The Bowerbird

“A bird that builds a reedy nest and goes to extraordinary lengths to decorate it with ‘stolen’ goods & found objects.” –Sibella Court

Having recently moved, I was faced with an accumulation of things, possessions, whosits and whatsits galore.  Mind you, this is not the first time I have moved and to be abundantly clear, there have been quite a hand full of moves over recent years.  Though in our first resettlement together, imagine the insanity my girlfriend has experienced as I try to make sense of over a quarter of a life lived that has manifested in a haphazard nest of palpable memory.  To give you an idea of my present dilemma, as my friend helped me pull boxes from here and there she claimed, “this apartment will be a lot less insulated once you leave.”  I am certain my cheeks turned a bright fuchsia.

Left to my own devices, I have managed to acquire a great many collections. Some may call them found objects, some I have “stolen” from nature, there were things given and obtained for an ethereal purpose and those that wait for a certain purpose of which has not surfaced in some time- the obsolete.

The past to me represents the journey. There are those steps taken on purpose and those we find ourselves guided into.  Call it intuition or blind leaps into the unknown, decisions we were sure were the right ones but ended up being those missteps.  Without those missteps, mistakes, the times we lost our way, it would not place us in the here and now.  Among the items that recite my own private journey, their importance is that of a guide into my own soul.  It is not a love of the past, rather a respect for the delicate yet intricate patterns and maps we do not realize we institute for ourselves.  We decide our journey and our lessons. We decide whom we allow into our universe.  Some become our teachers, our lessons, some are those we call friends and others that have a familial strength remain a constant entity as our journey moves forward and often beyond. 

I am not interested in disowning my past for fear of losing lessons learned or forgetting how to read my own map.  Finally at a place where I do not allow my past to keep me from moving forward is a moment of clarity for me.  I do not have to carry the entire weight of a dead horse to remember the horse existed.  Memory is a funny thing though. It is hard to know what our mind changes when it looks after our memories as we live the every day.  Truth is in the artifacts I keep. The keys to unlock doors, to be sure my mind can recall the journey and the lesson.

The reedy nest that I go to great lengths to construct is a home with ceaseless evolution.  My habitat is a constant reinvention.  Everything is placed and positioned in a spatial intelligence that is an eloquent language into my soul if you know how to translate it.  It has been a solitary endeavor even among those who have cohabitated with me –up until ten months ago when this bluebird found a mate that found nesting to be just as an expressive ritual as I do. Everything has its place and right now my place is here and now with her.  

 It was also the first time that certain artifacts became unusable.  I had to figure out how to adjust the patterns and objects for our nest in order for it to feel safe for both of us of which I am still figuring out. It had to be about our symmetry and individuality, not just about my own journey.  The home I am building with Katherine may be the most important one I have created in my life. In this moment, it feels so.  It feels more right than I knew right could feel.  It is the first time since leaving my childhood home of Woodhaven that I feel new roots taking hold. Years have been spent not cultivating them and often ripping them apart or neglecting them as to not allow them to keep. In this moment they coil around my feet with a gentleness and an earnestness.  The bower is forming around us.