This Bear opened his eyes to unfamiliar surroundings and he could not remember where he came from, why he was here nor where he was supposed to be. He could not even remember his own name. He was alone and he was scared. The sky looked sinister; the tempest added manic to his confusion – and as he pushed himself up, he noticed the red soil from under his feet. He swallowed his sense of dread and turned around.
And saw it.
The gash of red and flesh mixed with mud on his back that did not belong. The missing of an angel wing. He brought a paw up to touch his remaining white wing and his heart clenched in sorrow. Tears rolled from his eyes to join the red soil. The pain on his body that he now felt was nothing in comparison to the storm that had manifested inside his soul. He had so many questions yet he had no one to ask, no one that could tell him what had happened.
In the distance he could see some tall structures – this confounded him even more because they were unlike anything he had ever come across. He thought to himself – it was probably just that he could not remember. He stood for a while studying these structures, ignoring the sharp pounding of the pain he felt against his flesh – he noticed some were stone, some glass, some looked like they was painted on but one thing was for certain; none looked natural. None looked like places of joy. All of them looked bleak and dark.
He once again touched his remaining white wing lovingly and with his paw, gently wrapped it around his body and tucked it safe. This was a piece of light he would do anything to protect. He then started walking towards what we of the human race call them; buildings.
Like the Bear, I went on a quest in order to fabricate this piece. There were so many questions I wanted answered and it took me weeks to come across something motivational and it took me even longer to be able to apply colours to this message. I was torn between my confusion and static state – I felt I had lost my passion and prayed hard for signs to spark my inspiration and show me that all was not lost.
It was then I started finding the feathers.
I kept the first one I found but I did not think much of it. A week later, I found my second – it struck me then. This was it, this was what I had been asking for; my sign of hope.
I found a third feather.
I know you realists out there will think “It is just a bird or birds who have lost a feather.” This is true but it does not stop me from keeping my hopes up now.
In the meantime, I still could not draw what I wanted to say. So I hoped harder. I should explain that the feathers I found were all brown feathers with white at the ends. I searched for its meaning out of curiosity and found that these ones in particular bring happiness and protection to its receivers and enables them to be invisible to those who may mean them harm.
I found a fourth feather – half of it missing. At first, I was quite dejected, thinking this could not be a good omen however I still took the feather upstairs to keep it safe. Shortly after I had a sudden urge to flip though my sketchbook – I still remember that moment when I saw a sketch of something I had drawn weeks ago but had filed away; forgotten. This was my moment of clarity. This was the inspiration for what I was searching for.
And so I present you:
“It’s still there you know. That old drive in we used to sneak into at the dead of night after I had secretly bribed the owner into letting us in after hours; never telling you that we weren’t actually breaking in so you wouldn’t lose your fearlessness and sense of adventure. Only thing missing is us.” – A.J. Burgos
Urban represents us losing our way and getting caught up in the chaos of today’s busy, fast-paced modern world; but in no way does it represent a lost of our innocence. It states that although you have lost a wing and can no longer fly, you haven’t lost a limb. You can still run; and run fast.
I have seen a lot of people wear a similar programmed look of static on their faces. One that states clearly they are not happy with where they are going nor what they are going to do. Then why do we do it? Is this a means of survival or it is simply because we have told we need to do it? Does it conflict with who we are?
I had since drawn up my piece but I had still had no words to my message so I asked some of my friends to think of the concept of “Urban” and “Fallen Angels” and to tell me the first thing that comes to mind. These are some of their thoughts:
broken wings, cobble stones, evil, betrayal, corruption, no longer allowed in the heavens, myths, supernatural, superstition, overpopulation, theft, busy demons, weeping angels
You would agree with me that it is quite bleak however not in any of those descriptions did I pick out words like “thoroughly lost“, “desolate“, “despair“, “cursed” or “dead”. We are not as lost as we seem to think we are. We are perhaps just momentarily trapped and in our need for escape; turn aggressive and frustrated.
So I urge you to take your time. Take as long as you need to find your way again. If you are like me and you sometimes need to be completely alone, turn off your phone or your laptop. Turn off the urban world for a little while. Do things that make you happy; go somewhere where you are at peace. Then when you do return to the urban world, carry a piece of that “heaven” with you.