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WORDS FROM FRIENDS

LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONA IX

People disparagingly call them "flying rats," and they do have some deplorable habits. Their babies are incredibly ugly. But there is beauty in the iridescence around their necks. And on Saturday evening I saw four of them, flying in pairs to join ten or so birds on a highwire. Two landed, and two went on wheeling. I watched them sail. Sail away. And back again. One on the wire—I swear she saw me watching—took off, made a gracious loop, and then came straight toward me. For a moment I thought she was going to land on my head. She stopped on the parapet of the building above me and gazed at me. I gazed back. Communion.

 

I've never disliked pigeons. They are little beings, too. They are part of urban ecology—cleaning up after humans who leave their unfinished food lying around. So who's to blame?

 

And one flew down to me on Saturday night when I was feeling all the feels––a little lonely, teary when the show I'd been binge-watching ended on such tender human notes, bereft that those virtual companions were gone from me. Wanting some company for a while. I give thanks to that one pigeon who saw me and dove down to hello me. Pigeon love.

 

"We know ourselves to be made from this earth. We know this earth is made from our bodies. For we see ourselves. And we are nature. We are nature seeing nature. We are nature with a concept of nature. Nature weeping. Nature speaking of nature to nature.

 

The red-winged blackbird flies in us, in our inner sight. We see the arc of her flight. We measure the ellipse. We predict its climax. We are amazed. We are moved. We fly. We watch her wings negotiate the wind, the substance of the air, its elements and the elements of those elements, and count those elements found in other beings, the se urchin's sting, ink, this paper, our bones, the flesh of our tongues with which we make the sound "blackbird," the ear with which we hear, the eye which travels the arc of her flight. And yet the blackbird does not fly in us but in somewhere else free of our minds, and now even free of our sight, flying in the path of her own will."

 

            ~ Susan Griffin

 

 

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