Sunday, July 20, 2008


How do we know that birds aren’t singing with bubbling gurgles of joy warbling and trembling inside their bodies? How do we know that their little energetic systems aren’t alive and luminous with the ripples and cadence of song? How do we know that when they can’t contain it any more—because the ecstasy is so great—that they don’t dive and dip out of the trees or off of wires to soar?

How do we know they are not blithe and happy as they eat seeds by the road? How do we know that the robin isn’t perpetually cheerful because it savors the sensation of a worm wiggling down its throat into its belly? How do we know birds are not savoring the warmth of soft nests amongst twigs as snow falls on feathers? We who filter out Life with our bodies and left lob limited brains: how do we know anything?

How does a bird feel when it makes love: when feathers part and soft tissues touch? Is the ecstasy so filled with Light that their body feels like it flies with its wings folded? And does a bird know pain that drains its brain and flutters its body out to the edge of extinction as its orifice stretches thin, budging open to expel an egg?

And how do we know that birds do not grieve in song when they see their brothers or sisters in peril: when the cat pounces or shots ring? How do we know that when a bird friend falls and its eyes darken a black stone doesn’t weigh their hearts down so heavily that it strains their wing bones and feathers?

We who filter out oceans of brimming Life with our biological brains, we who dumb down and dampen our senses so we can darken and immure ourselves in abstract thought symbols, the supposed and seditious security of familiar emotions and endless chatter of words — how do we know anything real at all?

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