I did try very hard not to over analyse the significance of this...
Every morning, since the beginning of my Christmas break I essentially go through the same routine. Cassie Cat wakes me fairly early-ish and I ease down from my little sky-bed, feed her, climb back up into my little nest and try to get a few more hours of sleep. I say try because Cassie is not fond of that. In her mind I'm meant to make myself available for after feeding cuddles or leave the house and go to work. So, she sits either in my room staring up at my loft or just outside the door mewing pathetically. If I don't come down she will then start to tear at the carpet. Usually, she'll give up and be quiet for about an hour so I can sleep a bit...usually.
This morning was a little different. I got up and fed Cassie, as is the demand of my household position, climbed back into my cozy little nest and looked out my skylight at the changing colours on the horizon as the sun rose while I drifted back asleep. Cassie did not immediately come back upstairs to insist that I rise and give her affection. It was very silent in our house, too silent.
It was about two hours after the return to my roost that I heard that familiar whiney mew, which I summarily ignored. Cassie mewed again and instantly began to tear at the carpet. I rolled over to tell her to stop when suddenly there was long, blood-curdling screech as a bird flew into my room, up to the skylight, smacked into the window pane and fell landing upon the pile of laundry on my futon sofa.
I don't think I've ever descended from my loft at such speed. Heart racing, I grabbed the pole that opens the skylight and used it to do just that. Then I looked at the black bird, which was now sprawled out in a rather unnatural position on the pile of laundry I had yet to put away. "Oh great, dead bird on my clean clothes," I selfishly thought, but when I saw that amount of feathers strewn across the floor of my room, over the threshold and into the corridor, it occurred to me that there was absolutely no blood from this bird anywhere to be found. Cassie sat just outside my bedroom door looking at me with a confused look, completely unaware of where the bird had gone. I quickly glanced back at the bird. It was no longer in an unnatural sprawling position but sat among my clothes, staring at me with terror. "Fly, be free," I said to it as I stepped out of my bedroom, closing the door behind me.
I stood in the hall surrounded by feathers and looked at Cassie, who had now taken her place at the top of the stairs keeping watch for the bird. A breeze from the open skylight blew under the door and some of the feathers floated about in a ghostly manner. I waited. Then, I cautiously opened my bedroom door hoping our guest would have been healthy and intelligent enough to make its exit through the window. Oh, it was healthy enough.
The bird again gave out a blood-curdling screech, flew up to the open window and again bumped into the pane. Instead of falling into a lump on my laundry, however, it perched itself on the open bit of the window and looked outside. Carefully, but quickly, I took the pole and opened my skylight a little more. "Freedom is that way!" I directed the bird and closed my bedroom door again.
I only waited a few seconds this time before I peeked back into my room. The bird was gone, having made its way back into the world with significantly less feathers than it had earlier. Grabbing the pole, I closed my skylight and the feathers, which had once again taken to wafting about in a ghostly manner, settled. So, I grabbed the hoover and got to work.
If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know that I'm a tad bit obsessive and neurotic. Not about cleanliness mind you, but obsessive and neurotic all the same. My brain was going 100 miles an hour filling itself up with all types of metaphors and symbolism and assigning nonsensical meaning to this event, which had it occurred on any other day would have had little effect on my overactive imagination, but today isn't just any other day. Today is New Year's Eve.
Now really New Year's Eve is just another day in the greater scheme of things. The significance of New Year's Eve is created by society. It means not a damn thing to the normal operations of the universe. The moon sets and the sun rises just like any other day. Still as I vacuumed them up, I couldn't help but think of the feathers as mistakes and lessons I had learnt from over the year. I also thought of the bird's escape with far fewer feathers as being symbolic of me flying off into the start of 2012, leaving all my regrets behind. However, that same bird could be dead just a few feet away from our house, so what would be the symbolism in that?
Regardless, the event struck me. After de-feathering my room and our corridor, I turned on my computer and deleted the last two silly blog posts reviewing 2011 through my FB status updates. It was a stupid idea anyway.
And so, after not writing for quite some time, this incident has given me something slightly entertaining to journal. Somehow it seems fitting that my 2011 should end with this.
Happy New Year!