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At a friend’s place in the high desert east of the Cascade Mountains that divide the states of Washington and Oregon into wet-side and dry-side, a sage sparrow¬†was perched on the back of a chair on his deck.

It talked and talked to its image in the window.

“I don’t know if it’s happy or sad, if it’s admiring itself or mourning a mate who may have crashed into the glass,” said my friend. “But it’s been here doing that for well over a month.”

I hadn’t gone that deep, but this is typical of my friend, a writer, and is one of the things I love about him. Until then, I’d thought only about how I enjoyed the bird’s music, oblivious to its potential origins.

If asked, my French grandmother would have said “It does not matter, the source of this beauty. It is enough that it is beautiful.”

My friend and I talked about that, about music, poetry, prose, about why we love The Blues. My friend is no stranger to heartbreak, but he also know the joys of falling in love.

“You can’t have the one without risking the other,” he said. “I wouldn’t trade away a minute of either. Both are part of my song.”

It’s not easy. It’s not supposed to be easy. But there is beauty to be found.