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June 2, 2013 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Things get broken

Broken things flock here.

Seeking, they fly in unbeckoned – purposefully.

Hoping that broken doesn’t mean lost – useless.

(Still picking up the pieces trying to figure that out.)

They appear. Broken, but kept.


This imported crackle-crazed bird tile.

Only one left – others already nesting in decorative locations.

Left flightless in the box. No destination listed.

“Want it? Here, take it.”

Settled quietly among oddities and curios until given it wings by artists and writers.


The pale bird of a multicolored trio from Mexico.

Decapitated and de-tailed during shipping migration.

It’s eyes wide in panic. Now useless? (Memories of frantic notes by other unfortunates.)

Will the disfigurement leave it in pieces? (Wills the glue to hold.)

Fortunate that elaborate design kindly hides unintended imperfections.

Amigos don’t mind in the least.


Fallen, but not shattered, the terracotta dove must have called.

Left behind.

Its’ Tree of Life perch carried off. The vacant branch unseen.

Crushed spirit soon to be matched by crushed under foot?

Noticed. Collected.

Rerouted to watch over the garden.

Outdoors preferred – despite the potential to slowly melt away

Dust to dust seems appropriate.

Once a perched in a representation of the The Garden, so not too far afield.


Far from the original rock that birthed it, is the carved stone Moroccan bird.

Certainly rough. Some say crude and poor.

It hardly had a chance among the high-quality expensive products showcased for tourists.

The shop girl’s lips tightened as she wrapped their purchases.

Her movements quick, efficient, and emotionless.

Then the grey bird on the counter.

She looked up. Her eyes brightened.

Carefully she tucked padding around it. Swaddling it with great care.

It wasn’t costly, but obviously, it was precious.

She smiled. We struggled with the only common language; my French being so poor.

The sturdy little box in flight longer than any rock could have possibly imagined.


Some rocks have more confidence, like marble.

Is it that all the family treasures were already promised to others?

More likely saw a kindred spirit? One who’d see and understand.

A marble bird bath. From Italy. From when she was young.

Remnant of an era when families toured the Continent with large steamer trunks.

Trips meant to add “finish” to daughters before marriage. (“Polish” them like a table?)

A little bird broken off here. One missing there. A soft beak there rounded with age.

 Carefully handed over. Safe from practical sensible people.

The birds still carefully perch. No glue ever manages to hold.

But wobbly perching seems appropriate somehow.

Life is complicated (Anne Anderson,1874-1930.US Public domain: expired copyright/life of artist/

Between the wolves and the chickens, it’s complicated.
(Anne Anderson,1874-1930.US Public domain: expired copyright/life of artist/

Things get broken. That’s life.

Some tossed aside. Some mended. Some accepted in their present form.

It’s a person’s response to the “broken” that is intriguing.

Some toss and buy new. (Discarders)

Some mend – and mend – and gladly mend repeatedly. (Healers)

Some shrug and say “Well, it’s different than designed, but it works well if used liked this.” (Visionaries)

Human are pretty cracked creatures.

Is it kindness or politeness or lack of interest to ignore the cracks and defects?

In any case, they all have their roles:

The discarders,

The healers

The visionaries.

(Night by Herrfurth 1862-1934.US public domain: reprod of PD art/artist life+70/

Uncertain as Night. (Herrfurth 1862-1934.US public domain: reprod of PD art/artist life+70/

How does each react when hope or faith or trust is broken?

Guess that’s the measure of a person – of a soul.

Things get broken in life.

How fortunate an elaborate design kindly hides unintended imperfections.

And that perching sometimes works when glue doesn’t.

Gathering thought and flights,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Seriously, where to now? America's Got talent? (1913 Hans Andersen's fairy tales.William Heath, ill.1872-1944. US public domain- expired copyright: publication date/

Seriously, where to now? America’s Got Talent?
(1913 Andersen’s fairy tales.William Heath,ill.1872-1944.US public domain expired copyright: publication date/


  1. jmmcdowell / Jun 3 2013 1:17 am

    I probably do a combination of all three when it comes to things, depending on what was broken and how badly. When it comes to trust and responsibilities, it’s not always easy to know what to do. I hope I make the best decisions more often than I don’t….


