Tuesday, July 7, 2009

After a series of bad omens, I decide a dead bird sometimes just rots.

There was a dead bird in my office this afternoon.

Maggots. Flies. Broken neck. Eyes gone.

I’m so tired. I’m so fucking tired. Some days balancing these conflicting feelings of being incredibly grateful, joyful, happy, balanced with anxiety-ridden, fearful, superstitious, cynical and sad exhausts me. A tree caught fire about twenty yards from where I was sitting on Saturday. I was upwind. Today a dead bird ends up in my house. I’m pretty sure in Ancient Greece I would have had to perform an impossible task to appease the angered god, or at the very least, in the fairy tale version of my life, I would be banished from a kingdom or two.

I called Sam at work a little more hysterical than it warranted and he said, “Go to the liquor store, buy a bottle of wine, drive to the nearest hotel, and spend the night there. No. I’m serious.” I love that man more than the air. I’m still at home, but permission to run away is nice.


I admit that I googled dead bird omen. First one I read was a question on yahoo questions. “Is a dead bird on your front porch a bad omen?”

Answer: “It just means you have a dead bird on your porch.”

And really, isn’t that enough? Isn’t that bad enough? To figure out how to simultaneously kill maggots in your rug, keep a two year old and a puppy at bay, and remove a dead bird from your home. It sort of sours the day, even if you aren’t dealing with grieving a dead baby, post-fire trauma, loud construction echoing through your house, a grumpy two year old, and a hyperactive puppy. And that is the thing about being an adult. No one does this stuff for you anymore. Dead birds are squarely in your job description, as well as maggot removal, and dog scolding, answering philosophical questions on why the bird is dead, figuring out how to banish bad juju through mindless play time and procuring happy thoughts.


My friend Anna got me into reading my monthly horoscope from a specific astrology website. I think the first month I read it every major prediction came to pass. It was tempting to call it true. Next month, it was completely wrong. Let me just say, I basically know nothing about astrology except that in every major astrological cursory overview, I am boring. I am a Capricorn with a Taurus moon. In Chinese astrology, I am a Water Oxen. Staid and true. Loyal. Hardworking. Dependable. And of course, my Myers-Briggs result is a bit on the boring side too: INTP. (Sorry, Kitt.) Let’s put it this way, in the astrological spectrum, I am a dead bird/maggot cleaner-upper.


No fire or air (right now, I’m thankful for that!). Just earth signs. No center of the proverbial party. No crazy exploits. No excitement. My confession on Niobe’s blog is not one of those illicit affair ones. It is not a rule-breaking one either. It’s one of those ones that is not really a confession at all. It is the expression of a guilt-ridden do-gooder. No one bats an eye at it. “Yeah, yeah, lady. You’re a monster (nudge nudge.)”

The thing that Anna did teach me about astrology is not that it is true because a certain planet is in whatever house, or because the eclipse is in your Mars (did that even make sense?), but how you react to it. She reads her horoscope with a notepad and pen. And when the astrologer says something like, “You will change careers this month.” She gauges her gut reaction to the news. She writes it down, her emotional response to the “predictions.” It isn’t about what is going to happen, or the future, or believing in fate, it is about what you want to happen. She uses that information to help her make decisions about her life, her long-term plans, short-terms goals and everything in between. She is wise.

When I reflected on this, I realized my biggest obstacle in life is figuring out what I want, and conversely, what I need. Sometimes I need a third party kook to allow me to tell me what I want—maggots and all.


  1. Man! I really hope things start turning up for you.. how creepy to have a dead bird in your office! I probably would have googled what kind of omen that is too! ;)

  2. Dear Angie, you too are wise. Just reread this post. It is brilliant.

    Sometimes I worry that I overuse that word. But I can't think of anything better than the truth I have just read.

    I am so sorry for the maggot mess. Please remember sometimes a dead bird is just that. No omens. Just stinky.

    If you ever really want an escape my city is not that far from yours. And I think it is a pretty charming little place. Our apartment overlooks the river (in fact, I'm looking at it right now) and I have a bit more time to sip wine in front of me if you care for a partner.

    I seriously mean it.

  3. I loved the "permission to run away." BEAUTIFUL. And you made me laugh so hard with the answer to your dead-bird omen Yahoo answer! Thanks for the post.

  4. Oh Angie, just want to give you a big hug. I wish the universe would cut you some slack. And I think I love Sam after reading that. What a man.

  5. Hey Angie

    I think figuring out what to do, is the biggest part of my quest at the moment. Clearly we had other plans and now have to re-arrange our self in our new world.

    One day at a time.

    And yeah, I get the black humour, cause that's all there is, laugh even though we only want to cry, about the good and the bad, maggots and all.

    Much love
    xx Ines

  6. we sometimes get dead birds in our yard. I HATE THAT!!! i cannot stand dead-anything, esp these days.

    I hear you about the fatigue, I so hear you. ((hugs)) take a break, rest.

  7. Angie I think you've already performed an impossible task... you have survived... it's no wonder that you're tired.

    I find myself lapsing into superstition sometimes, but yeah, a dead bird is just that.



  8. Whaddaya mean, INTP is boring?! Why I oughta...

    Love and awe.

  9. For better or worse, I know I would have deleted myself as well. If it brings up painful emotions to which others cannot relate, it goes in the trash. :)

    (I know I need to catch up on email. Know that I am thinking of you and hoping for some maggot-free days to come.)

    Peace, my friend.

  10. oh angie, i had a dead bird outside my front door just a month or so before lev died. but before it died it came inside our house, we got it out but it stayed close by and then died. i remember my friend saying that there was some superstition about birds coming into your house...but what about dead birds? and dead babies? ugg. it's all just too much.

    that hotel room and a bottle of wine sounds so good.

    sending you love

  11. I just came across your blog…funny I was googling the same thing…only a couple of years later….I came home from work today and found a dead duck in my garden…of course I freaked out…and am still wondering how I am going to remove it…but can't help but wonder what it means? I know there is some aspect of me that is dying and needs to be reborn…and even though I act as though I don't know what it is I know that I do…I just still choose to look the other way….Thursday is a full moon lunar eclipse and as I hear the news there is a lot of death all over…the Boston Marathon attack…locally a woman picking up her child got run over and killed by mistake…etc..etc..etc…and now a dead duck in my yard the irony is really something...


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