Where do birds go when they die? / by Chris Maynard

 Loon Star.

Loon Star.

If heaven is something a bird ever imagines, I don’t think it would be a place with clouds. Clouds are part of birds’ lives, they fly around in them. Especially during our rainy-cloudy season. We can’t fly, so those of us (probably who live in dryer climates) place fluffy clouds along with angel wings and feathers in the heavens, or at least as bridges between worlds.

I was taking a nice warm morning indoor shower, thinking of these things and thinking how I could use feather in art to describe a bird’s heaven. I recently sketched a series with cloud/rain themes. My inspiration usually arrives as intuition rather than a specific meaning I want to convey. But in the shower, it was as if the clouds suddenly cleared and the stars appeared. I thought, “If a bird had a heaven in its yearnings, it is stars, not clouds.”

This thought, I admit, was probably heavily influenced by the several weeks of constant rain and cloud cover in my area of the world. The sun did shine for an hour yesterday one morning. Like cave-dwelling dwarves, people came out of their houses, squinting and shading their eyes, happy to see beyond the clouds into the heavens.