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 3 2013 1:27 pm

      Probably best to be flexible and take each situation as it comes. Being too rigid can make commonsense fly out the window? Thanks for chirping along


  2. RAB / Jun 3 2013 1:56 am

    Wonderful. Makes me think of Paul McCartney singing “Blackbird.” Nice to see they’ve all landed safe enough with someone who will care for them as they are.


  3. dogear6 / Jun 3 2013 2:36 am

    Things unfortunately get broken more than we would like. Change is normal, but not always fun.

    The beagle waves hello.



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 3 2013 1:32 pm

      Change is just life…and with a dog like Molly, it’s constantly shifting sands…(nooooo, don’t eat the June Bugs). RC is already miffed this morning as she meant to play “bat the mousie back and forth under the door” not “Molly’s got the mousie and won’t give it back”
      Thank goodness the beagle waves came in to distract her! Tail wags sent in gratitude!


  4. EllaDee / Jun 3 2013 5:21 am

    A gorgeous collections of birdies… and they have the dignity of provenance… not just oh I got that at the store… We also have an affection for birdies, or they have for us… I’m not sure which. Also we prefer things around us which are imperfect, old and/or had intereresting lives… possibly because we are that as well. I think you don’t necessarily need to fix… ok fix has such bad connotations so – mend perfectly, and if there are scars or evidence of wear, they’ve been earned and should be worn with pride.
    It’s funny,we have been discussing similar – how different people cope differently and put their lives back together, or not, when they are shattered by events. It makes for interesting thoughts.
    It’s amazing how far perching can get you 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 3 2013 1:36 pm

      Perfect is so difficult to maintain – both in objects and in people. It’s all perception, anyway?
      A collection of curiosities live here – used as a starter for art and words…they all have stories – (and besides, where else would they go?). Thanks for winging over to chat


  5. PiedType / Jun 3 2013 5:54 am

    I share your fondness for birds. I have two little birds on my mantle. The first is a Boehm Baby Chickadee, a gift received in 1965. Surprised it has survived so long without damage (knock wood). The other looks much like the Mexican doves you pictured, but is cast pewter instead of clay, about 3 inches tall. Bought by my parents in Mexico. Scratch marks on the tail are from my son’s teething. I would be deeply saddened if anything happened to either.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 3 2013 1:43 pm

      I have a collection of objects that have wandered in and stayed. It’s funny how some people discard some of the most interesting pieces…and then pay some “designer” to buy objects to place in their houses.
      Sometime you will have to do a quick post with your birds. I’d love to see them – scratches only mean they have lived!
      Thanks for soaring over to chirp


  6. roughseasinthemed / Jun 3 2013 7:32 am

    We have a couple of teal coloured pottery (?) love birds (or so I like to think) that we’ve had for lots of years. So far, so good, their love is unbroken.

    I inherited a rather gaudy ornament from my mum, a present from someone who had been to Greece? Turkey? somewhere? It is glass with a few bits of gold or gilt or something hence the gaudiness. But it is dolphins, two adults, and two babies. One of the babies keeps falling off it’s stand so I carefully mend him each time.

    If only life was as simple as glueing it back together.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 3 2013 1:52 pm

      Teal is such a good color. (Pippa has been good to leave that couple alone. Molly still has to be monitored during her explorations into certain areas…almost made of with a carved wooden bear last week)
      The bits of gilt in the dolphins creates more light refection? Glue must get old and let go? Can’t trust it. Reassembling life is difficult sometimes, too – people keep expecting things to match up perfectly and to go back exactly the way it was – it’s always the same, but also a bit different. Guess that drives people cuckoo?
      Thanks for feathering the comment nest


      • roughseasinthemed / Jun 3 2013 2:16 pm

        The teal birds are well out of reach 😉

        Now if we had cat ornaments on the other hand, I’m sure he’d find a way.

