life according to pigeon

just to prove that I don’t only read romance, here’s a passage from Austerlitz by W G Sebald. It filled me with a sudden, sharp melancholy – because,  I think, it is at once recognisable as the experience of being alive, and also foreign in its blind surety of direction:

You can dispatch a pigeon from shipboard in the middle of a snow-storm over the North Sea, and if its strength holds out it will infallibly find its way home. To this day no one knows how these birds, sent off on their journey into so menacing a void, their hearts surely almost breaking with fear in their presentiment of the vast distances they must cover, make straight for their place of origin.

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About anna cowan

I look around, and here I am - housewife and aspiring romance novelist. This seems unexpected.
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One Response to life according to pigeon

  1. cheryl nekvapil says:

    Brave little birds! What an inspiration that short piece is. In medieval times, birds were symbols of the Spirit with good reason. One of the abiding impressions from my childhood, is standing out in a paddock with Dad, and him exclaiming with seasoned delight — ‘There go the Cape Barron Geese’ as a flock flew overhead. No mention of where from, or where to, just the fulfillment of a timeless moment.

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