birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Because I promised

"What does not change is the will to change." I carry that line around with me, Charles Olsen, and look up the poem more often than you'd think to press its textures into my mind. I promise myself I will sit in a chair that will, as in some guided meditation, turn into a throne in a clearing of a forest, and I will wait until a hummingbird hovers in front of my mouth and flies into my throat as soon as I part my lips to say, "Oh!" I promise that there will be words on the page because I promised to put them there. And the promise summons the bird in my throat that will light the blue stone that rests in the notch of my collar bones, and by force of will and magic words will come. I promise I will wait, fingers hovering over the keys even when there are no words, not a single one, because if you sit quietly, listening, the first one is sure to appear. 

Which is how it happens that I rest in this chair instead of my bed at ten minutes till midnight, rubbing my left eye, listening to the tick of some rough edge making irregular taps in the dryer and the dish washer spraying, the sound of Friday night cars on the mostly empty street below. No one is screaming, no one's singing. It's quiet mostly and one by one words are appearing on the page as I move my fingers. I promise myself that I will sit here till done, or till my eyes close, finishing me for the day, because the magic I try to conjure by other means only comes from this, the promise that I'll stay.

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