jmgoyder

wings and things

There is a bird on my balcony

on February 29, 2012

I have just remembered a rather strange coincidence. The first sentence I ever wrote of my PhD thesis was “There is a bird on my balcony.” At the time I was living in a tiny bedsit in Perth but I was lucky enough to have a balcony underneath a massive tree, so one particular bird would occasionally transit back and forth from the branches of this tree to my balcony. This bird seemed (to me) to have stories within itself – vast stories.

This sentence was soon deemed by my lovely, but rather formidable, supervisor as not being a good way of beginning an academic work. My thesis was about Alzheimer’s Disease and stories because, in working as a nurse in various nursing homes, I had discovered the joy of listening to stories told by people with dementia, no matter how fragmented. Long story short, my thesis passed and I rewrote it for publication as a book in 2001. That makes it nearly 12 years old now!

The bird-on-the-balcony sentence fell by the wayside but it still resonates with me and I remember it now with a nostalgic fondness for my own naivetee at the time and a big nod to the irony of now – in so many ways.

As I no longer have a balcony, I can’t post a photo of this wonderful bird; I don’t even know what kind of bird it was or what kind of tree it lived in. But I will never forget it.

The past is the past.


10 responses to “There is a bird on my balcony

  1. Jennifer says:

    What a shame your first very memorable line never made it to the published pages of your book. Bah humbug to the supervisor! 🙂

  2. gus57 says:

    We remember what we can because we can.

  3. meglane says:

    Back and forth,in and out, weaving a tapestry. Memories, thoughts, dreams, smells, pictures, words. Who’d have thought that little bird would play its part in shaping you 12 years ago, and now. M.L.

  4. I like the bird-on-the-balcony sentence. Stupid advisor. lol

  5. victoriaaphotography says:

    Some co-incidence. Strange how life turns out.

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