Desire to be a bird, desire to become a bee. Man feels that his happiness is in the air. – And if we wish to become a bird, it is not an eagle, a vulture, a pheasant, a partridge, or a parrot that we wish to become, but a modest little bird gifted with amiability, a warbler, a titmouse, a robin, a nightingale, an average and innocent bird.
~ Joseph Joubert
I lack the confidence to fly in my dreams – not like a proper bird anyway. As a child I dreamt that if I wiggled my fingers in a ridiculous sort of way I could incrementally propel myself into the far corners of the living room’s vaulted ceiling. Nowadays, I dream that with a good running start I can jump indefinite distances, holding myself six inches above the ground by sheer force of will for as long as I like. I would much rather dream myself into ‘an average and innocent bird.’ But like a fever or a plagued conscience, gravity imposes itself even on my sleep. Birds are magical because they are immune.