"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Sunday, September 04, 2011

at fingertips

for those of you who're kind enough to have bookmarked my blog, you'll notice a small design change: the new "favicon" for the blog, taken from this picture below:

this photo was snapped by ben on our recent trip to LA. we witnessed this amazing moment in nature. and what was so amazing about it was how unnatural it seemed: there were hundreds of these pigeons, on the beach at sunset, flying in these sweeping arcs, over and over above our heads. it was so conspicuous that we stopped, many people stopped, to look up and wonder at their movements. they flew in this gigantic, menacing swarm, gradually descending lower to the ground, so low that at one point, standing on the boardwalk, i could reach my hand up and feel the beating of hundreds of wings, so close to my fingertips.
everyone asking why? why are they doing this? where did all these pigeons come from? there was a man on the shore, wearing a fishing vest and a hat, who we noticed was moving his hand in a certain way. "he's throwing seeds," was ben's observation. could it be possible? were these pigeons performing for food? i noticed later, after the pigeons eventually landed, that the man had a large net, like one used for fishing. could it be possible that he, too, was performing for food (i noticed him lift it menacingly from time to time)?

how strange, the sudden behaviors and togetherness of swarms (both bird and human swarms, in this case). how strange, the choreography in nature and the ways in which forces of nature interact, and the eery beauty that results from nature being manipulated against its will.

it reminds me of one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite films, All The Real Girls. the movie as a whole has some quietly insightful writing, including the following scene, about nature (skip to about 2:12 in the clip if you want to get to the point):

"have you ever seen a mistake in nature? have you ever seen an animal make a mistake?" there's a beautiful truth to that statement. humans are known as the only animal with "will power" and "intelligence" and somehow we conceptualize humanity as above animals, above nature, and thus able to control and manipulate it. but nature is perfect and seamless and remarkable, and humans, despite our self-importance, must pause in awe and wonder of that perfect splendor.

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