Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"Hope Is The Thing With Feathers"... I was first introduced to this line in a book title rather than the poem by Emily Dickinson from which it was borrowed. The book, by Christopher Cokinos, beautifully describes the last days of five species of birds driven to extinction by human avarice, lack of foresight or just plain gross stupidity. 
Though I can never leave the confines of my 12' by 12' room, I'm lucky that the room's window looks out over a beautifully maintained enclosed garden. It's big enough to support a nesting hummingbird. There is a fountain the mourning doves love to circle before they begin to bathe. The large cherry tree has a branch just outside my window large enough for a hawk to land on... I watch it eat it's meal of song bird a few times a week, just before the humming birds and robins chase it away.
I'm doing quite well here, recovery wise. I've avoided the worst of the later side effects from the treatment- though the beginning, right after the consecutive days of high dose chemotherapy, was rough. I may even be home by the end of the weekend...! 
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Have you ever noticed how profoundly sad a song about happiness can be--- "Blue Skies, Smiling at me. Nothing but Blue Skies, do i see."?
Maybe Irving Berlin wasn't writing about being happy at all. Was he constructing that veneer of sunshine behind which hid a deep, inescapable melancholy? Was it the great depression when he wrote this song- when poor people could escape to dreams of emerald cities and wizards of oz?