22 July 2009

Lost: on a Painted Sky

When photographing clouds, it's inevitable that birds will sometimes fly into the shot - or be there, unnoticed, until closer inspection of the images during the editing process.

Upon seeing my cloud images containing birds, I instantly thought of Neil Diamond's song "Be" which starts with:

On a painted sky
Where the clouds are hung
For the poet's eye
You may find him
You may find him....

Of course, that led me to missing my vinyl recording of Neil Diamond's beautiful soundtrack for the movie Jonathan Livingstone Seagull which is somewhere in my parents' basement in New Zealand!

That got me thinking even further back to when I bought my little copy of Richard Bach's book - Jonathan Livingstone Seagull - and, at the tender age of 12, read it at least 3 times in a row, and once a month after that for the next year. I couldn't get enough of it.

The search for perfection of flight by a little seagull, who knew that he was destined for things other than being part of a flock constantly squabbling for food, appealed to my Virgo mindset! An outcast who didn't give up; whose constant efforts were recognised and rewarded by further lessons from seagulls who had already achieved nirvana; who returned to his flock in a state of forgiveness to teach other seagulls what he had learned.

It's a story about: never giving up to reach that perfect goal; earned respect; unequivocal forgiveness and abundant love.

Everyone has to read this book at least once in their lives. It's still in print today, after first being published 39 years ago in 1970. Let it become part of every school's reading curriculum for kids in the 13-15 age bracket, and give every kid their own personal copy to keep.

Here's my pictorial homage to Jonathan, and his determination to never give up in the search for perfection, while still enjoying the ride:

Also, here's a Youtube version of Neil's beautiful song, Be.

May we all find some perfection in a less than perfect world.


Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

A lovely posting and I do remember that book and the metaphor for human life. Thanks.

Pandabonium said...

I still have that book, and others by Bach, as many pilots do. I sometimes see seagulls at lake Hinuma as it is close to the sea, but more often it is hawks I watch soaring over the rice fields. They are such masters of flight that they make even the most advanced human aircraft look "clunky" by comparison.

Word Verification: "zatic" - the kind of spark that gives you jolt when you reach for a door knob.

Mama Duck said...

I have to admit I've never read it. Now on the list! This is a beautiful post - thank you.

Geoatcs said...

thanks for sharing...

i've heard about that book but never really got to read it...

i think it's itme to...


Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Hey there M & J! How are y'all doing?

Hope you are enjoying spain, am finally putting some time away for blogging again so I can't wait to see the pics!

Take care!

Love from mommy SS

Sandie said...

Hey my kind of book! It has a been a long time since I've read it but I still hold on to the first copy I've ever bought. You should try reading The little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery. And I hope you had a great summer!

nzm said...

Wendy: vinaka!

Pandabonium: I bet that most pilots have that book. I watch the seagulls around our apartment and, you're so correct, they are flight perfectionists. The way in which they can use their whole wings, or just the tips - even down to control in each feather. It's just how Richard Bach described Jonathan and his quest for perfect, ergonomical flight.

I like your word verification definitions!

Mama Duck: welcome stranger and I'm surprised that with your literary know how, you haven't heard of this book. It's short, sweet and a lovely read.

Geoatcs/Geotacs: welcome to our blog! Go read!

Sha'ira: welcome back to blogland! You have been missed, but you do have an excuse now that you have mini-sha'ira running around!

Sandie: welcome back from vacation! Are you in your new Dubai apartment? I have read The Little Prince - it's beautiful. Brooke Shields quoted from it when she eulogised at Michael Jackson's memorial service. Summer has been wonderful and we're still enjoying it in Barcelona. The heatwave has broken and we're back to more comfortable temperatures.

Darlene said...

Never read the book, now I want to!

Darlene said...

I have since now read Jonathan Livingston Seagull! Thanks for the inspiration Michele!

nzm said...

Happy to inspire! A couple of weeks ago, I found my copy in amongst the hundreds of books that I had in my parents' garage. That was one book that I definitely kept!