Of a dreamed lament, cats, beauty and mortal vitality . . .

A dream: my only strong impression a narrow country lane, tree lined. It seemed to bring at first poignant recognition, but then very quickly I, in the dream state, was lamenting, audibly keening, a loss of a something, a life-force, a freedom, lightness. I then became somewhat more conscious, and was breathing, quickly, shallowly, but, eventually, fell back to sleep.

I awoke to the sound of Ranas’ tom cat scrabbling around in the vicinity of my near empty rucksack, as if playing with something hidden. I could not figure it out initially what had the cat so animated . . . something moving? Then a distinctive fluttering . . . oh no! . . . alive?

A bird, something like a Yellow Finch . . . bought in from the woodland, to me, a half alive ‘gift’ revealed, behind the bookcase.

I picked it up in my warm but cooling hands, having quickly got dressed; it still had some warmth. What to do?

Not in the house, the cat would surely have it again. From nature, back to nature I thought. So took it out and put it up at height on one of the exterior roof beams, out of claws reach. It moved, a little and I carefully placed it so it would not tumble to the ground, have a chance, at least initially.

The dream, the awakening; what does that early morning ‘gift’ bring me? Every new day can bring a little chance of insight. That we live in the present; that is clear, real, the place of action in our hearts. For life can be short. That bird, going about its’ business knew not the approach of the young agile cat – could not escape, even in the present. Not a good outcome, for the bird. Yet even in the times that appear desperate, without obvious hope, may come at least the prospect of relief, a little unexpected salvation from torment may arise. Relief, from feeling that we are being played about, somewhat cruelly, by life.

Life is not cruel, live is for living, fully, everyday; because . . . ? Well, because there is very little else, in fact , nothing else, we can know; not even the finality of death, I would venture.

Although it is not one of my all-time favourite catchphrases, being associated in my mind with 1980s / 1990s positivist YUPPIE thinking, this one seems appropriate, for today, at least: ‘Work hard, play hard, live strong!’

I can’t know if that beautiful feathered creature of lightness survived the recent ordeal, I can only hope so. But know that is not my responsibility, never was really. Just that I did what I did, in good faith or heart, when I could.

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