July 24, 2011

Life and Death On a Summer Afternoon


The jade green winged butterfly settles on my shin as it dangles in a pool of shade on the deck. I hold my leg stock still watching the slow beat of it’s wings come and go like the breath of a sleeping child.

A sparrow comes off the telephone line above the fence and slashes into it like a rapier, pin small claws spiking into my skin. The butterfly beats its wings in the bird's beak at the same slow tempo as before. I shake my leg an inch or so and the sparrow skips off onto the bricks next to my foot, still keeping the butterfly locked in its beak.

“Hey,” I say. “Don’t be so greedy.”

The sparrow cocks its head to the sound of my voice and gives what might be a shrug and then it's off. Even on a lazy summer afternoon its got no time for my morality.

Posted by Vanderleun at July 24, 2011 5:42 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

You mean your immorality.

That bird needed to eat, and he obtained what was available. There is as much beauty in that as any other vignette of nature. Trying to superimpose your own aesthetic over what simply is is hubris.

Posted by: ThomasD at July 24, 2011 7:07 PM

I speak, sometimes, at slant.

Posted by: vanderleun at July 24, 2011 7:51 PM

He knoweth all and saith much more than all he knoweth.

Posted by: Jewel at July 24, 2011 8:06 PM


-Joshu, 7th century.

Posted by: Gray at July 24, 2011 10:42 PM

A birdie with a yellow bill
Hopped upon my windowsill
Cocked his shining eye and said
Ain't you shamed you sleepyhead.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Amazing things happen if we will be still for a moment.

Posted by: John Hinds at July 25, 2011 6:15 AM

But was the bird imposing its hubristic morality, nay, immorality upon said sleepy-head?

Posted by: Jewel at July 25, 2011 8:40 AM