Monday, 4 February 2013

Hold Firm

(First posted here.)

In the foothills of the Himalayas I came upon a party of Bushtits and Babblers so merry and affable that I had to pause and consider. As a Black-throated Bushtit swung upside down on a branch I almost asked, “How do you manage to keep your wits when the blood rushes up to your head? Don’t you ever get disoriented and lose your grip?” But I did not need a reply. The grip was steady and as easily as it had swung upside down it swung back, and was upright on its feet again.

Perhaps the problem isn’t that the apple cart gets overturned every now and then. Or that what once was infallible no longer holds true. Or that morality gets periodically outdated. Or that ethics follow some (as yet) undefined evolutionary principles. The problem arises when one is so immersed in watching the pendulum swing to this end and then the other and then back again that one loses track of the moment when it is required to be steadfast– to survive and absorb and endure and still be steadfast.*

Though I am sure the Bushtit would have liked to add that a grasp of geomagnetism and the physical laws, is more beneficial than one could ever imagine.

* William Faulkner, Intruder in the Dust

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