Thursday, September 09, 2004

The emerging pigeon...

I was now looking at death. Seconds before life – now death.

Stood at Denmark Hill train station I was early for my train. I had a book open but was more interested in the drama that was unfolding before me. The freight train was hurtling towards the station 60, 70 mph who knows – an aggressive pull on the whistle announcing it’s imminent presence. One or two people took a step back as the train loomed ever larger.

I see the pigeon - seemingly unaware. Happily pecking away at the remains of a discarded sandwich. It’ll be alright…it’s going to be tight…it’s now or… – the pigeon seemed to time its escape to perfection. Clap clap clap of its wings signalled its flight. The Drama goes ‘Matrix – esque’ slo mo. Yes it’s going to make it. Suddenly the drama is back to real time – no it’s not.

The corner of the train frontage catches the pigeon that for the last few seconds was a part of my life. 0-70mph in a second. A vanguard explosion of feathers heralded the danger. Suddenly I’m aware that I have a 70 mph of dead pigeon hurtling at my head. 'Keep you eye on it', 'keep your eye on it' – cricket coaching flashes into mind – 'and… step inside'. I duck. The mass of feathers and guts thuds into the wall behind my head ricochets up into the roof and into the metal "Denmark Hill" station sign that - just in case no-one had noticed the drama – is transformed highly effectively into a huge gong! With the sign swinging the pigeon drops to my feet. I was now looking at death. Seconds before life – now death.

The train continues its journey. Aware that a packed station is looking at me I pretend to continue to read my book – "Stories of Emergence". I look at the pigeon, head lolled to one side. Definitely dead. A fellow passenger looks at me in expectation. Shrugs his shoulders. Walks over and gently even reverently kicks the pigeon into the gutter. People are reading their papers again. It’s over.

Church beware how you emerge…get it wrong and it could be a 'bloody' mess…get it wrong and society will simply shrug... get it wrong and we'll be kicked into the gutter. The problem in some of the debates I encounter we're all to bothered being busy pecking to notice...!

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