Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rumination on a murmuration

Since the beginning of this month I have been seeing huge clouds, murmurations as they are called, of starlings.  All of these sightings were fascinating but none equalled the spectacle I witnessed around midday last Thursday.  Over open ground between three local villages, Harakopio, Yamia and Falanthi, an untold number of starlings had gathered together to form a massive abstract image in the sky.  As I gazed at it, this remarkable three-dimensional aerial image constantly altered its position, shape and form, its infinitely changing outline remaining perfectly sharp and clear, like that of a a drop of water moving over a greasy surface.
At close quarters both the wing beats of these huge gatherings of birds and their voluble chatter combine to make a deafening cacophony but on Thursday morning the distance between me and the murmuration rendered it strangely silent causing me to wonder how a musical transcription of this apparently chaotic but perfectly smooth edged, infinitely changing half-tone form might sound.  Furthermore as I stood transfixed by that awe inspiring mysterious aerial ballet I wondered, if viewing the known universe from a point beyond it proportional to the distance I stood from the starling cloud, I should see that as a similarly irregularly regular, chaotic yet organised cloud of infinitely mobile living matter.  A metaphor for my being perhaps?

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