The Call of a Blackbird

During the Covid lockdown in the UK, in which we have been contained in our family groups within our homes and our gardens, I have taken a keen interest in the various visits to our garden of the wild birds.

These are not as exotic as you might find in other countries, but the visit of the robin, the blue-tit, the house sparrow, the collared dove, the magpie and the blackbird have brought a thrill to my eyes and ears as I have watched them arrive, feed, sing their song and leave my garden.

I particulrly enjoy listening to the call of the lone blackbird as it whistles its tune into the open space from its perch on a rooftop nearby. It’s tail bobbing as it calls out its song.

I wonder at it’s, effort and revel in it’s beauty.

Is it calling for a mate, or to mark it’s territory, or to alert it’s own kind to its presence?

Is it responding to the call of it’s mate or neighbours, or simply wanting to be heard by its own kind?

This thought, forced within me a reflection on my own need to be seen and to be heard, and how incredibly difficult it can be at times to traverse the world, hidden , suppressed, contained because I have not been able to express myself fully as a gay man.

I think this kind of infringement is akin to putting the blackbird in a cage and putting that cage in a garden shed.

What a shame it would be to deny ourselves of the joy of hearing the blackbird sing freely, and in the same spirit of openess therefore, what a shame it is to deny ourselves the capacity to speak our truth.

William Defoe

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