        The baby dolphin was knocked off. My mother used to keep it on the window sill and she had vertical blinds and one gusty windy day ….. It’s attached right by the tip of its tail, so there’s not much to glue it with. I need to have another go, it usually lasts for a while and then flops off again. Probably wants a swim.


  7. Snoring Dog Studio / Jun 3 2013 12:44 pm

    I, too, love birds and have a small collection. I’ve even started making some out of wool felt. I love your collection and the illustrations! My sister recently got a backyard bird feeder. Living next door, I now get more birds — and more bird poop. I saw my first hummingbird yesterday!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 3 2013 2:12 pm

      Good news about bird feeders: more birds and bird politics are so amusing…bad new: the mess.(ours is over grass, so all the spilled seeds sprout and want to grow). Haven’t seen hummingbirds yet – I think they’ve all moved north. we’ve got a lantana bush outside the breakfast window – but the cardinal pair seems to be enjoying it the most right now. Thanks for flying over to chirp


      • pegoleg / Jun 3 2013 7:15 pm

        I saw my first hummingbird this weekend, too! It was so fleeting I almost thought I imagined it.


  8. jannatwrites / Jun 3 2013 7:15 pm

    Interesting thoughts here. When something has sentimental value, I mend when possible. Of course, things do get broken, so if I can’t mend it, I still try to love the imperfect piece. Without the attachment, I can more easily live with it, or let it go.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 4 2013 2:43 pm

      I think photographers understand “broken”. There’s beauty, acceptance, and practicality. Must be the artist’s eye. Thanks for fixin’ up a comment to leave


  9. pegoleg / Jun 3 2013 7:17 pm

    Lovely musings and pictures. I think I’m a combination of all three, depending on whether we’re talking about people or stuff.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 4 2013 2:45 pm

      And what are we talking about… HA! Leave that up to you.(Fog makes things more clear?) Anyway, you are bound to be a combination. Thanks for assembling a comment


  10. Beth / Jun 3 2013 11:54 pm

    As always, a beautiful metaphor.


  11. animallawnewsandabuse / Jun 4 2013 12:45 am


  12. Jagoda Perich-Anderson, M.A. / Jun 4 2013 2:15 pm

    I enjoyed reading and viewing your lovely broken birds. Their imperfections give them character, don’t they? Just like with us humans. At least I like to think I have character with all my warts and creases (and I’m not just talking skin here). Glad I found you through JMMcDowell.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 4 2013 2:33 pm

      Glad you found something to tickle your brain. It’s rather eclectic here.
      You’re right about imperfections. Stories waiting behind each one.
      Thanks for gluing in a comment – will hop over shortly to visit


  13. The Hook / Jun 4 2013 2:38 pm

    “It’s a person’s response to the “broken” that is intriguing.”
    “Human are pretty cracked creatures.
    More brilliant.

    Good work, old friend.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 4 2013 2:48 pm

      Ah, thought you’d enjoy sitting on the ledge skimming pebbles across this one. Takes an observer to wade in. Thanks for pondering along


  14. Rachael C. Black / Jun 4 2013 7:11 pm

    A single whisper: beautiful

    This was visually and verbally stunning.


  15. shoreacres / Jun 5 2013 12:02 am

    Perfection is artificial, anyway. There isn’t a perfect bird in the real world – just look at all those ragged feathers, missing toes, broken beaks. Trees are crooked, butterflies have damaged wings – heck, I’ve got a back that’s giving me a little trouble.

    If we reject the less than perfect, there goes the world. Better to embrace the imperfect, add a little glue where possible and let it be.

    Funny – my thing is birds’ nests I love them, and I just found my third one last week. My first two were pretty simple and I don’t move them around much, lest they fall apart. But the new one is pretty big and tightly woven. It would hold one or two of your birds just fine.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 6 2013 12:57 am

      We all know from your posts that you are the visionary: elephants, cemetery chairs, and whimsy whirling in deep waters! (Comes from close association with water and boats?)
      If it works, a thing is perfect enough. Thanks for the chirp!


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