Do the Strange, Sensitive Bird Thing.


There comes a time in everyone’s life when the fear must drop away so that we can drop down into the space we are meant to occupy here.

When the incessant messages of not-good-enough-ness and too-much-ness must get overwritten by messages of just-right-for-right-now-ness.

When the person meant to hold the brush must pick up the brush, and the person meant to type the words must type the words.

I ask myself: What am I doing here if I’m not doing what I long, every day, to be doing here?

I am doing other things. Some of these other things are important things too. But some of these other things are filler things. Things that just take up space because they can, and because they are easy.

Easier than sitting in front of a blank screen and doing the word-work that writers do.

But a writer must do the word-work. Just like a mother must do the mother-work. Just like a carpenter must do the woodwork.

We are the bird and the work is the song, and we must sing it while we can.

And when this song comes not from a desire to please or to prove or to achieve, but from a profound and earnest longing in the sacred nucleus of us, it is holy work too.

It is work that (often) doesn’t pay the bills, but that makes us feel at home here — on this blue water-marble spinning in space — because it keeps us connected to the source of it all.

The source that spins the marble is the source that sends the song.

We know this. We have always known this. We came into the world knowing this.

But being a human is about forgetting. Forgetting the holy knowing so that we can fit into a society that values not the song itself, but the profits it may bring. The rewards. The external manifestations that symbolize success.

But we — strange, sensitive birds — recognize the earnings for what they really are: yearnings.

A deep, collective yearning to achieve a sense of belonging, to reach a place of inner peace, to fill the gaping hole inside where joy — real joy — is tragically lacking.

We see this almost everywhere we look. We feel this.

We feel the insatiable hunger of the world weighing down our tender feathers until we, ourselves, start to doubt our own ability to fly.

But there is the thing — that thing — which brings us back to the truth of us. That thing that exists as both an integral part of us and an otherworldly part of all-that-is. That holy heart-work that helps us breathe.

There is a quotation by Rumi that says: “There is some kiss we want with our whole lives…”

Doing the thing we long to be doing is like finding that kiss, again and again. It’s like falling in love with the temporary self that allows the eternal self to express itself here. It’s like watering our own feet so that our roots may grow deep, allowing our heart to expand as wide as the sky, without fear of breaking off or getting lost.

And so we gather the troops: Trust and Courage. We pick up the instruments. We carve out a bit of time in the daily or weekly rhythm of our lives.

And we do the thing. The painting. The dancing. The gardening. The building. The quilting. The climbing. The clowning. The filming. The playing. The sketching. The sculpting. The writing.

Maybe we feel rusty, or wobbly, or nervous. But we move past that. We move past that because the calling is so clear and the desire is so pure and there is no pressure here. The invitation remains open, always. The source keeps spinning the marble, the source keeps sending the song.

And someday, one day (maybe today), we open our eyes, our hands, our heart, our mouth.

We drop down into the space we are meant to occupy here.

We do the strange, sensitive bird thing.

We sing.


Vicki Rivard is a soul on a journey. Meditation keeps her strong. Love keeps her open. Chinese medicine is her craft. Her heart is in the ocean. Learn more at her website and/or connect with her on Instagram.


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