Inside San Diego Zoo, within a cage where birds fly freely, one feathered friend with orange beak
has chosen my brother out of everyone there to sing him a melody.
Does he know that Bill is dying, his spirit caged within a rotting frame?
We laugh to see the bird standing on Bill’s head. Well, not quite because Bill is wearing his familiar cap, so much part of him when out of doors. Under the cap’s brim Bill is laughing with his eyes and with his curling lips. We surely see his whole body laughing even though Bill stands perfectly still.
The bird sings from his makeshift perch and our hearts sing too, Bill is relaxed and happy. It’s not often we see my brother at peace within himself. Many trials and tribulations have befallen this good man — too much pain, too much torment for one man to bear.
This was a moment to remember, a precious ruby picked from a treasure chest of memories of ones we’ve loved but are no more. Beloved parents, brothers, sisters, friends. How well I recall that precious moment when, after a time of intense suffering in a state of paranoid dementia, my mother murmured her last words — ‘Good night Luvvy.’
Not just loved ones live on within that golden chest, but also memories of family, and of things achieved and cherished that dwindle through time to dust. For the world moves as do the seasons — a time to live and a time to die. But within that golden chest each moment, each object, each love never dies as long as memory remains…
Picture — painting inspired by a photograph taken while on a caravan holiday along the Scottish coast.