Monday, January 4, 2010

A Bird Flew On My Head Too

I've been blogging about a year now. And I could not have imagined then that I would have posted in this way, digging through old boxes, flipping through yellowed journal pages and photo albums. Reaching far back into time, retrieving lost places, words, lives.

I certainly never expected to lose Cyn, for instance. And the comments and emails that followed my posts about that infuse me with wonder, still. The solace, knowing and care helped me make sense of my childhood friend's death, something I had been simply unable to accept with any sort of equanimity.

Since I started writing here, I've changed in ways I'm just now starting to comprehend. And friends I had before I started this journey are people I know even better now. I told things about myself they had not known. And that, in turn, spurred them to revelation.

And now there are new friends, people I know through their blogs. And sometimes I'm surprised to remember we've not met in person. SB and Mel, Syd, now Danielle, who posts from so far away.

And Ms. Moon. One of those people I "knew" from the moment I read her first post. She's why I posted tonight in this vein. She has a post in her blog about a bird that landed on her head.
( she said "... where IS the camera when you need it."

Which of course made me remember the picture I posted above and I told her about it. And said "come on over to my blog and I'll show you."

So, I was playing in my cousin's yard when a bird flew onto MY head. And just stayed. And stayed. And stayed. And my cousin ran into the house and found a camera. And ran back out and the bird was still there. So she snapped a picture. And the picture you see is a copy of the picture, who knows where the negative went.

I remember getting bored with the bird eventually and jumping around and causing it to fly away. My mother told me the bird landed there because I wouldn't allow her to properly brush my thick mop of curly hair "so it always looks like a bird's nest." She warned me that I would be subject to frequent bird head landings if I didn't brush my hair more.

But the most interesting thing about that picture, to me, is that my sister, who hated having her photo taken, stood there in peace. She generally would scream and yell and throw herself on the ground and kick and hold her breath and turn red. Sometimes she appeared in pictures that way, in a fury, but often she wasn't in them at all.

Once she said, when we were grown, that she didn't understand why there were so many pictures of our brother and me and so few of her. I looked at Mother for a significant few seconds. Then my mouth flew open. Then we burst out laughing. My sister really didn't remember her ways.

But she obviously was so taken with the wonder of the bird on my head that she stood for the picture and even smiled a little bit.

So, this kind of posting symbiosis happens all the time with Ms. Moon. She says something and I'll remember what happened to me that was just like that. And then somebody else will say something and I'll remember the thing in my life that was just like that too. And off we go.

My realization about that and the community we are forming around the words we write and read and comment on has been growing for a while. But it really didn't register fully until tonight.

Because I think we all are looking for similar things. The thing that makes us stop for a minute and be amazed. And remember the time when, yes, we too hosted birds on our heads, or something like them. Or at least when we got to be there for the wonder of it all.

As I said in the very beginning up top in the title of this blog and have said, not as a command but a gentle invitation since I was 18. Astonish me. And you all do, every single one of you.


  1. Happy Blogiversary! Glad you came, glad you stayed. You always manage to say things "just right!"

  2. You did! You posted about having a bird on your head! That is so precious. I wonder what sort of bird it was and why it really landed on your head. I'm so glad that you have the picture. You look so proud in it, hands on hips- Look! I have been chosen! How great! How funny! Yes! Me!

    Thank-you for those sweet words, Glimmer. YOU astonish ME.

  3. Oh, this is so sweet and perfect.
    Especially the last paragraph.
    I agree.
    What a great photo too.
    Now I want a bird on my head too ;-)

  4. Thank you blognut! I think you were the first person I followed. It took me a while to figure that out. But I managed. So glad I did.

    Ms. Moon, my cousin, 10 years older, was watching us in the yard. And the bird flew out of nowhere and landed on my head. I don't remember what kind it was and my cousin doesn't either. I want that original picture!

    This is the funny thing. I did not think it was all that unusual at first. I felt everyone had birds land on their heads. So when I found out otherwise, yes, I was very proud of myself. Especially when the bird stayed through all the fuss.

    Another reason to always have a camera, as you found, my friend.

  5. Bethany: Your blog is sweet and perfect too. And I wish a bird for your head in 2010 and every other thing of wonder too!

  6. Wonderful post Glimmer. It sent me scurrying over to Ms Moon to see what this wonderful blog friend is like. I went, I saw, I followed.

  7. Glimmer, you are awesome. Your writing reminds me of gentle southern breezes, pluff mud, magnolia blossoms and those endless childhood days of summer. Thanks for that. There are days when I forget that my life is absolutely wonderful--and all of it has been astonishing.

  8. Memories....I love memories..good, bad and all the in between because then I know I live. The bird on the head...was there a message that wee bird wanted to tell you? So cute that it stayed on your head for so long as to get a photo. And of course your little sister must pose for this photo...I mean her big sis does have a bird on her head! Really. That is the only kind to pose for she must have thought.

  9. Elisabeth: Isn't Miss Moon the best? I am new to your blog, but what I have seen so far is stunning. I'm always trying to be braver, chiseling away at the artifice to get at the truths. And you are inspiring to me in that. A real, honest, literary blog, a FIND!

    Syd: Reading a comment like that, from you, makes every moment spent on this blog worth it, and more. Because if you are "getting" the South here, from your vantage point, I've done what I set out to do.

    Ellen: I know! I wondered the same thing as I got older. My hair did NOT look like a bird's nest. Mother fixed me up before we went visiting. She admitted she PRAYED UP a child with curly hair. I have recurring dreams of flying, literally flying. Maybe the bird gifted me with that. I love those dreams!

  10. Wonderful. And I just posted a picture of my sister and me as well. We are all connected.

  11. @ glimmer

    ah..i m honored that you consider me a friend..and indeed ..friends we make..fellows and loves we finde blogland..too...

    i love your blog for certain is that you go trough your past.unveil layer after layer whats behind the "paris days" picture...and i simply cant get enough of that ...

    ps: never a bird landed on my head..but once an owl felt through my chimney (it was in summer luckily) and flew around in my bedroom..does that count?..maybe not..:-)

  12. Ms. Moon and you and Syd all astonish the shit out of me. I love you guys. My life is much richer for your presences.


  13. No bird on my head, but some say I have bats in my belfry.

    Love your blog, love your "comment" peeps.

    A real late HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, with the songs of birds being with you all the way through.

  14. Mwa: That is a fantastic picture of two sisters. Love it!

    Danielle: Owls through chimneys completely count! Aren't they good luck? I will get to Paris days, I promise. It has to be seriously warm for me to tell about that.

    SB: What would we do without YOU, after all?

    Steve: HA HA! Thank you so much for coming back by. And the peeps are the best. I'm not worthy but they grace this site anyway.


    I thought of you and Cyn last night. Hope she knows.

    Love, SB.

  16. ha..we will be with you all the way..:-)

  17. SB: You knew I would have to write about it, didn't you?

    Danielle: Stay tuned...

  18. St Francis moments... you must have been touched by a little bit of god :)

  19. I think you must be right, Jo. I believe that.

  20. hi my name is Joanne, i had a parakeet fly on my head this summer sitting at my pool, my niece said aunt Joanne you have a bird on your head!!! i said what what and i started hitting my head (luckily i did not hurt buzzzz)that's his name. so anyway he has been with us for 8 you think that is a message from from someone?