothing seems the same.

Deliberations on what to do next to find meaning in what often feels like a purposeless life.

I could do a whole study on “things.”

Why do we have so many things? How can we just exit and leave everything behind? Should I begin to get rid of my prized possessions now so that my children won’t have to make heart-wrenching decisions as to whether my books get sold, donated, or stored in a box in someone’s basement? And is someone walking around today in my mother’s green spring sweater?  So many things. We buy because we think we need. We keep in case someday we might need. Or someone gave to us because they thought we needed or would like to have. Poof. We exit. And yet every thing that we kept, bought, were given, held dear, or merely tolerated, is left sitting on its shelf, in a cabinet, or in a drawer. Unclaimed freight.

Why do the things we leave behind plague me so?

Contemplations on the age-old question, what is it all about?

My world has shifted and my mind is full, yet I remain largely speechless.

But the crimson on the wing of the blackbird shines red in the sun to me. Still.


Reposted from ChristineMGrote-author.

9 thoughts on “The red on a blackbird’s wing”

  1. I’m sorry things seem so muddled, but soon the fog will lift and everything will be as brilliant as the red on the blackbird’s wing.

  2. There are no answers to your questions, Christine, but I understand so well that you have these questions. Questions about life, questions about death. About leaving. Memories and how things could have gone different. Should have gone. But all of this makes you who you are, my dear friend.
    We need a guide through life, but have none. Let your Angels comfort you, and know that I’m thinking of you.

  3. The eternal questions, yes? They keep cropping up, no matter how sure or unsure we are. Sometimes, I think that the ‘answers’ are actually irrelevant. That what IS relevant is our asking the questions, & questioning any answers we think we have come up with. Requires having some comfort with ambiguity …….. maybe that’s why the red on the blackbird’s wing is so glorious –> nothing ambiguous about that!

    1. I think you may be on to something. My brain is not one that likes to accept without understanding. Perhaps that is one of the life lessons I need to learn. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      1. I like to ‘know’ things too. But increasingly I find that when you a little bit about ((anything)) it only reveals how much there is to know about it!! So, in a sense, we will never know everything, which means we can never really control our relationship to that thing.. SOMEtimes, but not always, this helps me relax & just take the world in, w/o stressing about how much I am not in control.


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