What We Call 'Pride'

January 26, 2010
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It was a mild, glistening day. On the shore many sparkles set on the ocean as if they had been sprinkled there. The waves were gentle and inspiring. Such an auspicious day it was; clouds smooth and rolling, white as a sheet, translucent, covering the blazing sunlight behind. Breeze swiftly ran by, stroking the shy ocean surface with shudders that spread ever so slightly. The boundless blue sky made its way separate from the land, making it extremely easy to mark the ever green trees in the horizon.

In the flawless part in the sky, two dots appeared. The fluttering dots, drifting down and soaring up, spiraled through the horizon as if to penetrate the cushioning of the clouds. The dots then dropped low again, touching the surface of the veil-like ocean, and up it went again, all in one motion. These two dots were souls. White like sheets of paper, they almost blended with the clouds. They fluttered their wings in rhythmic way, gliding now and then, and soaring down once in awhile. These were seagulls. They flew, quivering their feathers, in all different directions, like leaves travelling through the wind. Then one dipped down into the ocean, while other remained high.
This bird flew up higher and higher, full of pride, flying as to show off its’ flying skills. The other flew low, suppressing the urge to display its’ abilities. It skidded on the water, flying so low anyone could’ve mistaken it having a broken wing. Whenever it darted into the water, however, it got its’ profit, gulping down fish with one gulp. Then it flew a little higher, gliding downwards, and eventually repeating the same pattern until it got its’ fish, and once it did, it soared up high again. The eyes of this bird had a satisfied look, round and gentle with satisfaction, keeping eyes sharp for its’ next victim in the ocean.

The other bird, meanwhile, was dissatisfied. It flew so high, that when it came down, not only had its food swum away, but it has lost all its strength. The greed and frustration faulted its’ ability to fly, and its contempt and hunger made it harder to glide. It flew in spirals up in the clouds, blending with the clouds, and once again darted down. Once again, it lost its prey. The splashes soaked through its feathers and chilled the bird, making its wings shudder. No matter how close to the sun, the feathers were not capable of keeping the bird warm. The fish below mocked the bird, swimming away at their will, bobbing up and swimming down by the time the bird had swooped down over the surface of the ocean. The furious anger and frustration did not leave the bird’s eyes, only built up.

Meanwhile, the other bird, well in its way to comfort, gently flew in the breeze, gracefully cutting the air and spiralling into a big circle. It had not lost a bit of energy, for every time the earned profit made its way down the bird’s throat, new energy was gathered and digested to make another graceful attempt. This routine continued. Eventually the bird slowed down as satisfaction grew. The bird then flew around, in the bright atmosphere, sunlight glistening on its’ flawless feathers, making them golden on the horizon. The reflection in the waters did not fault a single part in its perfection. The beauty of this bird, natural as it is, awed the water, making it ripple every time the bird skidded along the surface.

The other bird, now stricken with hunger and anxiety, did not have such beauty. The feathers clung together, as if to warm each one as the bird soared up once again. The water had made then stiff, and the breeze messed each one as it darted the long way down. It did not fly gracefully, only sharp and unsteady with anger, and splashing into the water rather than skidding into a gentle plunge. The splashes of the rain falls was not beautiful either, each drops going into every direction and scaring off rest of the preys back into the depth. Soaring up must have been hard enough for the bird, for it staggered its flight the way back up, making it almost too weak to fly high. Having had none of it’s’ goal achieved, the bird limply fluttered its’ wings, and flew up into the clouds.

Gracefully, the other bird soared along the horizon, making one last turn in its flight, made its way towards the land in the front. Even though it was a long way back, it glided rather playfully and gracefully, as if it were dancing rather than flying. The land looked welcome to the bird, and the bird made its way back, slowing every often to fly higher in to the air.

Anxiety overtook the frustrated bird, and it could not fly high enough. It could not dart fast enough, either. It made its last weak attempt, but plunged into the ocean, a moment later, fluttering its way out of the ocean with a surprise. The bird, now dripping with water, nearly drowned, and barely made its way towards the land in the front. Could it make it to the land? The cloud and the sun questioned the matter slightly, and the sun began to set. The clouds rolled gently, and the bird flew with great effort. The atmosphere was the same as when the other bird was there, but somehow the frustrated bird made it dull. The setting sun hid behind the thick cloud, and the cloud just made an orangey light, mocking the bird as it made its way home.

Had the bird known? Or was it, just the pride it had in itself, that made it impossible to reach its goal? If it had known, just known to let the pride set, it might not have done so poorly to achieve his profit. The sky high pride, now known for never yielding, did not help the bird in any way. Did the successful bird see then, how high this frustrated bird was flying, or did the successful bird only see a stubborn bird, never being able to learn its way to hunt? If only this unsuccessful bird knew that all it took was to lower its pride, then perhaps it might have satisfied its hunger. However, it did not. It only grew more stubborn through time, and this stubbornness grew into anxiety.

Sometimes, it’s not hard to mistake people for this bird. Hasn’t some of our kind done this just as often? We have often mistaken ourselves as being the ones belonging to high part of the world, when really, lowering and humbling is the real way to be successful. Then is it not, our duty to mock this bird, but to be ashamed, for it’s not hard to mistake ourselves as this bird. Is it really that hard to do throw away our pride? The option has always been there.

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jeqn said...
Jan. 29, 2010 at 11:20 am
AMAZING STORY! I loved the images you created - it's like you can paint with words. You have a beautiful way of writing - very descriptive. Interesting way to compare seagulls to humans. NICE WORK!
JoyeWriter replied...
Jan. 29, 2010 at 11:03 pm
:) thank you so much!
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