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Behind The Feathers

When one is forced to confront one’s mortality and ultimately the lack thereof, it calls into question all that truly matters in one’s life.

Throughout my life people have left irreparable scars on my heart, body, mind and soul. Yet still, through it all, people matter a great deal to me. There’s one thing about people though, you never know when or why they might leave.

                Music and Literature have also left wounds upon my heart and soul, they have made lifelong alterations to my person but unlike people they never leave, no matter what. Through thick and thin, good times and bad, they’ve remained by my side, through it all. Even at times when I’ve neglected them in favour of different hobbies and returned later they’ve still been there, the only true constant in my life. I know that I can always open a book or place an album on my turntable and immediately be welcomed back into that wonderful esoteric space. On a far smaller scale there are some films that also have that effect on me too, not many, but those that do have left an inerasable imprint on my being.

                I suppose when one spends one’s life continually consulting with the muses in search of inspiration to relieve the unquenchable desire to create something, anything, it’s inevitable that at times there will be certain ideologies and symbols that plague one’s thoughts like an itch waiting to be scratched. So incessant are they that it seems as though the muses are almost daring you not to take the ideas they have presented you with lest you be haunted by them forever.

                One such idea for me in recent times has been birds, yes I realise that in writing that as a pansexual the meaning could be taken in any sense of the word but in this instance I’m referring to our feathered friends, more specifically the bluebird. I have been sent an array of the little creatures over the last few months and now finally I am here to set them free once more.

                My first bluebird arrived in the form of the David Bowie song Lazarus, and the lyrics ‘You know I’ll be free just like that bluebird.’ An unavoidable song that I hear somewhat accidentally at least once a day, every day. The second, came through the beautiful Linda Thompson song ‘If I Were A Bluebird’ once more a song that delicately caresses each and every day I am blessed to walk this earth. And so, it continued with song after song featuring bluebirds presenting themselves to me on a daily basis.

I then began to feel I was being somewhat stalked by Emily Dickinson and her poem Hope Is The Thing With Feathers. On an almost daily basis I would see the verse, hear it quoted by someone or indeed have cause to quote it myself.

The breaking point for me however was the final flypast of the RAF Lockheed C-130 Hercules that I witnessed by complete accident whilst visiting one of my favourite locations in Salisbury last summer, Old Sarum. I just so happened to be standing at the top of William The Conqueror’s Castle breathing in the history and capturing the mesmerising views of Sarum and beyond when a different sort of bluebird flew past me in a stunning display of pride and symbology,

Finally, I gave into the call of the muses, returned from my trek through history to set the bluebirds free and to see what had been waiting to be released through my digital pencil and onto the canvas. One by one the feathers came, and with each one they brought a reminder of my eternal loves Music and Literature.





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