The Song and Shadow of the Wren

I am a small bird kind of girl. I love sparrows, I love the rainbird, I love the small secrets of the woods. This week I have been reading essays by strong and clever women like Ursula le Guin, and feeling that I ought to write (or actually be) strong and clever stories because I am a woman. But then I spend time amongst the small birds, and am encouraged to go on fighting to be gentle.

And yes, it seems sometimes these days that it is a fight for the modern woman to be soft, gentle, deep, weedy, quiet, shy, dreamy, tangled, if that's what she chooses to be. Our culture does not really support it - not in daily rooms, not on the screen, and certainly not in books. Perhaps such a personality does not suit the workplace, which is the new heart of the world.

I'm sure many men must understand this struggle. I would hate to see women shackled to strength in the same way men have been over the centuries.

Because this is Friday, I'm pleased to share with you some of the good things I've found online this week ... gentle things, or poetic or soulful things ...

Wood Wren Tales : gentle childhood art.

Lesley Austin : perhaps the loveliest blog maintenance page I've seen.

Rebecca Clark : the art of nature.

Tread Gently on the Earth.

Travelling altars : I myself would best rather lay my hands on a tree, or a breath of wind, or the earth herself, but for those who do keep an altar, these are a wonderful idea.

A is for Anthony : this Shakespeare poem is magnificent.

Rescued dogs : heart-warming.

Beyond the Fields We Know.

Stay With Me : by Sarah Jaffe

(sharing with Kim Klassen's Friday Finds)


  1. I so agree with what you've written, Sarah. This post, and these links, are wonderful. <3

  2. Replies
    1. I love this comment because I just KNEW you'd like the song! I thought of you when I linked to it :-)

  3. I love your bird shots, that is one thing I can not seem to master.

  4. Beautifully written and your images are so lovely. Happy Friday!

  5. such lovely birds, i notice they have bands on their legs.
    yes, these are things that so many of us consider....
    thank you for sharing the links.

  6. You never fail to give a different way to glimpse something. The idea that we give up our gentleness, becoming as you write so poetically "shackled to strength" is one I'll keep close. Thank you.

  7. Nature couldn't be more beautiful then over here.


  8. I thought that was lovely. Thanks!

  9. I so agree with this. What has happened to gentleness? Washed away in marketing and advertising memes. It's so sad.

  10. Oh my...these photographs of yours! I will be keeping this page open today so that my eyes will keep falling upon it. And thank you, dear Sarah, for linking to my page. I wish that websites could be as easily arranged as collages of photographs and old engravings!