The conditions of a solitary bird

Mid afternoon solo flight, Bulusan, August 2014

Mid afternoon solo flight viewed from our azotea, Bulusan, August 2014

An eagle (photo) reminded me again of these metaphorical haunting lines from a book I used to read when I was twenty-three:

The conditions of a solitary bird are five: 

The first, that it flies to the highest point; 

the second, that it does not suffer for company, 

not even of its own kind; 

the third, that it aims its beak to the skies; 

the fourth, that it does not have a definite color; 

the fifth, that it sings very softly. 

- San Juan de la Cruz, Dichos de Luz y Amor 
  from the book Tales of Power by Carlos Castaneda

It never left me.  Several decades later,  it morphed into a kind of mantra as I journeyed on. And whenever a solitary bird crosses the sky in my viewing range, I can hear the hum of the lines in a hypnotizing note and I would become one with the bird in flight.

Photo: Alma P. Gamil

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