Monday, September 6, 2010

an unexpected guest

There she was. So delicate. I froze for a moment when I saw her. I just stood there watching her struggle not knowing what to do. There she was, lost in her fear, trembling and mesmerizing.

A minute ago I was lost in my thoughts walking toward my apartment. It was a beautiful day but there was nothing special about it other than the fact that its beauty had made me feel sad and lonely. I checked my mailbox and entered my building. In sharp contrast with the weather outside, the hallway was dark and cool. I felt the fear and helplessness in the air before I laid eyes on her. There was something in the air, something weak and flickering. I started climbing the stairs and only halfway through the stairs that I saw her. I stopped and stared at her.
She was a sparrow, rising just a little by a couple of wing beats and then descending again. Then again and then again. It was like a sad dance in slow motion. At least that's how I saw it. Moving up and down in front of the closed window, she looked like a phantom of a sparrow rather than a real one. So beautiful, so scared, and so delicate. I couldn't take my eyes off her. I didn't know what to do. Then her emotions flooded into my body. I could feel how scared and hopeless she was. I could feel how heavy her body felt. I could feel that she was confused and disoriented. She was so exhausted that she was not even bothered by my presence. She was so scared that I knew she couldn't fear any more. That was why she wasn't afraid of me. She didn't know what was wrong. All she wanted was to fly to the light as she always had since she could spread her wings. So she kept throwing herself to the glass again and again. All she wanted was to fly to the light and enjoy the wind in her ears again. She wanted to feel the wind caressing her feathers and carrying her as usual. She wanted to fly to her nest. She didn't understand this place where there was no wind to carry her, no light she could fly to. She was stuck. Her ascends and descends were getting slower and less frequent. She didn't tell me but I knew she was about to give up. She didn't see the point. She had tried everything she could think of. I wanted to say, "Don't give up, you are not actually stuck here, it's an illusion." I wanted to tell her that she was beautiful and still full of life. But she wouldn't understand me.
Finally, I snapped out of my weird hypnosis, went up to my apartment, opened the door and grabbed a broom as fast as I could. When I came out and saw her again. She was standing still. When I approached her she tried to fly up a couple of inches but slowly fell down again. I tried to make her perch on the broom so that I could carry her outside. I didn't want to touch her, not because I couldn't catch her--she was too tired to run away--but because I was afraid that I would hurt her. She looked so little and fragile. I wish I had something better to carry her outside but the broom was all I could come up with. As the broom approached her she flied a couple of inches again and landed. It took us a couple of tries but finally she landed on the broom.
So there I was, looking so awkward carrying a little sparrow at the end of a broom, talking to her trying to calm her down all the while as if she could understand me. I walked down the stairs as slowly as I could. Fortunately, the building door was open. Finally the sparrow and I were outside in the bright daylight again. Someone was parking his car. I didn't care how ridiculous I looked with a broom and a little sparrow on it. I was just looking at her. We were outside but the sparrow didn't move. She looked at me over her shoulder. I thought maybe she was too tired. Maybe I was too late, maybe she was hurt. The idea terrified me. Something so precious should not die like this. She mesmerized me again with her beauty in the daylight. She didn't look like a phantom anymore. I was worried because she wasn't flying. I said, "Up to the light," and felt life and hope pouring into her again and she finally decided to fly away. Perhaps she was just saying farewell to me. You should have seen her flight. It filled my heart with joy. I couldn't help but smile.
I don't even know what to think of all this. All I can remember is the awe I was in when I saw her, so beautiful, so scared and so delicate. That's how my unexpected guest left me, in awe and joy.
It's a shame that she doesn't belong with me. I had much to tell her. I think we could have been good friends.
Farewell little sparrow!

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