Jonathan Livingston Seagull
“They are saying in the Flock that if you are not the Son of the Great Gull Himself”, Fletcher told Jonathan one morning after Advanced Speed Practice, “then you are a thousand years ahead of your time.”
Jonathan sighed. The price of being misunderstood he thought. They call you devil or they call you god. “What do you think, Fletch? Are we ahead of our time?”
A long silence, “Well, this kind of flying has always been here to be learned by anyone who wanted to discover it; that’s got nothing to do with time. We’re ahead of the fashion, maybe. Ahead of the way that most gulls fly.”“That’s something,” Jonathan said, rolling to glide inverted for a while. “That’s not half as bad as being ahead of our time”.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
The Seagull Speaks Creative Commons Copyright
Original work on The Seagull Speaks by Michael A Wride is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Here is a podcast of me reading this:
I'm sitting cross legged on a layer of brown leaves... soft they are, fulfilled and expanded by the winter dampness that pervades this wood. To my immediate right a slab of granite is exposed....caressed by green moss.
I realise that I also sit on another huge granite rock who wears his leaves as a crown... a King in His Woods. Blue tits jump around restlessly on the twigs of the trees above. Their staccato song fills the cool damp air within which I have my Being. I am truly alive here. My bare feet Earthed in the leaves, my eyes scanning the stark bare branches above that are dappled by the in-streaming, cold January sun.
To my left, a wise old Beech tree slumbers. An old friend, dozing. She murmurs to me in her sleep..... dreaming this wood into existence. The wind tickles her branches and they move in free flowing patterns of evolving forms. The slender fractal twigs at the end of her reach, extending like antennae upwards towards the sky. Could it be that she is listening to the voice of the cosmos flooding in to her reverie? Is this the source of her dreams?
And down, down, way below, the inexorable sea at high tide alights on rocks... singing a song of serenity, of rhythm and flow and real power ...in trust and patience... the cold blue-grey winter sea. Enjoying the way her fingers, the waves, stroke the beach. Just as her song flies up from below and reaches my ears and the heart of the beach tree too.
I'll meditate in this place for a while and on all of that, all of those spinning thoughts and intuitions, and then I will walk away bare-foot on the cold damp leaves lining the pathways and corridors of the wood like magic carpets. I'll be feeling refreshed like the beech tree after her sleep.
Here is a podcast of me reading this piece...
There is a tremendous storm building here... I hope to go out in it later and be buffeted and invigorated by it - to experience what it is to be a Storm. To allow the storm to express itself within me. To become filled by the storm as I expand into the storm. To raise up my arms into the night as if they were the branches of trees. To hear the whirring screaming wind at the centre of my head. In the core of my being. To feel the power of it in my heart and chest. To explode internally, to be blown apart and reassembled as a new me. A catharsis from both within and without. To be washed, baptised by the punching rain. To truly live. To truly love. That's all. To experience those things like storms and darkness and fierce wind that the others are terrified of and avoid...out into the stormy night....I go...I go...
......I ventured out into the farmyard as the storm continued to develop. Such intense energy and sense experience. No allowance for control with a storm. Water whipped up from the puddles in the yard. Water as rain punching me with pins. My face feeling like it's bleeding, my eyes watering up and flowing. Immersed in a water world I stood. The wind the expression of the sound of a waterfall and fountain all in one. I was squeezed upward and downward simultaneously. My body and mind stretched as I struggled to hold on to some semblance of reality... Up? Down? No gravity... Floating, flying in wind in water in spray..... Winded, breathing in short sharp intakes of compressed breath. Cold damp air in. Cold damp air out. Feeling my way in darkness. Shadowy forms flying at me... My tumbling thoughts shimmering within the night as this storm appears within me.....and outside me. A paradox that is truth. Where do I begin? Where do I end? Do I have boundaries? I am an open vessel now... Filling, filling with darkness and wind and water.. Overflowing with this intense energy... Within, without, tick tock, tick tock time disappears I am lifted off my feet and sucked up up up into the swirling darkness. And then some light, a stillness, quiet, unexpected serenity as I transcend the immanence of this experience. The light. The love. At the heart of the storm. Liberation. Acceptance. The storm is. I am. I return to me. Ears whistling. Damp face. Back to the warmth of the fire.......