The Delicate Flutter of the Sparrow of Life
Updated: Nov 3, 2021
I become bogged down in the minutiae of everyday life, forgetting that the broad strokes matter more. I need to step back and look at the larger picture. If I spend too much time obsessing over one bad show, or brooding over the endless string of hot summer days, longing futilely for the cooling break of fall, I forget that I love what I do.
I am living the life that so many people dream of. I'm a working artist. I get to do the thing I love most for a living. I get to spend whole days wandering around my favorite city, taking photographs of brilliantly colored cottages.
Professionally, I explore my own dreams. I pick them apart ruthlessly trying to understand every last detail so that I can transform it into art. People pay me to do that.
How utterly amazing is that?
But I do forget. I become obsessed with the small details. I start to lose myself in an endless existential crisis. What is the point of it all? What is my greater purpose?
I found myself deep in conversation with my inner child and my future self: a woman well advanced into the stage of crone. I expressed my uneasiness with the two of them; explaining that I just wasn't certain what my purpose should be. "Why am I here?"
The two became increasingly impatient with me. What did I mean? Why are you here?
"You are here", they explained, "to live".
I wasn't satisfied with that answer and started to insist that I needed a deeper purpose. I wanted a reason.
My inner self approached me, making it obvious that she was cradling something in her hands. I gazed at her cupped hands curiously as she slowly opened them to reveal a sparrow, small and delicate.
It shook itself and slowly began to open and shut its wings.
"Life," said the crone gently, having moved to stand beside me. "Is a sparrow on delicate wings. Enjoy every moment of it, for it is fragile and you cannot know when its flight will abruptly cease."
At last, I understood and processed that simple, basic truth. Life is for living.
Do I really need to know anything else?