The Meaning of The Thing With Feathers

One of the things I find the most difficult about dealing with the difficulties, complexities, emotions and humiliations of my daily life is finding a reason to actually do so. Over the last 15 years, between my M.E. and a broken, violent, emotionally abusive marriage (& subsequent divorce), it's been very hard at times to keep pushing myself to live, to survive - never mind to thrive! To let myself have those moments of hurting & loneliness & brokenness ... but not to let them define me, or the course my life takes. Truthfully, it's a battle, every single day of my life. There are days when if it wasn't for the people in my life who love me, and whom I love, I could simply give up. Hope, for me, has changed from being a type of luxury into being that last rope that connects me to life - so I hold on with everything in me, and try to keep breathing!

This beautiful image was created by Baby Joan - Click here to browse her work
This Gorgeous image is copyrighted to BabyJoan
I can't tell you how being confined to 4 small walls shrinks your focus, too. The tiny things become the huge things, somehow. And that's hard in some ways of course ... but there's also a great joy that can come out of it too, because suddenly you notice all these things that in a busy, active life just aren't even on your radar! I mean, what busy person regularly pays more than a passing thought to a laugh, a small act of kindness or compassion, the love of a loyal friend, a ray of sunshine through the curtains, the beauty of an object they've seen a million times over, sitting on the shelf in their bedroom - or even the simple ability to take a shower and be clean?? But when you're bedbound longterm, and your world shrinks down to a couple of rooms, and (mostly) one person, those things become the centre of your life - and they somehow shield you, just a little, from the pain & reality of your life.

Am I truly happy? Honestly, no ... but I have happiness in my life ... and when I manage to grasp onto those those tiny, beautiful, hope-filled things, I'm choosing to not just live, but to do anything I have to do find and keep that small measure of happiness. It's that hope which inspired the name of this blog : The Thing With Feathers.

The name is taken from an Emily Dickinson poem, which beautifully summarises the truth that it's in the centre of life's storms that hope becomes the sweetest, the most real & constant.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

This beautiful image was created by Erin Leigh - Click here to see her blog or browse her work
This piece of art is used with kind permission from Erin Leigh

To leave a response to this page, please visit the associated blog post : Why I Named my Blog After Emily Dickinson's Poem About Hope. :)

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I'd love to hear your reply and I know it'll be valued by other readers too! I always try to respond, please just be aware that it can take me some time to find the energy to do so as I've been particularly ill recently and struggling to get online. Thanks for reading! :)