Moriah was in the inner rooms of her house cleaning out the last of the mice after the winter. She had a new white cat called Puddy Woody with a dark patch on the end of his tail that was helping. Some believed that this dark patch grew in proportion to the number of mice she kept out of Moriah’s house.
She heard a big commotion outside her house and realized the local drunk was outside. She thought of the last time he came in and scattered the ashes of his pipe on her floor and how he pontificated and lied while under the alcoholic influence of poteen. She was thankful she had changed the locks and did not have to deal with him, even as he crashed around outside.
Some months earlier, she decided that he would never darken her door again, and bring in all kinds of dirt on his shoes and out of his mouth. At that time she had gone out to that pile of rejected magpie sticks and picked two of the longest and the most crooked and half walked and half ran at him, with her eyes flaring in anger and pointed those sticks at him and said her truth ordering him out and never to come back.
He was caught off guard at her lack of decorum, her lack of meekness, as her words tripled up, coming out of her mouth. Her people would not like this lack of gentleness and hospitality. Surely he was hers to care for no matter what! But she felt in her heart this strangeness, this feeling of murder, of being transgressed one time too many and would not be stopped in her gallop, like a murder of crows after a young hawk.
Her blood pressure went up just thinking about it all. So she took a deep breath and banked up the turf in the fire, blew on it a little until the cipeens blazed up under the clods of turf and settled down to let the fire become a bundle of coals. She had some fresh rhubarb stalks and she wanted to bake some pies and she had intentions of lacing the pie pieces with whipped cream.
As she sat there in the growing heat, a piece of turf coal jumped out on to a flagstone in front of her and sent up twirls of smoke. She watched the smoke rise into a shaft of sunshine coming in one of the windows. As the smoke rose, she could see all the different beautiful patterns rising to the left and right of the coal. The smoke was blue in color and some rose in long curly whisps and other into shorter clouds with their own unique patterns weaving in the warm air.
Those patterns brought her eyes up to that great arrangement of twigs, high in the branches, carrying the speckled eggs, belonging to the magpies. She thought of that arrangements between the two birds to let the female decide on this nest and the male carry in all manner of sticks, which she would use until she had a nest that was well in all manner of ways.
It did not matter to either of the birds that most of the sticks were rejected, flung out of the growing nest and landing at the base of the tree. They became firewood for Moriah’s fire.
The couple followed their goal of building something round and safe for the new brood. Mariah was trying to make her house safe and round for herself and keeping him out was a definite goal. She thought he must surely bring her something she could use but it was the same story and she no longer got fire in her eyes for him, but knew how to keep him out. He could definitely look in the windows but not out her windows.
As the mother bird would not tolerate anything that did not fit into the roundness near the sky, so Moriah was rejecting him as one of the wrong kinds of sticks to have in her life and he could no longer make presentations to her of any kind.
As the momma magpie was in in the process of growing some round miracles eggs to be laid soon, Moriah was forming her own goals now for growing her new forming worlds and for bringing out something that shines and full of flight.
As Moriah though of this, she warmed up some more and fell asleep and in that sleep this dream came to her, and when she thought of it afterwards, it gave her pause.
An old black bird man, sitting in the corner, was pointing her in a direction toward youthful rebelling girls and boys, yelling and brandishing arms, in one of her inner rooms. He asked her to notice this young green spring rebellion and she should consider those green guns ready to shoot her into something new.
Moriah fell forward and caught herself before falling into the coals thankful that she was awoken by the drunken yells traveling in the air away from her. She now knew she made that right decision and she turned her back on him. She was listening for the new language of harmony and love and she started making some rhubarb pie, that she could share. She knew Faith would like some and her two old women neighbors who lived alone. The end.
In my counseling work I sometimes work with people with substance abuse and also with people who have to live with the substance abuser. I got some of the dream pieces and some of the situations from others and I ran around it under the bird’s nest trying to bring out something that shines.
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