13 Dec

Today, it snowed, but yesterday, I saw birds flying in the sky, in big groups.  They flew in choreographed flight patterns, to the rhythm of whatever they were flying to.  Was it to the wind, to the subtle differences in air pressure from one space of air to another, or maybe to the chaotic noise of the humans down below?

I asked myself, “Why do birds fly?”, and the answer that came to me, almost immediately, was, “Because they are birds.”  The groups of birds would fly in either 2 or 3 large groups, sometimes converging, but otherwise within their own group’s constellation.  Then there were birds … stragglers … in between these larger groups, playing catch-up or hooky, seemingly unsure of which group to join, if any.  Nevertheless, these stragglers too, flew, close to the others.  Not fully assimilated into a group’s constellation, and not fully willing to let go, and fly alone.

Then I asked myself, as I naturally would, “Why do humans dance?” … “Because we are humans?”  But this is like asking, why do humans climb mountains, or why do humans reach for the stars, or why do humans dive to the depths of the seas.  “Because they are there?”.

“Why did you climb that mountain?”
“Because it was there.”
“Why did you walk on the moon?”
“Because it was there.”
“Why did you go to the bottom of the sea?”
“Because it was there.”

But this doesn’t quite seem to work for dancing. Instead, this seems to work:

“Why do you dance?”
“Because I am here.”

So if I were to ask myself again, “Why do birds fly?”, I might instead answer, “Because they are there.”

“Why do birds fly, in the sky?”
“Because they are there.”


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