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