I’m planning to take some time off for a much-needed break and some reflection on where I want to focus in 2021. Please continue to reach out to me if you need editing or consulting as I’m scheduling projects for January and February and will be answering emails over the holidays. The blog will return on January 4.
Throughout this year of our pandemic 2020, I keep coming back again and again to the incredible parable in G. Willow Wilson’s The Bird King about a group of birds who are traveling to find the Bird King to restore birds to greatness.
A falcon gets distracted by a gold bracelet in the rocks, and it struggles to pry it away. Eventually, after nearly losing the rest of its group, the falcon gives up and goes to rejoin another bird, a hoopoe. As it takes flight, the falcon jostles the bracelet free.
“‘Look, falcon,’ said the hoopoe. ‘Your bracelet is free at least.’ But the falcon shook her head. ‘It was never mine,’ she said. ‘It was only weight, and I am glad not to carry it.’ And on they flew.”
If there’s a glimmer to this very difficult year, it’s that it has shown us what in our old lives was needless gold weight and what is truly necessary for survival. Like a strong gust of wind, it’s broken off our weak branches and reduced our lives to hardened husks of what they once were.
What will you carry with you as the old world and its shiny distractions return?
I know this year has changed me, but in so many ways it feels like we’re still in the middle of the storm and it’s hard to gauge the effects. I so badly want to escape the infinite loop that I’ve been trapped in since March, but what do I want to replace it with?
I don’t know yet. But for now it’s enough to know that I survived this year and I’m entering the new one with an altered perception of what is truly important. I hope that will be the real thing I carry with me into 2021.
Thank you for your presence this year, have a safe and happy end to 2020, and I’m looking forward to exploring new horizons with you in 2021.
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Art: Winter Landscape by Remigius Adrianus Haanen