Copper Abstraction

“Outside the open window, the morning air is awash with angels.”  Richard Wilbur

“The reason birds fly, and we cannot is simply that they have perfect faith, for to have perfect faith is to have wings.”  – Sir James Barrie

The crisp autumn night makes its way into a misty autumn morning, the cold and damp is like a goodbye kiss, it promises to return but will be replaced temporarily by sunshine and warm air, and this day turns out to be glorious.  I get up, my room still warm from running the space heater through a large portion of the night, after I eat breakfast and return to the second floor I realize just how much warmer it is upstairs.  That thing really cranks out the heat.  I look in the mirror and though I have slept long and deep I think I look so old and so tired this morning.  My face is haggard, and my hands when I go to wash my face are stiff and puffy.  Later my face is red and my hair, which is now too long is limp and lifeless.  We all have these ugly days, today is mine.  I cannot even dress myself properly.  I feel like a bird made of iron, my spirit cannot soar, it merely falls with a thunk to the floor, a temporary change of matter.

I dreamed a dream of a window flying open bringing in a blast of cold air.  I am unprepared to go out in the cold to fix it, and when I get there no matter what it is going in the wrong direction I cannot push it closed from either side.  It is just open and out of my control.  It is like the bird.  I cannot make it fly no matter what.  I cannot close this window no matter what I do.  And then as I wonder what this dream means I read the quote that the air is awash with angels.  It is cold, bitter, biting but there are angels there.  Angels who have wings, angels who can fly.  It makes me think of that time in college when I felt a presence comforting me in a time of deep sorrow, and a feeling so strong it was like the words were spoken, that all would be well and in the end and that I should trust in this.  Perhaps if I have perfect faith my iron wings will fly.


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