This morning at 5:23 when I walked my dogs on the dark path outside the hotel where I am staying with the one I love, I am disturbed to look upward and strain for the birds who are crying so painfully to one another. Only an injured goose cries in that manner and their partner cries back to reassure them. It is a rare cry for humans to hear. They search while flying low for a safe harbor to recover in for their cry is saying time is short. It is a cry I have never heard before: a desperate cry I have only read about and one I wish I had never heard. The sound travels into your heart where it cuts open the smallest chamber and twists the atrium into itself. No one should hear a cry like that. I have to scurry back to our cozy cabin and turn up the fire but I can still hear their cry. They are circling still.
We all think we are safe where we are: safe with someone or safe without someone, but that cry, that soft and tearing goose cry reminded me of the desperate aloneness of late nights: too much wine and cigarettes you promised you had put in the trash, one more computer game, intense dog play activities, and telling yourself over and over it was fine to be alone, that you didn’t need anyone, that the bed was better with no one in it.
I’d like to experience being a goose and having a goose partner. It’s not that I want to fly though, in fact, I do. I like the idea of a set of wings nestling along my spine. I would have a GPS implanted in my brain and a plentiful supply of grain everywhere I went. I would have had one good goose partner all of my life and when I couldn’t fly anymore he would fly with me and help me search for a spot to rest. Down we would go onto the earth and there we would stay either until one of us died or both of us lived. We would read Reader’s Digest and eat porridge, preen each other and sleep with our necks intertwined like royal swans.
I think the goose cry of this morning should be played on outdoor speakers everywhere in the world: in auditoriums before the play, in amphitheaters before the game, on busy streets, at haphazard intervals, during the United Nations sessions on sanctions for countries continuing to build nuclear and at random points during overseas flights. We all need to be reminded we need each other from time to time even if it is painful.