Vanessa Filley


This is a story of love, longing, loss and becoming. It is a story in stitches, paint, poems and photographs. It is a story of braiding threads woven as lives shift. It speaks of what we hold on to and what we know without words. It is a story of the beauty and magic of being and the battle between trust and fear. In part it is an obsessive love letter to the planet and its many beings. In part it is about our connection to all things. In the threads of story, an emotional bonding occurs, a certain intensity between a girl and a bird, a girl and a flock of birds, another bird, another bird—each one she cherishes, each one she wants to catch and hold, unlocking the songs they have sung, the life that flutters, the birds changing as she does.


I’ve always had a fascination with the murmurations of starlings, how they flock, fly and flip in formation each of them a part of the whole. When one bird shifts, they all do. They posses a sort of group think, a collective body. And I think we humans might be like this if we let ourselves, a single entity with untold connections to each other through time and space. But then there is the hummingbird, in many ways the opposite of the starling, migrating five hundred miles in a solo flight, intensely territorial.


There is something in bird behavior that reflects our own or better yet might teach us something about ourselves; their bodies and behavior hold stories to be unlocked, captured, held and ready to breath life forward informed by what came before. 


And the starling of a girl, she wanted to hold on to the ruby throated hummingbird, but he has flown wild and away.



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