The Yellow Bird

My friend, Rachel, is a beautiful soul. Recently, Rachel has been writing very rich and transparently on facebook, so I asked her if I could share one of her notes on my blog, to which she graciously answered yes.

Rachel is struggling, like many of us, and searching for answers. But here’s what’s so beautiful about Rachel- she has been hurt and disrespected, and abused, and trampled, and betrayed, and broken in ways that would make your head spin- yet, she still puts herself out there and keeps her heart mercifully open.

Here are her words.

There’s a musician, Conor Oberst, who fronts the band, Bright Eyes. On one of their albums there are references to a “yellow bird,” until recently that reference eluded me.

“You are the yellow bird that I’ve been waiting for. The end of paralysis, I was a statuette. “

“She says these bars are filled with things that kill, by now you probably should have learned. Did you forget that yellow bird? How could you forget your yellow bird?”

Recently, I read somewhere (on the internet so it must be true) that the yellow bird was a friend of Conor’s, and brother to one of the other band members. This friend battled depression, sexual confusion, and substance abuse; that friend committed suicide. That friend was Conor’s canary in a coal mine, the thing that died and showed Conor what a toxic path he was on (Conor has been known to drown his sorrows in a bottle or two himself) so he was able to get out before it was too late; Conor’s yellow bird.

Where is my yellow bird? It’s not that I want something to die, but I just want something to make me feel like there is a reason to get out of bed in the morning and give me a way to make it through the day without a drink.

In sociology, they teach this idea that not only does every society have deviants, but that every society needs its deviants. Society needs a bastard to get caught robbing the bank so it can put him on a pedestal, curse his being, and show its members exactly what happens when you defy its norms. The punishment of the deviant keeps the majority in line, reminds them what wrong is, and what happens when a member of society chooses to deviate from what is right.

If society needs deviants, then it goes without saying that it needs victims. Society needs to see people suffer so it can see what a wreck people become when they fall victim to deviants. We all have a purpose. I fear God put me on this Earth to suffer, so that the good people He has chosen to bless can look at me and see what happens when they don’t love the way the should. Dear sirs, I am what happens if you abuse children; this insecure, hopeless mess is all that’s left. Dear parents, I am what happens if you put your addictions before your daughters; this frantic, untrusting animal is what you create. Dear dishonest and lustful men, I am what happens if you use your silver tongues to convince love-starved women to give their bodies to you in exchange for indifference; an empty vessel of damaged goods is what you leave behind. I am the thing that suffers so you can know what it means to be poisoned yet remain unscathed.

I am your yellow bird.

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One thought on “The Yellow Bird

  1. This is very deep.
    As a bright eyes beloved fan I found comfort in reading this educated analysis on something so simple as a lyric.

    Bravo!

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