ON CHUBBY SPARROWS
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all
Yesterday I created this little chubby sparrow of hope.
It made me think back to December 4th, 2017.
When I made my first little bird, which also happened to be one of the first pieces of jewelry I made after a little painful hiatus - due to a downfall in my mental health.
To look at the pictures of these little birds brought back memories…
This is the first Soar Bird I made…and here are the words I wrote on that day on my Instagram…
A few days ago I made a pendant for myself - soldering is still difficult business for me, it triggers a lot of anxiety...but some things really, really want to be born, so I have to say yes. Taking it slow, but doing it.
Birds are a lot for me lately - did you notice? Lol!
They are supporting me, keeping me alive.
From the very early morning, when I get up already grasped by anxiety, and I go on the balcony, the sky still dark, breathing the cold air...and waiting for their singing. We are here. It will be ok.
And I breathe.
They symbolize so much to me, a post isn't enough.
Lately, I have been doodling this stylized bird in my journal - I have no idea where it came from, but it's so welcome.
This pendant I made for myself, I needed it as an amulet and a reminder.
Of something I see in the birds, that I am working on embodying.
Of those fragile bodies, small tender lives, and the way they seem to trust life so simply and gracefully. The way they take to the sky, riding the currents. Wild and crazy and joyous, past fear and thought.
Daring to SOAR.
It's something I am learning to teach myself, the fact that I can soar. That I have the ability to do it, but also, the most difficult part for me, that I do deserve it. That I am worthy of soaring and experiencing the thrill of life.
To not be afraid of freedom - freedom of being myself.
To trust the wind will support me.
This new bird pendant is similar in some ways, and different in others.
It is still a celebration and a prayer of gratitude to the birds.
Because these little feathered things never fail to come to the rescue when I fall down. When the darkness looms on me. When I struggle to function.
"I pray to the birds because they remind me of what I love rather than what I fear. And at the end of my prayers, they teach me how to listen." (Terry Tempest Williams)
This little one carries a word as well, even if now it’s carved with a tiny point on the body surface, along with some small decorative patterns. It was very important to me, someway, that the word is handwritten rather than stamped. A message to a future self, a love note to their new keeper.
It’s carved with a 0.3mm point, which is something really small. That’s my index finger, for size reference.
Often during the carving I thought to myself…why, oh why do I always put myself into such situations? Hah.
But it was so essential to me that the bird was small, small enough to wear it always.
That the lines on it were almost a ghost of a line. Something about feathery light. Something special about the fact that you have to pay attention in order to see them.
Why the chubby sparrows…
Lately I have been able to overcome some of my fears and eat a little more - and some of the foods I was afraid of (pizza!!).
To get past the anxiety and resistance that would catch me, I started to make fun of it, saying "I am going to eat all the things. I'm gonna be all pretty chubby!"
See, my beloved Grandma Luisa used to look at the sparrows (and small animals and kids in general) and say: "Oh, how pretty chubby they are!". She used to say it with such satisfaction. She had survived World War Two and the hunger it came with, so for her and for her generation, to be fat was a good thing.
I wanted to put some of that tenderness, joy, "pretty chubby" in it. The memory of the joyful, sweet, warm person that was my Grandma.
And then drawing happened as well - another old friend coming back for me.
It has been a long time since I sat for hours, drawing and painting just for the sake of it (and not planning a jewelry piece).
It was beautiful.
And all I wanted to do was paint more chubby sparrows with words on them, and that’s exactly what I did.
I have a few birds scheduled to be born soon, some with words asked by their new keepers, a couple with words of my choice and maybe some variations in size and details.
Stay tuned and, as usual, catch me on Instagram for (almost) daily updates!