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Jonathan

Memories that stick in your mind!!

Many years ago, when I was on holiday in Cornwall with some friends, we visited the harbour in Mousehole. Everyone was chattering away about where we’d been and what we were going to do next, but I’d wandered off alone.

Suddenly one of my friends tapped me on my shoulder and brought me out of my daydream, ‘come on Vic, what you doing’

I’d been totally mesmerised by the grace of one of the seagulls that was in the sky, he wasn’t scrabbling on the harbour front looking for scraps, like the rest of them. He was soaring and diving, and looked as though he was thoroughly enjoying himself.

“Wouldn’t you just love to do that” I said nodding towards the acrobat in the sky.

‘Ah!, that’ll be Jonathan’ my friend said.

My puzzled expression, prompted him to tell me the story about Jonathan Livingston Seagull. A seagull searching for a better life than the normal seagull existence of squabbling for scraps etc.

‘You should read it, they’ve even made a film too’

As soon as we got home, I made it my mission to track down this book written by Richard Bach.

A very short book, with a hidden meaning, the whole book is here

Here is a brief description from wiki:

The book tells the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a seagull who is bored with the daily squabbles over food. Seized by a passion for flight, he pushes himself, learning everything he can about flying, until finally his unwillingness to conform results in his expulsion from his flock. An outcast, he continues to learn, becoming increasingly pleased with his abilities as he leads an idyllic life.

One day, Jonathan is met by two gulls who take him to a “higher plane of existence” in that there is no heaven but a better world found through perfection of knowledge, where he meets other gulls who love to fly. He discovers that his sheer tenacity and desire to learn make him “pretty well a one-in-a-million bird.” Jonathan befriends the wisest gull in this new place, named Chiang, who takes him beyond his previous learning, teaching him how to move instantaneously to anywhere else in the universe. The secret, Chiang says, is to “begin by knowing that you have already arrived.” Not satisfied with his new life, Jonathan returns to Earth to find others like him, to bring them his learning and to spread his love for flight. His mission is successful, gathering around him others who have been outlawed for not conforming. Ultimately, the very first of his students, Fletcher Lynd Seagull, becomes a teacher in his own right and Jonathan leaves to teach other flocks.

Ever since that day, any lone seagull I see is named Jonathan.

Here are a few of my Jonathans I saw in Whitby recently 

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Below is some of the music from the film, along with some beautiful video

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15 thoughts on “Jonathan

  1. I like seagulls, I don’t know why they get such bad press 😦 When we first moved here, someone said gib was ok if it wasn’t for the seagulls. Uh?? I love their beauty and grace, they’re great in those huge flocks, dipping and soaring, and I love the noise. They are so alive. Our neighbour used to feed them before she got poorly – and our favourite was Footless. Somehow, somewhere, he’d lost a foot, so it was extra difficult for him to fly down, beat the other birds and nab the fish she threw out of the window.

    I remember the book, I’ve never read it. Reminds me of a short book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, name of which I have forgotten but the main character ends up adrift on a boat with a seagull. I’ll stop there, because it’s not a good ending for the seagull.

          • Nice seagull, but bad cropping on my part, ive chopped the top of his head and tail off 😦
            I think all the seagulls are with my Panasonic, though a lot of the Whitby posts were from my Ixus, as its so easy to carry.

            • LOL! Cropping (as I prob said before) is one of the few photographic skills I do have, courtesy of a couple of journalism courses. It never fails to amaze me how much difference a good crop can make, and I don’t see it as messing with an image either.

              I was just faffing with one earlier, and I thought the crop would really bring it out, but it didn’t! Due to the light, the different colours, contrast of texture etc etc (oh, b&w might have worked come to think) – the full pic looked better, to me. The crop made it insignificant.

              Can’t you post the original? I have separate files for the blog pix to the original ones in case I mess it up 😀 Hal has so much memory that it is no problem anyway.

              • LOL! I have so many folders with the same pics in, one folder on an external drive holds all un touched originals. Then there is the same folder on Hal, plus another folder in iPhoto, then one for the shopped ones, and a folder just for the reduced size blog ones. 😮 bit paranoid about losing them 😉
                I should have said framed, not cropped with the tight rope walker, as that is the original, just reduced in size.:-(

                • Ah. And I thought I was bad just having two sets of folders/files 😀

                  Tut tut. You’re getting like T. Can’t get your photo terminology right? You are my photo tutor. Cropping is the only word I know!!

                  • Ha ha, you’ll be striking me off as your tutor.

                    I really have total paranoia with photos. I’ve got all the negs from every photo I’ve ever taken too, all neatly filed in neg folders.
                    I’d have a hissy fit with customers when I handed over their photos from the lab, and they’d give me the negs back saying, ‘can you bin these, I don’t want them’

                    • Don’t think so. I can live with one similar if inaccurate word.

                      When I put my mind to it I can be quite organised (or used to be). I sorted all the files in the first newspaper I worked for – imagine sorting through thousands of clippings! – because I thought it needed tidying. Meanwhile the table and chair are full of papers that I am ignoring 😦

                      I have all my negs too 😀

    • Yes, I find them fascinating for the same reasons as you, I could sit and watch them for ages. For me, the sounds so remind me of holidays too

  2. Hi Vicky,
    This is my first visit to your blog, and what a lovely surprise! I love to watch the gulls … ponder the concept of freedom, and the book was given to me, just before I left my own country, for Canada. I didn’t even know they made a movie out of it. Beautiful music with Neil Diamond!

    On a different note, I just wanted to add that I adore your header image. Nice layout of the whole blog too 😀

    • Hi Reb 🙂
      Thank you for dropping in and for your lovely comments.

      There aren’t many folk who have heard of Jonathan L Seagull, I usually get a blank expression if ever I mention him. My husband even questioned my sanity when I called one Jonathan while on holiday recently.
      I’ve never seen the film, but I’ve got the CD with the music from it by Neil Diamond.

      My header pic was taken at a place called Bredon Hill, not far from where I live, I actually did a post on it if you’d like to know more 🙂

      https://vicshill.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/how-many-years-ago/

  3. My favourite book, read it first back in the late 70’s, the words that stick out for me, ‘… you have the power to be yourself …’
    Like you, every lone gull is Jonathon to me

  4. For years, I’ve been alone in my seagull naming, with everyone thinking I was a sandwich short of a picnic (prob eaten by the other gulls).
    At last, I have found folk who have heard of Jonathan………….That makes me happy 🙂

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