In songs I cannot hold I feel the world touch me. In places I cannot go I find myself wandering through a landscape of music. In voices familiar I find unknown friends.
I cannot deny the totality of my failure. More always can be taken. I have no escape from that palpable lesson of loss.
Yet I find that dark moment at least partially illuminated with the brightness of song, a chorus of voices innumerable and vast.
Like carolers some bring their gifts right to my door, yet others I must seek out like opera.
The calls of life surround me, blanket me in a warmth that permeates the darkest cold.
Standing witness to this musical legion balms the open sore of failure and begins healing the wounded self.
It’s somewhat like taking alms from the universe.
Yet I feel no shame in receiving this charity, this gift from those who have it to give.
Let them sing. And let me lose myself in the singing.
For even today the needful, lonesome calls of mourning doves filled the shadowy hours of dawn, and I let my eyes climb the tree outside the patio as they followed the plaintive calls to those offering their voices to the chill morning: a pair who had already built a nest in the outer branches. This can help.
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 Eastern phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)
 Wood duck (Aix sponsa), drake
 Red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus), female
 Domestic greylag goose (Anser anser)
 Indian runner (a.k.a. Indian runner duck or runner; Anas platyrhynchos), domestic breed
 Carolina wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
 Great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus), male
 Northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), male