The flight of birds always evokes a feeling of freedom in me. Of course, they have their constraints and use flight for their own ends and instincts that may have nothing to do with my projections. Still, I love to imagine soaring on air, trusting wings and wind to lift and carry me, to have the grand view of life from above, and to move as I wish in all directions. I know it is a fantasy of the first order and that it takes a bolder move to truly understand the life of winged ones, to live in a feathered bird-body, and to be ruled by avian instincts and desires.

Perhaps that is why I find this photo so delightful: this lone seagull flies by the Golden Gate’s tower and the cables that anchor the bridge over the bay while the fog floats in, his eyes piercing the sea searching for whatever a seagull seeks. It is a study in contrast, in colors and shapes, in the agency of nature and the efforts of humanity, and in the seagull’s flight, soaring so beautifully on the current with only an occasional flap of the wings for lift or a feather tilt for turn. Even the wind itself is shaped by the conspiracy of many forces, both known and unknown. The real key to freedom comes not from controlling the elements, or even knowing the elements, but from a willingness to engage the greater forces of life.

The question then becomes: How do you find freedom in a world you cannot control?

Photo, Prose, and Recital © Nick LeForce
All Rights Reserved