Questionable Qualifications: A Writer Wednesday Post

October 29th, 2014 | Posted by Irene in Essays


Portrait of DylanPortrait of Dylan, photo & all text © Irene O’Garden, 2014


To listen to this post, please click here: Questionable Qualifications


Meet Dylan, the newest member of our household. (Rest assured, his quarters are far larger than they appear–this is merely the little cage in which he traveled home last night.)

He is the latest in the succession of canaries who’ve graced our lives–Whitman, Basho, Vincent and Oliver, all named for poets. (Since only male canaries sing, Vincent and Oliver commemorated Edna and Mary.) Day before yesterday was the hundredth birthday of a certain Welsh poet, who has kindly lent his name to our bright musical fellow. Dylan adjusted immediately to his new digs and began singing promptly this morning.

Such a voice is a great cheering sound especially as winter comes in. You can hear him in a 20-second file below, joined by a surprise chanteuse who longed to be recorded, too.

What I want to share, though, was how we came to get our first canary. Thirty years ago, we had a parakeet and peppy as the little squirt was, I remember saying to myself, “When this bird dies, I’m going to get a canary.”

I’d hear his sweet but squawky Damon Runyon voice and anticipate  liquid song—until one day I listened to my own ridiculous voice. Why do I have to wait for him to die to get a canary? Who says you can’t have both at once? We became a two-cage household.

Since then, I try to listen for the scratchy, squawky qualifications I unthinkingly impose on life. Releasing silly limitations lets the heart sing.


To hear Dylan (and surprise guest) sing, please click hereDylan’s First Morning

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 You can leave a response, or trackback.

  • Lovely voice, Irene. Though the cat gives just a hint of danger to the recording 🙂

    • IreneOGarden

      Thank you, sweet singer!

  • Laura

    This is one of my all favorite Best of Irene- the love inherent for all the household is felt (and heard)…from one who had the past pleasure of living and listening to two canaries- Goldfinger and Pavarotti and the current team of parakeets who kiss and squawk all day like old marrieds…who love each other but bicker a bit…Love the song and the purr/growl.

    • IreneOGarden

      Thanks so much, Laura–birds do lighten our days, as do you!

  • Katy

    Thank you for your beautiful words today. The last two lines really hit home. Yes, releasing silly limitations does let the heart sing.

    • IreneOGarden

      How wonderful to hear your “voice” Katy–thank you!

  • Juli

    Your Aunt Oakie used to say you can’t go to the zoo and the circus in the same day….but for most things, why not have a little more? …You have so much of her spirit!

    • IreneOGarden

      Love it, Juli! Never heard that saying–it’s wonderful! And I am deeply honored to be compared to that darlin’ woman–

  • giom

    …how sweet the sound…danke from koln…

    • IreneOGarden

      thanks, dear giom!

1show current page