Killing songbirds

Following on from my previous post about fear I re-read this passage in Simon Parke’s wonderful The Journey Home:

Imagine if I murdered someone. Perhaps I would then drive their body at night to a lake: I would then weigh it down with stones, and throw it into the depths. The body sinks, and the water returns to calm. And as the days, months and years pass, I begin to believe that I have got away with it.

But twenty years later, I am driving alongside that water with my son. My son turns to me and says what a wonderful lake it is. Outwardly I agree. But inwardly I die. For I know what lies beneath the surface.

We die inwardly at everything we cannot bring to the surface.

I have had a recurring dream about doing something very similar – murdering someone, believing I had got away with it, hiding it so effectively that even I forgot, and then when I wake from the dream each time I am left wondering if it was in fact a dream or a deeply buried memory. [My confession of this in such a public place is an expression of my belief that this is in fact a dream!]

When a youngster I was wandering in the fields behind my house with some friends. We were all carrying newly purchased air guns and I had in my hand a pistol. In the sky above us appeared a skylark and without really thinking I took aim and fired. Against all the odds, in such a huge sky, with such a small target and ineffective gun, I hit the poor thing and killed it. I have never since been able to hear the wonderful sound of a skylark without being wracked with guilt.

We all hide the bits of us we don’t like or even aren’t sure of and kill our own and other people’s songs. How many of your own dreams are you going to bury today or how many other songbirds are you going to kill in the office?

2 thoughts on “Killing songbirds

  1. It's important to share your story with someone who has earned the right to hear it. Finding such people can be difficult, but not as difficult as opening up to them.


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