Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

...whether they were seen or not, and they listened, trying to understand Jonathan Seagull.
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."
"Look at Fletcher! Lowell! Charles-Roland! Judy Lee! Are they also special and gifted and divine? No more than you are, no more than I am. The only difference, the very only one, is that they have begun to understand what they really are and have begun to practice it"
His students, save Fletcher, shifted uneasily. They hadn't realized that this was what they were doing.
The crowd grew larger every day, coming to question, to idolize, to scorn.

"They are saying in the FLock that if you are not the Son of the Great Gull Himself, " Fletcher told Jonathan one morning after Advanced Spreed Practice, " then you are a thousand years ahead of your time."
Jonathan sighed. The price of being misunderstood, he thought. They call you devil or they call you god. "What do you think, Fletch? Are we ahead of our time?"
A long silence. "Well, this kind of flying has always been here to be learned by anybody who wanted to discover it; that's got nothing to do with time. We're ahead of the fashion, maybe. Ahead of the way that most gulls fly."

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