Owl Flight

Waking up every morning is like déjà vu. Déjà vu is like the familiar and the unfamiliar happening at once. An owl flies into a graveyard. It stands on top of one of the headstones. The headstone is written in a language the owl cannot read. The owl does some math in its head and decides that the cube root of “Hoot” is “hoo-hoo-hoo.”

The owl takes off toward the sun. The owl loves the feeling of the sun and the warmer it feels the more motivated the owl is to fly closer to it. The owl feels as if it might be “propelling its wings by the force of sheer thought.” The owl is NERVOUS but the owl is NOT AFRAID. Owls have a reputation for being calm and patient but the owl believes not all owls need to be like this and it is OK if this owl wants to be EXTREME and DIFFERENT and EXTREMELY GREAT and EXTREMELY GRANDIOSE by flying toward the sun.

The owl’s brain begins to lose oxygen as the air gets thinner. The missing oxygen in the owl’s brain deletes itself from the memories of the owl so the owl has no idea its oxygen is running out. The owl begins to feel unsure of itself for being so close to the sun. The owl is unsure of everything. The owl realizes it couldn’t justify flying toward the sun in the first place. The owl begins a regimen of self-abuse and feels lonely in the air by itself.

The owl composes a poem in its head as it begins to feel more delirious:


My eyes are looking away from where

I’m headed


72 Helicopters passed me on my way up

I hope this ends soon

Toilets and air conditioning are good things

And I can’t find them here


The owl doesn’t understand itself but the owl is convinced that something is looking out for it or that there is some rational explanation for what makes it fly to the sun and what can make it avoid flying toward the sun or lose oxygen in the future. The owl wants a future where it does not cause  problems for itself but has a hard time admitting to itself that it is this desire to fly to the sun that causes so many of its problems.

The owl remembers a line by Jiddu Krishnamurti it read two weeks ago that said it should be “just an anonymous, creative person” and not need to make a big show of itself. It is now embarrassed it wanted to fly to the sun. The owl thinks of Jiddu Krishnamurti’s taste for fine automobiles and the rumors that Ramana Maharshi was a pedophile. It thinks of the anecdote in Crooked Cucumber when Alan Watts is very nervous and gets way too drunk and makes everyone feel uncomfortable.

The owl remembers the dream it had where it commits seppuku in front of Alan Watts. The owl wonders if it is feeling better as it begins to go limp and drop from its upward flight like a limp, wet rag.


About vurinstitute

Horatio Somersault is the Director and Regent Chancellor of the VUR Institute, a think tank involving some as-yet-unknown and slightly spooky manipulations of time and interdimensionality. In his spare time Somersault enjoys writing poems and fables. You can read his writings, as well as those of other VUR inhabitants, at vurinstitute.wordpress.com. Though he lives a wanderer's life, his hometown is a domed biome inside the water core of the moon Europa. You can follow his experiences adapting to the customs of the early 21st century on his Twitter @VURdirector and can email him at vurinstitute at gmail dot com.
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