"The birds, Mama---the birds...."
I was driving Violet to school today when we saw a huge flock of birds rise up beside the road in front of us. They swooped and dipped and moved as this one huge mass. It was this perfect greyish cloud that moved as one. The birds were so tiny you couldn't focus on one at once. They performed this perfect ballet of birdness. Can you imagine being in that sort of cluster? That bunch of beings so perfectly choreographed that everyone flies as one massive, central entity? It was so beautiful. Violet was even speechless.
This video is so amazing. The best part starts at :23, so skip ahead if you're the impatient sort. If your computer is slow, here is the YouTube link.
Here is a poem I love by Mary Oliver. Thanks to Marty for introducing me to her poetry.
Starlings in Winter
by Mary Oliver
Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,
dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
becomes for a moment fragmented,
then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can't imagine
how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,
this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;
I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard, I want
to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.