Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Bird - Part Two

My mom is buried in a cemetery in Paramus, about 20 minutes from where I reside. My dad, my Aunt Shirley and my Uncle Harold are there as well, all congregated together in death as they were in life.

I will not be visiting them anytime soon.
I have never been a believer in the afterlife. And I have never been moved to place some small rocks on a headstone or tell stories of the day at a spot where I am only conversing with myself. But I ask that you do not judge me harshly.
I hold the memory of my parents, of my aunt and uncle, of all those I loved who are no more, in my heart and my head. They are carried with me wherever I go, and, for me, that is much more fulfilling and real.
Or so I thought.
For now I have a new friend who makes me uncertain of my certainty, unclear in my clarity, uneasy with the ease at which I hold the idea of the finality of death.
I recently told the tale of a bird that appeared outside my window at work, pecking at a particular spot but a few feet from where I watched the world in my office chair. And I related this incident as a tongue in cheek contemplation of the return of my mom, who had only recently passed. There she was, I mused, anxious to discuss my daughter's recent wedding and other events of the moment.
No, really it was just a bird who, for some bizarre reason, had chosen this particular spot as a target, pecking again and again. A possible answer for this most peculiar behavior was even obtained from a friend of my son, an expert in the habits of birds. Something about attacking the reflected image it saw in the window, trying to gain control of this territory.
But again and again it is still happening. Day after day after day. Sometimes for many minutes, relentless, persistent and present. It is now nearly a month and there is no indication that this will end anytime soon.
I was on the phone yesterday while watching and listening to yet another furious attack on my window. I informed the person with whom I was chatting of what was occurring. He said he thought that the noise he was hearing was of me typing. And so I thought, was that what was happening here? Should I be getting someone in to decipher Morse code?
The mind is a supple piece of equipment. Tell yourself a story often enough, with enough conviction, and what you know is not true may no longer seem so false.
Ask those who have been coerced into confessions with memories manufactured by others and planted in their brains. Ask the President who has made most of this nation not trust what the eye sees or the ear hears. The understanding that we hold certain truths self evident, no longer so evident.
And so it is for me. I know that this is but some misguided, slightly demented winged creature who has chosen to attack my window, but it has become, more and more, the return of my mother. I actually look forward to its appearance every day and am saddened and disheartened if hours go by when it does not peck against the pane.
My wife, who works with me, will now regularly ask if Dotsy is around. And when she, I mean it, does arrive, I call out with excitement to my wife. We stop whatever our task to spend some time with my mom. Even though it can't be her.
Has this daily occurrence become an attack not on a window but on my belief system? Is the constant pecking intended not to break down the barrier between outside and in but the seemingly impenetrable one between the notion of life and death? Am I hallucinating or becoming enlightened?
All I know is that I now enjoy my visits with Dotsy. They provide a comfort that standing at a grave site has never remotely given me. And even as my mind tells me that this cannot be happening, my heart tells me that maybe it is.
And in the end, maybe that is the only truth that matters.


Harvey F Leeds said...


Anonymous said...

follow your heart, always.

Pam said...

It's Dotsy...xo

Anonymous said...

Life is so so full of blurry lines!!!


Anonymous said...

“The human brain is a complex organ with the wonderful power of enabling man to find reasons for continuing to believe whatever it is that he wants to believe.”
― Voltaire


Anonymous said...

Send my regards to dotsy
What a lovely piece!


Anonymous said...

love this


Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I share your feelings!