Birdsong — Dear Dick

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Dear Dick,

hello, it’s Xan.  I haven’t written for awhile but I have been thinking hard about my sacrificial list.

You probably don’t shop much, having the important work of the Senate and the Debt Commission and all of that, so you may not have noticed that bird seed is getting ver (I am shortening words from here on out for the sake of austerity) expensy.  While wheeling my cart down and about the store, it came to my limited attention span that bird seed is spendy now.  This may be a good place for me to continue my sacrificial list.  Thus, no bird seed.

Comes Saturday morning and I awake to the comforting sound of birds singing.  Birdsong – it’s a pret word, isn’t it.  Then sadly I remembered I didn’t buy any birdseed.  Now my yard is not fancy, nor are the birds that frequent it.  They are mostly sparrows, little brown things – but they sing their little hearts out.  Unlike many of the men to whom I have been kind – the birds more than pay me back with melodies throughout the day and into twilight (I considered using the word “dusk” here in the interests of austerity but “dusk” is such an ugly sounding word.  Even “the lesser people” are struck by the beauty of language. This may be problematic for the Debt Commission.)  They are not wily like the worm-finding robins, nor are they feisty like the noisy bluejays – but their music can be likened to Bach on good mornings.  It made me sad that they no longer came to the bird feeders – it took about 4 days before they understood there would be no sustenance at my house.  And so there was no music in my home that was not powered by electronics – a sad moment indeed.

Then it struck me – my mother’s kitchen.  How she did I do not know.  But no one – no one, even her arch enemy, Mrs. Santangelo, left her kitchen without some little thing to eat or drink.  It was like a lighteni blt – it is who I am.  I am my mother, especially in her kitchen.  To the store for birdseed – where I bought 2 25-pound bags and they came back – lyrical and loud but mostly lyrical.  They are forgiving little brown things, kind-hearted and industrious.

So now the dilemma:  What can the new sacrifice be?  At this point, my two dogs seem to be nervous – perhaps worried that the arm of sacrifice will smite them.  It will not, of course.  But it’s pleasant to see them paying attention to my “commands” for a change.  Of course, as a “lesser person” my commands are tender and tentative – we, like the little brown sparrows don’t expect much, don’t really need that much and will sing for kindnesses received.

The problem is we can expect no kindnesses from The Debt Commission – and rightly so say the commentators – But mostly the tators are without heart or sense for that matter, and even my mother may have sent them from her kitchen with an empty tin cup.

Would you be kind enough to ask your fellow commishes what sacrifices they have been making – perhaps I could find a hint there of where I can make a difference in America’s future.  And, by the way, I went to your site again and found no mention of your sacrifices.  I know you have been busy what with the losses and all – but perhaps you can put this on your to-do list.  “List sacrifices for constitutents’ morale.”  

But really, don’t worry about our morale – we don’t look to the Senate or God forbid the Debt Commission for courage or comfort – please disabuse yourself of that.  We look to each other and to the little brown things in our life who deliver.  

Update:  A friend of mine called me and said  It’s “Ein bischen etwas.”  or so her family said when she was a child – In Italian, I think it’s un piccola cosa.    

29 comments

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    • Xanthe on November 14, 2010 at 6:58 pm
      Author

    “Ein bischen es” – anyone?

  1. “austerity” all of a sudden ^ buzzword

    • Diane G on November 14, 2010 at 8:04 pm

     – thnk vwls cn g frm hr n

    prclss!!!

  2. villanelles, no more sestinas.  Only haiku.  And soon, only hai.

  3. Right there with you — feeding the birds, watching their antics, listening to their songs and sounds . . . . !!!!

    Listening to Progressive Radio this a.m., Axlerod was on and being questioned by (didn’t catch his name).  Axlerod said that Obama wants everything on the table to be considered.  Bush taxes, Social Security, everything!  Said “we’re all going to have to chip in and make some sacrifices.”  Made me feel like regurgitating right then and there.  Are you kidding me?  “We’re ALL going to have to make sacrifices?”  Looks like the powers that be won’t be happy until they have bled the last drop of blood in us.

    What has really dumbfounded me is under what law does the government have the right to even place our Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds under consideration for any disposition whatsoever?  These are OUR monies — they do NOT belong to the government.  The government’s role is one of a fiduciary.  Of course, you know the IOU’s the government’s been leaving in place of “borrowing” monies over the years are coming due soon and just think, these Trust Funds would be ever so dandy with those monies, but you know . . . . !!!!  

    I hope you REALLY sent this to Dick!

  4. don’t go there yet, though, I have my suspicions about the SS and Medicare situation, myself.  Yeh, Ryan, I can see that, too, but the rest, oh, please, say it isn’t so.

    BTW, did you know that not having had a COLA this year resulted in approximately $15,179,520,000 not paid out in Social Security?  

    • melvin on November 15, 2010 at 10:31 am

    might raise my taxes by ten cents.

    Don’t know what to tell you Xanthe. I would grind up some of the people on my long long list here and feed them to the sparrows.

    At this point there are advanced electronics lying along the edges of the field where there used to be topsoil, plastic fibers and beads instead of stalks and seeds.

    Twenty years max and the sparrows will be mourning us. Because they don’t know how to curse.

  5. says Trumka. Sacrificing for who? or what? Not the poor, they have been reformed and sentenced for the crime of poverty. Austerity will leave them with slim pickings to steal from as it’s effects are global like this scam is. I hope we all collectively and in our own worlds find find the courage to make sacrifices that do not involve handing our futures and lives to them. I’m willing to sacrifice for the people even if it means not living in the world as they find it. I too will keep feeding my sparrows, I’ll even share my garden space the squirrels who keep digging up my winter greens in order to salt away their nuts. thanks Xanthe this was a good read right about now.      

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