“Bird is the Word” soon will become
Bird was the word
A bird, perched on a peg.
What type of life is that? Birds cannot fly inside a museum.
Or the lives of polar bears, now confined to this electronic screen? A slideshow of life, 5 second segments of existence. Count the seconds the polar bears appear on the screen. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Gone. Just like that.
WHAT TYPE OF LIFE IS THIS?
Or is this death? Is this our future? is this the answer, to us all? stagnant and stuck life, like the already or almost extinct earth others already confined within museum walls?
In and on these museum walls we remember what once belonged to the ecological world,
before extinction. But this is extinction. This is living amongst death. This is living amongst extinction.
Everyday, we lose more creatures of life and everyday, we who are left, we become lonelier.
So what will become of the rest of us earth others when we too become extinct?
Just like this Bird stuck on its peg or, these polar bears stuck within their screen.
Just like the voice of the dingo “Howling with grief and lust” (65).
And very soon the Australian dingo will have its own place in the museum, I can see it there curled up behind you in the corner, laying on its haunches next to the Baked Alaska.
The bird, from afar, watches and calls to the polar bears on their slideshow screen, longing to be free of the museum walls, longing to roam, longing to live again in the world it once belonged with.
but there is too much space between them, don’t you think? and the dingo, curled in the corner, he howls, but they’re all too far away.
No one can hear the other.
This is a lonely death.
The bird, the polar bears, they die in these museum walls lonely, only to live virtually for us museumgoers.
But we are earth others, beings, just like them. Soon, we die lonely too, because we are them and they are us.
Soon, we will find our own spots in the museum too, won’t we?
“These are the days of violent extinctions, of global dimming and habitat fragmentation
(I’m sorry Bird is the Word. Your habitat is gone.)
These are the days of ice melt
(I’m sorry Polar Bears, your life is confined to this slideshow screen.)
and these are the days of plundered lives
(Death surrounds us everywhere.)
Animals are experiencing all this loss, and if we could better hear the waves of their agony, we would know this and be tormented” (57).
And yet, we choose to be deaf to their cries, the howling.
We fill it with Silence. Silence lives in this museum.
The museum feels especially sterile today. Something inside me is not at peace. This art does not feel beautiful. I am uncomfortable. I don’t know where I belong in all of this.
Loneliness. Emptiness. Extinction.
This is our extinction.
Is this really going to be what is left of us? sterile museums?
All life is crying, but we can’t hear each other. The space between us all is too far. No one can hear our collective crying, mourning, dying.
We have no one to look to except each other.
And everyday, as we lose more earth others to extinction, the distance grows larger between us all.
it is harder to hear one another.
Look around and listen. Listen to these walls and the space between us all.
Remember that listening is an act of love. We have a choice, to listen to the cries of the birds, the polar bears, the dingo.
Listening is an act of love. It is all we have left.