Tuesday, June 30

Clipped wings…No Cuba, No Peru

My wings felt clipped this weekend. So, I am glad in some ways to see it pass. A ton of incomplete work is squeezing the breath from me. Glad this too shall pass because it’s painful, relatively speaking, to sit at a computer and stare at a screen where the words simply refuse to appear easily. Some famous writer once said writing is easy, all you have to do is open up a vein. On the other hand, I’m also not thrilled to see the weekend go as it signals that yet another 48 hours have elapsed and I’m still not where I need to be in my task. I need more time but I’ve had too much time already.Thus, my plans to visit Peru and Cuba remain unfulfilled. Internally, I’m whining and that feeling of being constrained is both distracting and blocking. I did an errand on the ‘cycle, which should have taken 30 minutes tops. Took me nearly 2 hours as I found all kinds of reasons for other errands that had to be done. Riding is more than a physical act. It is also spiritual and can be a muse of sorts. To ride safely, one needs to be completely focused on the task and perhaps doing that, helps loosen up other regions of the brain to let the creative juices flow. Sometimes taking a very long walk will have the same effect and something I‘ve been puzzling over all becomes clear. I should have taken a short 50 miles ride--it would have done wonders for me, I‘m sure about that. It is my fault that I am shackled (more or less) this weekend. I have only myself to blame. A too full plate will eventually topple.

When shall I learn? This is not unfamiliar territory. Still, it’s got to end this week. A long weekend is on the horizon and the sweet scent of freedom beckons me.

Feeling sorry for myself this weekend made me think of a poem by one of my favorite poets, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, appropriately titled “Sympathy.”

I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals--
I know what the caged bird feels!

I know why the caged bird beats his wing
Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting--
I know why he beats his wing!

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,--
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings--
I know why the caged bird sings!
Paul Laurence Dunbar

When I am free, I shall visit Dayton, OH where Dunbar is from. There is a National Parks stamp I can collect on him. He was a classmate of one of the Wright brothers, so I can also retrieve an aviation stamp to honor their contributions to flight. I shall also visit Woodland Cemetery where Dunbar is buried and say a special thanks to him for poems I first read as a child.