Sunday, 29 August 2010

still reading Annie Dillard

About five years ago I saw a mockingbird make a straight vertical descent from

the roof-gutter of a four-story building. It was an act as careless and spontaneous

as the curl of a stem or the kindling of a star.

The mockingbird took a single step into the air and dropped. His wings were

still folded against his sides as though he were singing from a limb and not

falling, accelerating thirty-two feet per second, through empty air.

Just a breath before he would have been dashed to the ground, he unfurled his

wings with exact deliberate care, revealing the broad bars of white, spread his

elegant white-banded tail, and so floated onto the grass. I had just rounded a

corner when his insouciant step caught my eye; there was no one else in sight.

The fact of his free fall was like the old philosophical conundrum about the tree

that falls in the forest. The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are

performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be


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1 comment:

aafke7 said...

yes, BE there!