I was flying. It was all that I had dreamt of. I was one with the Ether and free from the clutches of earth and water.
I was flying and it felt good.
Ever since I’ve known I wished to fly. Our people were a grand and noble race, who had for generations lived on the Land of Rock and Sea, in the shadow of the Great Eye. The Eye was the mighty beacon that had watched over us from its high silver tower. It was our silent sentinel, our protector, savior and judge. It had silently stood watching our race for generations, from a time before time, or so my mother had told me.
Even now I remember my father soaring up to the sky, flying close to the silver tower. It was beautiful, as I watched him from the nest, crowded with the other hatchlings. From afar, I knew not how he communed with the Eye, yet in my heart I felt it — the power, the urge to soar up and be one with the Eye. I watched and I waited, for the day when I too would be able to spread my wings and make the pilgrimage to the tower of the Great Eye.
I waited and I prayed – for strength to bear the wind on my wings, for wisdom to comprehend all that the Eye shall reveal to me when the day came.
Slowly as time passed, we grew big and our feathers long. It was then that I noticed that I was different. My brothers and sisters grew big and strong with majestic wings, but I didn’t. I could see them flap their wings faster and faster, yet mine felt like great weights.
As we grew even older, I saw each one of them join my father and the others in flight. I watched them fly up to the abode of the Great Eye and receive from it the wisdom needed to traverse the Great Blue Yonder. I watched them, touched by the Kindness and Grace of the Eye, cavort in the feel of the wind and the spray. I watched and I waited. I lay in the nest waiting for the dregs they brought back for me out of sheer pity.
I didn’t know what others thought of my condition. Whenever I hobbled over to where they were sitting, there would be an uncomfortable silence followed by an even more uncomfortable attempt at pleasantries. The feeble attempts would end abruptly as each one of them made excuses and flew away.
I had grown used to my solitude. I was cursed. The Great Eye didn’t will me to fly.
I knew not what transgression I had committed in my life or before. Every night, when the others fell asleep, I lay there quietly, watching the Great Eye shine among the stars. And I prayed – for strength to be able to fly for once in my life.
With time, my prayers grew desperate. I began asking the Eye questions of ultimate heresy.
“Why, o Great One? Why Me? Is not the Great Blue for me? Why hast thou forsaken me?”
Not a single answer came back. I chided myself for doubting the Great One’s Grand Design and prayed again with renewed fervor.
It was then that I had the Vision.
I was flying.
The Great One came to me in my dreams and made me fly.
For the first time in years, I woke up with hope. It was clear what I had to do. The Eye had shown me the way. If I were to take the Pilgrimage to the very top of the silver tower, the Eye shall grant me flight.
The next morning, I waited till my brethren had flown away. I trudged up across the rocks towards the tower. ‘Twas a long and hard road, hobbling over the slippery stones to get to the tower.
I fell many times.
But my faith gave me strength. I soldiered on the path that would lead me to my destiny. In the ever deepening gloom of despair, my belief in His Greatness kept me afloat.
As the sun dipped own to kiss the sea, I finally made it to the tower. I heard the cackle from the nest I had left. My brethren had returned from their flight, yet I didn’t for once look back whence I came. For before me stood the portal to the Realm of the Great Eye, the Stairway to Heaven beckoned to me. The sight filled me with renewed vigor. I slowly pulled myself up and began climbing, one Celestial Stair at a time. As I got nearer to the Sanctum, I could feel the presence of the Eye. With each step, the pull became stronger, the call louder. The Great Eye was calling to me.
In my mind’s eye, I was already soaring.
Finally I reached the hallowed chamber of the Great Eye. He that Was, Is and shall be for all Eternity. Tired of body, yet Joyous of mind, I beheld the Eye in all Its Glory.
The Great Eye — the orb of dazzling light that turned and watched over all Creation. In turn it gazed upon the Rocks, the Sea and the Ether. As his Vision chanced upon me, I stood there feeling a sense of Bliss I had never felt before. His Light shone down into my very soul and washed away my sorrows and sins. There was nothing He did not see. I fell to my knees in rapture, for such was the power of His presence. The thunder of the surf that had filled my ears all my life, was but a muted chant, a paean to His Glory.
I felt the Eye whispering at me to come closer. I prayed for strength again and felt the wake of the Great One’s revolutions caress my feathers. In my rapture I drew very close to Him. I didn’t notice the Great Eye come at me and brush me aside our past the barrier on the edge of his tower. He blessed me and cast me into the Void.
The Eye had given me the one thing I longed for.
I was flying and it felt good.
This particular story is special to me. Nearly 16 years ago, I wrote a story for the first time ever in my life. I had seen a copy of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull in a bookstore and I was at a particular juncture in my life where I had questions about Faith, Religion and Spirituality and no one to ask them of. So I wrote this story as a sort of exploration of those questions.
I recently found it in my backups and edited it for spelling/grammar and some minor language (the first draft was too floral. gimme a break I was 16 at that time) I’d love to hear what your interpretations of the piece (especially the ending) are. Feel free to leave a comment below or drop me a line. If you found this to your liking, then perhaps you might want to read this post.
PS: my only regret so far is that I have never been able to read the copy of Johnathan Livingstone Seagull, that I bought then Never can bring myself to read it, after writing this.