Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Plucking a Swan

I plucked a swan. I dealt with overstepping my welcome with a capstone project, beginning unfinished proposals, refusing job offers that would change my direction, realizing deadlines two months too late, researching unfinished projects, and just-missing an opportunity with an esteemed colleague,
With the spring semester coming to a close, all that I have not done seems outweighed by the realities and vicissitudes of actualization. My ideas were made impotent by circumstances beyond my control. I had to learn to let the boat take the lead while I sat without hands, even -to paddle through the endless dark water, overwrought with leviathan and endings.

But as I sat in the uncertainty, I was able to stop looking down into the darkness that could consume me if I were to tip. I was able to just sit in the boat. As I sat, a feather fell from the empty grey sky and spoke to me, “this feather may look worthless, but it comes from afar and carries with it all my good intentions.” I stared, listening to the feather, and soon enough began to believe in it. As I closed my eyes and breathed in the intentions of my failures, I was able to piece together the purpose behind my attempts. I had been letting Pandora’s box eat me whole; allowing myself to tear a bird of beauty bald in my own desperation.

In the boat, I shamefully released one tear for what I had done. It fell upon the feather and good intentions began to pour out from me. I was ashamed, but know I need to let that go to recognize that endings will always surround me; and so will hope.

The murky sludge surrounds my boat, and goes down, down to the bottom, and perhaps it is there that the water will be made clear. Unfinished projects are unfinished, deadlines re-set, and opportunity is always waiting. The boat stirred forward on its’ own accord. I am adrift, but at least not sinking.

While staring at the feather Iglanced forward, in hope of a clearing, and am reminded of Amy Tan's feather, more for luck than a pluck.  She is able to see that, “this bird was once a duck that stretched its neck in hopes of becoming a goose, and now look! --it is too beautiful to eat.” I am thankful for the literature that guides me; for the wisdom of others to bring all of my good intentions into being, and most of all, for the good intentions that drive me. For my children. For love.

*Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. NY: Penguin, 1989. pp 17.

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