Dancing birds

I’ve been in a bit of a fog recently and I feel like I woke up from it while I was walking home from work today. As I crossed the Market Street Bridge, I looked around and was surprised to see that there were lots of other people around me. Walking down the sidewalk. Talking with friends. Asking for change. Somehow, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been all alone lately, and in that state of loneliness, I wasn’t registering that I live in a sea of humanity. That I am surrounded by people who eat, breath, talk, sleep, love and engage. I had stopped noticing the life around me, which for me is strange, being that I am normally the one who pays attention.

I was struck by all this as I started down the path that connects the Market Street Bridge with the Chestnut Street one. Half way down the path, the cry of a seagull caught my ear and I turned my body towards the river. I stood there, watching five seagulls weave back and forth in the air space between the two bridges for several minutes. At one point, it appeared that they were playing follow the leader, as they formed an undulating line just above and to the side of the path’s handrail. It almost seemed as if they were a team of syncronized flyers, practicing for a show.

After all this team work and togetherness, they suddenly scattered, going off in difference directions, abandoning their cohesion for chaos. Rehearsal was over, I guessed. I sighed, having appreciated their beauty and feeling slightly jealous of their ability to fly, and continued home. I was grateful for the psychic shaking I had had moments before, so that I was awake and aware enough to notice the birds and watch their performance.

0 thoughts on “Dancing birds

  1. Marisa

    I saw that movie when it first came out at the Ritz East and was awed by it. I haven’t thought about it in awhile though, I think it might be time for another viewing!

  2. Aasmodeus

    I’ll be purchasing it some day in the hopefully not-too-distant future.

    Then I’ll have viewings of it at the church!

    Add potluck meal, some discussion afterward, maybe a talk from a local ornithologist… voila, instant activity!

    Ok, ok, scratch the ornithologist.

    And limit the discussion to feelings, not the meaning of the subtext and how particular shots could have been redone with a different camera lens.


    I loved this movie and it brought a new awareness of and true love for all the birds around me. I toured Alcatraz recently and some of the pictures were of the various birds on the island! I rode a ferry and most of the movies are not of my siblings and in-laws, but of the birds riding the breeze behind us, sometimes just a few feet away from me and my camera.

    And to get back on topic, I also find joy now in walking across Philly’s bridges and along the river, just to catch glimpses of the seagulls and pigeons in flight, or doing what ever else they deign to do as I watch.


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