"Desire is the daughter of invention (my heart is made of paper)"
acrylic on masonite, 8x10"
One of my new paintings featured in The Foxtrot Code, a piece on making peace with your own delicate heart. Not even delicate in the sense of being easily broken, but rather delicate in that you take the weight of the world on your shoulders (think May in The Secret Life of Bees).
Today, I found this pigeon in front of a popular Harvard Square bookstore. Pigeons nest on the tops of their very tall outdoor display cases, and this pigeon seemed to have fallen. He couldn't fly and was looking for comfort in his reflection, which he thought was another pigeon. I called Cambridge animal control, thinking he was sick, but when the woman arrived she said he was a large baby pigeon who hadn't learned how to fly yet, and he wasn't eating the bread I was trying to feed him (given to me by a very sweet girl) because he was used to being fed by his mother. She told me the best thing to do was leave him there.
This may make me sound crazy, but I spent the next four hours with this pigeon. He was so helpless and scared, I couldn't bear to leave him alone. He kept crying. I would sit with him and pet him, and then go far away for blocks of time to see if his mother or father would fly down in an attempt to get him, but they never did. It was also difficult because it's a very busy area, with lots of people traffic.
I was desperate for ideas. I went inside and spoke to someone who worked at the bookstore. As chance would have it, a girl who worked there was known for saving birds. She told me the parents might have kicked him out of the nest, and that maybe I should put him in a box and take him to the local park.
I grappled with this idea for about an hour. I called my mom several times. I called the Boston Animal Rescue League to see what they thought I should do. Eventually, it seemed that everyone thought it was best that I leave him there, which broke my heart.
It was starting to get dark at this point (and oddly cold), and my little pigeon was closing his eyes and beginning to fall asleep. (I even saw him yawn a couple of times, which I did not know birds could do! It was so cute.) I made him a "nest" out of a cardboard box and news papers, and left him with the remainder of the bread. I called my mom to tell her I was finally leaving the pigeon, and it made me start to cry. I couldn't believe that in all that time I hadn't been able to do anything that would secure the safety of the pigeon.
I think I take on too much sometimes, but even though it doesn't always work out, I'd rather do all I can and have it work out a good handful of the times that I try. I suppose my pigeon was a good lesson in learning I can't save everything, and to let some things rest in fate's hands.
So I came home, and I'm feeling a little better now, although I keep wondering about the pigeon. I am sure he'll be fine through the night, though, and I believe if you send out good thoughts that good things will happen, so I am sending good thoughts to my pigeon.