In my previous life, I had a little vignette in my bathroom; one of my very, very first paintings, and a necklace that hung around it.
The painting is just a simple field, and I mean simple, essentially 3 lines of color. The necklace I actually asked for; a set piece of 'shattered glass." A nod to my self-perception as a boss lady, breaking the glass ceiling, doing it all. I was leading the charge of customer focused business structures, titles I had to actually ask for when my male counterparts were handed the same. There are two parts of this story thus far that already make me ill. That I had to, and did, ask for a title. Titles MATTERED. And that I asked for that little symbol for myself. A display of my path, grinding myself to dust... in service to a set of code, a piece of software.
Not long after I quit EVERYthing and set about rebuilding a life that served me, rather than the other way round, I couldn't stand to look at that little vignette in the bathroom every day. I hadn't even realized that it had become a symbol of what happened. I chose a path that choked me. I put a big ol' title and wrapped it around my joy. Strangled it.
In the span of a week last summer, our daughter gifted me a Guinea Hen feather, my mother in law found a great horned owl feather, and I found a goldfinch feather. I got a little glass frame and now I have hanging in that niche, a collection of feathers, and a print from a fellow artist I love. I've added a second owl feather found in our yard, a red-tailed hawk feather near my office, a turkey feather found at the site of a caught fish (not included in photo), and a dragonfly wing.
It's whimsical and sweetly sad. It makes me think, each morning, how can I take flight today? What plumage suits my needs today? And because they are lost feathers, that reminder that it's fast. It's all so fast and I wasted far too much time already. I wasted so much time I can't waste any more even to morn the loss and waste.
Each day I get up and choose to fly.