Saturday, May 7, 2011

So many ways to create beauty...

Since I've been into 'thinky' posts lately, I might as well keep the roll going. Spring is raging through my world right now and though the temperatures seem like they are trying to summon winter back, the world around me is going through the work it needs to do to move the seasons forward. The animals have especially caught my attention the last few years. I find myself watching birds and squirrels that have conveniently (for me) taken up residence in neighboring rooftops. I've written of this before, here and here and more recently here.

Someone on facebook mentioned that once you start watching birds it is a sign that you are officially old, but I don't think so. I think it just means that you are past the age where you think the world revolves around you. To me it feels more like a rebirth, a quickening. Here, E. E. Cummings explains this better:

may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it's sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there's never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile

Oh yeah, Mr. Cummings. You can be my huckleberry. Does everyone else get schoolgirl shivers when you read his poetry? Or I suppose I shouldn't assume everyone who wanders to this blog is female... So schoolboy/girl shivers then? Ahem... back to birds and squirrels, shall we?

But mostly what I've learned from the neighborhood animals is that their main point of existence seems to be nurturing and creating. Which isn't a unique observation as the phrase 'feathering ones nest' proves. But it does this mama/crafter heart good to catch a glimpse that maybe this unyielding urge to create... well, anything, is based on a primal instinct verses something less savory, like mania or narcissism.

I like the idea that one of the driving forces in this world is simply creation. Beauty, comfort, laughter, safety, whimsy.... whatever. It is all being created by someone much to the enjoyment of others. The world around us seems support that this is how it should be. Spring conquers winter with the most startling contrasts possible, redecorating with a style that never grows old. Birds and squirrels finding the most interesting places to make a home, then rebuild automatically if need be, teaching their young how to do the same.

I watched a bird that was so determined to get a piece of cloth into his nest he tried and tried and tried and finally went and got his mate who grabbed it when he flew up and pulled it in while he pushed. It reminded me of the several house projects that my husband and I have put each other through, only surviving by working together, each grabbing our end of the material. Though on the flip-side I've also been somewhat scarred by a mother squirrel that I swear is having postpartum issues and trying to whittle down her litter. My husband will be happy when that particular group moves on. I think he's sick of getting frantic texts about falling baby squirrels. Might as well keep it real, not all humans are the most wonderful example of humanity... and not all squirrels are wonderful examples of well, squirrel-hood... squirrelness... Squirreliness? Goodness... do I have a point?

Anyway... that is where my mind has drifted tonight. And then it drifted to this: (Because this post isn't quite long enough yet.) My cousins have created the most amazingly beautiful thing. Last year they started a race in memory of their brother who died of a brain tumor at age 29. Chris was my oldest cousin and his life, though filled with some of the most serious things life can throw at you, was also  filled with so much creation. He had the best laugh and the gentlest personality, even as he was an amazing competitor and sportsman. Chris was kind. He was funny. He was fun. And I miss him, I do. This race is a beautiful testament to his life and it is generating funds to help researchers create too. Specifically create cures. Because brain tumors suck, even worse than precariously balanced baby squirrels.

Humans create like we live. Endlessly rearranging that nest when the wind has its way with us. And though Chris's life ended too quickly, his life was beautiful and he lived it well; with optimism, laughter, and gratitude. His sisters have continued his spark and with it created this race. And I am humble to be a part of it and to be part of such a lovely group of people as well.

We don't know how long we have on this gorgeous, tear-soaked planet. But we ourselves were made. We will be unmade. And in all the time that is in between, we can create. And there is beauty in that cycle.

I love, love, love this video. I'll post the lyrics to the awesome song too.

Nothing For Granted - Brendan James

Leave your worries, leave your fears • Leave the doubt you’re holding dear
Leave them there, love by the door • They’re no good anymore
Tell your friends you’ll see them later • Tell your family they can wait
Your only young once, only dream of the day that love will steal you away
So run with me down these midnight streets
We will take nothing for granted nothing for granted
Come with me, life is short and sweet
We will take nothing for granted nothing for granted
Stop the seasons drifting by • Stop believing there’s no time
Stop your heart from closing off • I think you deserve it all
Love your future, love your past • Love your body, it’s all you have
Love your secrets bottled up • But love them more when you give them up
And run with me down these midnight streets
We will take nothing for granted, nothing for granted
Come with me life is short and sweet
We will take nothing for granted, nothing for granted
Gotta get out of your mind • There’s so many wonders to find
So many words they could write across your early grave
So come on and open your eyes • I will be right by your side
You will see love lies in everything
Run with me down these midnight streets • We will take nothing for granted
Nothing for granted • Nothing for granted • Nothing for granted
Come with me life is short and sweet
Oh, nothing for granted • Nothing for granted
If you made it all the way to the end of this post, I am humbled. I am set on ramble tonight it seems. But I am set on grateful as well. Thank you for reading. And thank you for what you create in this world. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend.

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