Like a bird on the wire,
Like a drunk in some old midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.
— Leonard Cohen – “Bird on the Wire,” 1979
What can possibly be more free than birds on a wire?
They come. They go. They gather. They fly off on a whim.
Doves gather and coo sweet nothings in each others’ ears.
But mostly they sit silently, thinking thoughts beyond our reach and ken.
They enjoy the buzzy thrum of power surging beneath their feet.
They face forward, into the weather, keeping feathers unruffled.
Much as we wish we could go through life.
The next best thing to birds on a wire?
Birds on a rail.
Eleven blackbirds all in a row.
What a conversation up there!
Blackbirds tell each other the most inappropriate jokes. They make fun of the tourists passing below.
They insult each other and slap each other on the back before flying off in search of a beer.
We walk past buildings and see loose wires, draped across the front.
“An unsightly mess,” we think. Then we walk on.
Into the unsightly mess that is our lives.
The rare soul sees art, or the opportunity for art.
Even rarer is the one who commits the act of art.
Enabling the rest of us, who have passed the same wire for untold ages,
to smile, to chuckle, to enjoy the whimsy of an artistic soul/warrior.
Commit art where and when you can.
Be like Leonard Cohen.
Let the rest of the world figure it out.