There is a painting in the National Gallery by the Italian painter Gian Battista Tiepolo, called Madonna of the Goldfinch. The child is facing and targeting me when I pass, while the mother looks away. Why does she look away? The boy is keeping a bird in his hand and I recognized that the bird is trapped. By a string it is attached to the child’s hand. No way back to the birdhouse or nest!
Childlike play - even if dyed in Tiepolo’s pink colors - can be cruel. Human nature can be cruel. Nature can be cruel.
Bird’s houses are shelters for the ones who need a rest, the ones who have nothing or are on a journey. Mine look empty and their light and shadows talk about long days.
Who are they waiting for? You or me? Everybody can be a target, can be kept from coming home, from reaching the next shelter.