Birds Without Gender
Updated: Feb 28, 2019
He did not know where he was going, or where he had come from, lost in the
middle of a one street empty village, in the middle of tall rocks and surrounded by sea only, and there was rain too, and he was moving around in circles purposelessly – for how long now?
And although he was almost sure there was a purpose, a past intention that got him there, he had no recollection of it.
He was in the middle of the unwanted and he could smell butter, fresh butter and unprocessed wool, wet sheep skin, but there was no sign of either around and it was dusk and he had been following an invisible circular path, a line of questions.. He looked at his feet, down at his feet and they looked enormous, as if in these last few minutes they had suddenly grown to become hugely disproportionate in relation to the rest of his body. He was amused by this absurdity and he spent some time standing there, in the middle of the abandoned rain, pleasantly lost in the act of gazing at his newly resized feet.
A few possible scenarios occurred to him: maybe he had been exiled there as a result of a crime he had committed, or maybe he was on some kind of ascetic expedition, or maybe – he also seriously considered this possibility – just maybe he had been forgotten there years ago and now it has been so long ago that he could not remember the events that took place during his abandonment, or maybe he had purposefully stayed behind, hidden somewhere, to avoid the evacuation, because there was something very precious to him that was there in the island and that he could not leave behind. But what could that be?
If only he could remember what was precious to him. As he thought of this question he made a decision to stop walking in circles and to start walking up and down the only street that was there, looking carefully down (only now he was not looking at his feet), searching the ground, as if, what he had stayed behind for, had fallen somewhere on that path and was hiding amongst stones and timid grass.
The wind was growing stronger and would cause the rain to mix with salty drops from the sea, released into the air every time a wave crashed on the rocky shoreline. He was convinced that any time now, he would come across the thing – a little object he imagined it to be – for the sake of which he had, possibly many years ago, escaped the evacuation and had stayed on, all alone, endlessly to be going around in circles in the abandoned wilderness, a life choice that had resulted in the loss of any memory regarding his origin, an ambivalent, vague sense of purpose and a most peculiar over-sizing transformation of his feet.
And against all odds, on a day he could not name because he had no idea of its position within any specific sequence of time, on that windy, rainy day, amongst small stones and timid grass, in between his enormous newly resized feet, he saw it! It was a small dusty silver object.
He picked it up, dusted it, and kept it with both hands tenderly close to his eyes, eager to examine it carefully. It was a small silver flower, with five silver petals and two tiny curvy leaves on its small silver stem. He recognised it. He curved his hands together, as if to protect it from the wind and rain, and for the first time after what has probably been many many years of walking in circles, he sat down.
Text by Birds WG
Photo from northernlight-uk.com/islands/st-kilda/