one feathered part of existence

I sat in the rain today and watched it fill the world. On the horizon, through the rain, trees blurred into a dream of trees and the sky went the colour of tenderest love. On the shore, I watched a seagull flock rest in the squall, and I learned that you can always tell the direction of the wind from how seagulls are standing, for they face it straight-on. It seemed like a deep and meaningful lesson but I was only interested in looking today, being, and breathing the cool fresh rain-washed air. There's something about sitting in rain which reminds you - whether you're peaceful beneath an umbrella, or freezing and miserable - that there are no edges between yourself and the world.

A hungry young bird cried constantly to its mother, who ignored it. After about half an hour I could stand it no more and strode through the flock, wanting the juvenile to go flying, be quiet, be distracted from his need. He swooped over the water too fast for me to get anything better than a blurred picture. Then he landed and began crying again. An hour later, further along the shoreline, he was still at it.

He'll learn eventually to live with his hunger, and to be silent. There's nothing I can do to help him except carry a memory of his hunger in me, so that on other days I will bring crumbs to feed other birds. At least he'll know how to turn his face so exactly to the winter wind that it does not freeze him.

I have my own wind wisdoms. And I must deal with squalls and a crying hunger for things sometimes. There are no edges between me and the sky and a bird - between me and all that is life. There are only different ways of experiencing it.





7 comments:

  1. oh my. i am in love with this. no edges. such truth.

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  2. Facing things straight on, definitely a lesson in that.

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  3. I wish we would all dare call our hungers to the wind. And I too cannot bear to hear those calls.

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  4. Gorgeous. And something about these lines: "He'll learn eventually to live with his hunger, and to be silent. There's nothing I can do to help him except carry a memory of his hunger in me" — reminded me of The Riddlemaster of Hed. (And makes me want to reread it. Yet again.)

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    1. Oh my, that is the highest, kindest praise, thank you! Patricia McKillip is (unknowingly) by greatest teacher and the writer I most wish I could emulate.

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