Another Excerpt – Same Novel

I want to sing as the bird sings in anticipation of the dawn. I want to sing as the bird sings in sunlight and clear blue skies. I want to sing as the birds sings in the twilight and gloaming, under the leaden skies of impending rain and through the tempest, yet keeping my wings over the flock for which I have been made responsible.

I want to sing as the bird sings.

They have no reason to do it, other than the fact they are birds. I have every reason to do it, born as I am and into a country of heritage and dreams so big even the world cannot hold them for we have gone into the void. We have gone to the moon and there are so many more void and barren places into which we must go, but first we must learn to sing. Everything else does. All creation sings and we must learn our song.

The continent sang upon which we landed. It sang of trees and rivers and fish and birds and plants and animals of every description and we came without knowing how to sing and mauled the landscape, but we learned our notes and came away with songs no one else had sung in the history of mankind. We sang of rivalries between companies and cut throat competition and we built dams and bridges and highways and buildings so tall no one could believe they would not fall of their own weight and towering stature, but we still did not know how to sing well enough to keep ourselves as beautifully as the land upon which we landed. So we must learn to sing. I want to sing as the birds sing, all of them on any glorious morning when their nests are set between branches and the air receives the plaintive need of their chicks which only they can feed. Where will they find the means to keep themselves alive? Do they worry about it? Do they have a doctor they can see, a counselor to assure them being a bird isn’t all that bad even though being a bird isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? Ore do they industriously fly around until they find what they’re looking for and bring it back to their mate or their fledglings and sing and sing and sing?

I want to sing as the birds sing, all of them in the hope that my song will grow and grow and dwell into the air so big no one would believe it came from such a tiny chest, a song so sweet people would sway, “Listen, do you hear that?” even if the person they ask shrugs and says, “Who cares?”

I want to sing as the bird sings. They don’t sing so much at times of frost and ice and snow, because they’re smart enough to conserve their energy and draw no freezing air into their lungs, but given the slightest excuse, the slightest warmth, even the suggestion of what it means for spring to come and they open their mouths and throw back their heads and they sing they sing they sing.

I want to sing as the birds sing. I remember the song of the birds. I remember in my own silence. I remember when being a man is overwhelming and I think I am above or beyond or cannot attain the simple grandeur and grace of a creature on a branch to proclaim the glories and mysteries of creation, but I am wrong whenever I feel more like a man than a bird, because I have never been anything more than one who wanted to sing, sing, sing and make it heard by those who might not have a song of their own or who have not yet learned to sing or will never learn because they have allowed their hearts to become the same as stone. Let them perish in their misery. It is not my job to save them. My job is to sing. My job is to fly. My job is to sit on my nest and guard my eggs and let the world envy my ingenious ingenuity, because I know how to sing and I know how to fly and it’s a reasonable assumption the best singer who ever sang and the man or woman who ever flew the best learned to fly from me, because they saw me do it after they heard my song.

I want to sing as the birds sing and I do, because I am free and if you want to know what kind of bird I am and you haven’t already guessed, I’ll tell you because the answer is part of my song and I’m proud to be who I am.

I am part crow, part eagle, part chickadee, part parakeet, part hawk, part vulture, part sparrow, part woodpecker, party turkey, part owl, part meadowlark.

I am an American.