Black Bird Ballet



It’s the end of a long day. I’m tired. My eyes are tired.  Waiting at the traffic light at the end of Tyne Boulevard, I stare at the ruins of the Baptist church across the street.

They’re demolishing it to put up something grander than the 2 city blocks and 75 foot cross that was there before. God , like a wealthy show off, is celebrated by excess. I stare at the wasteland of rubble and telephone wires and notice a wave of black that looks like a swarm of bees crossing the sky. It dips and soars like a flag in the wind and a closer look reveals black birds.Like a minuet, like a classical ballet, two swarms of birds, cross paths like crashing surf, magnetized, demagnetized, winding in and out of each other, weaving across the sky and back like they are caught in the undertow.

What strange vortex is this? The decimation and mess of power lines to nowhere are an ominous sight and the birds careening yet still in the same space, suspended by invisible nets chills and fascinates me. There is so much energy and it isn’t going anywhere;  not dissolving nor moving forward. This slow motion power surge draws me in like a visual interpretation of music;  a stoner’s lava lamp.

Mesmerized, I want to stay with the birds. Exhaustion is replaced by  exhilaration in the blink of this red light. The light changes and I don’t want to move. But I follow the traffic onto the main road home. I am part of another pattern that I can’t escape right now. And I don’t look back.

This post was dusted off from the Journal pages of Active Yoga where it was originally posted in January 2008


Filed under nature, new age enlightenment, social commentary, Uncategorized, yoga

7 responses to “Black Bird Ballet

  1. Some kind of poetry here. Powerful.

  2. Ahhh, you have a good eye, Hilary. Ballet is where you find it. Thanks for the sweet read.

    • David, I think if I have a ‘good eye’ it’s from a childhood of watching and wonder at both people and nature. I spent years in secret solitude; secret because the others thought I was with them, but I wasn’t. I was watching. But the dance expresses all and so I do love dance.

  3. Sherry

    You witnessed a murmuration of birds.

  4. Pat

    i could feel it and see it and get lost in the imagery.

    • Hey Pat, Chris Prunitch painted a canvas inspired by this post several years ago. Care to give it a try? According to Sherry, it’s a murmuration of birds. Just the word murmuaration sounds like a painting!

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