"Each must enter the nest made by the other imperfect birds.”-Robert Bly. New Zealand is home to the Weka, a population of flightless birds. 🐥. In February, I ran 83 miles in 4 days on the Queen Charlotte track and had many the encounter with these imperfect birds. And a lot of time to think.
Robert Bly’s Imperfect Birds is really about how these messy, raggedy nests that are our lives can be a harbor for other people. When you're a raw, pulverized garbage ball of feelings... where do you go? You visit the nests made by other imperfect birds, you find other people who've gone through it. You find the few people you can talk to about it.
“Some days I am more wolf than woman and I am still learning how to stop apologizing for my wild.” -N.Gill
When you let people see you at your worst, you don’t have to wear the mask so much. Sad people often look exactly like happy people. The most exhausting activity is pretending to be what you know you aren’t. We are so tangled up in a world of toxic positivity that I think many are ashamed to actually feel anything else. I don’t know if I can count how many times I was sad But I told everyone I was tired.
This collection of mask portraits is probably the most dangerous and revealing work I have done to date. It started with a portrait my sister had taken of herself. It was a mood, there was feeling but it was only telling half the story of this woman. There was something missing.
Every body has a little bit of goodness and a little bit of brokenness. Lightness and darkness. Ignorance and knowledge. Human and savage. Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde. The dual nature of humanity is something that has been explored by mankind for thousands of years.
There’s a Cherokee story where a grandfather teaches his grandson an important lesson: “There is a battle going on inside all of us. It is a battle between two wolves that live inside us. One is evil: anger, fear, envy, sorrow, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, ego The other is good: joy, courage, peace, love, hope, stillness, compassion, love. Which wolf wins? ...The one you feed."
Whatever wolf you choose there will always be someone to tell you that you are wrong. Fear and self doubt will eat you alive. Don’t give your power away. Stay aware of how you allow your thoughts to affect you. You always have a choice.