happenstance

Why ,Jon ,why?” His mother asked. “Why is it so hard to be like the rest of the flock, Jon? Why can’t you leave low flying to the pelicans, the albatross? Why don’t you eat? Jon, you are bone and feathers!”
“I don’t mind being bone and feathers, Mum. I just want to know what I can do in the air and what I can’t, that’s all. I just want to know”
“See here, Jonathan,” said his father, not unkindly. “Winter isn’t far away. Boats will be few, and the surface fish will be swimming deep. If you must study, then study food, and how to get it. This flying business is all very well, but you can’t eat a glide, you know. Dont’t you forget that the reason you fly is to eat” ~Richard Bach

 "Most gulls don’t bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight – how to get from shore to food and back again. For most gulls, it is not flying that matters, but eating."
“Well sure, O.K. they’re Outcast,” said some of the younger gulls, “but hey, man, where did they learn to fly like that?”


“To fly as fast as thought, to anywhere that is,” he said,”you must begin by knowing that you have already arrived…”

life guard chairs hold a special place in my memory ... i found a young man who blew his brains out on an early morning beach walk in rhode island a few years back.  at first, i thought it was a scene from a movie.  it looked fake, he sat slumped at the base of the chair.  i called out to him, he did not respond.  i ran, i found fishermen, called 911.  soon there was yellow tape all around, "police line do not cross."  i will never forget that memorial day.  i sat on the chair next to this stranger just the late night before.  had i known ...

“…one day, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, you shall learn that irresponsibility does not pay. Life is the unknown and the unknowable, except that we are put into this world to eat, to stay alive as long we possibly can.”

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"Who is more responsible than a gull who finds and follows meaning, a higher purpose for life? For a thousand years we have scrabbled after fish heads, but now we have a reason to live – to learn, to discover, to be free! "



"Jonathan sighed. The price of being misunderstood, he thought. They call you devil or they call you god."


 "He spoke of very simple things – that it is right for a gull to fly,that freedom is the very nature of his being, that whatever stands against that freedom must be set aside, be it ritual or superstition or limitation in any form.
“Set aside,” came a voice from the multitude, “even if it be the Law of the Flock?”
“The only true law is that which leads to freedom,” Jonathan said.
“There is no other.”
“How do you expect us to fly as you fly?” came another voice. “You are special and gifted and divine, above other birds.”

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