This is an excerpt from an essay by Susan Mitchell, entitled "Notes Toward a History of Scaffolding".
I like it, but I can't quite decide what it's telling me.
I actually saw it happen. A bird falling from the roof of a building. The bird let out a little cry as it dropped -- one story, two -- then, just as if it had hit something solid in the air, it bounced into flight. Hardly back on the roof, it was falling again, and falling, letting out that little cry. But were the falls failed attempts at flight? The bird seemed to be throwing itself off the roof -- falling on purpose. Out of the plunge perfected, flight pushed up as a necessity. There was thrust behind it -- the fear of falling. And with each practive fall, the cry lasted a little longer until the cry became a run of notes, a flutter down the avifaunal scale. Out of the fall, the cry shivered up and down, the natural embodiment of thrill. Suddenly, I understood. The bird wasn't practicing flight. It knew how to fly. It was teaching itself how to sing.
What do you think?