There are landscapes in which we feel above us not sky but space. Something larger, deeper than sky is sensed, is seen, although in such settings the sky itself is invariably immense. There is a place between the cerebrum and the stars where sky stops and space commences, and should we find ourselves on a particular prairie or mountaintop at a particular hour, our relationship with sky thins and loosens while our connection to space becomes solid as bone.
Very well. He’d lighten up. As a matter of fact, he felt as light as the bubbly froth that flew from the lips of the waves. Whatever else his long, unprecedented life might have been, it had been fun. Fun! If others should find that appraisal shallow, frivolous, so be it. To him, it seemed now to largely have been some form of play. And he vowed that in the future he would strive to keep that sense of play more in mind, for he’d grown convinced that play–more than piety, more than charity or vigilance–was what allowed human beings to transcend evil.
If little else, the brain is an educational toy.
The problem with possessing such an engaging toy is that other people want to play with it, too. Sometime they’d rather play with yours than theirs. Or they object if you play with yours in a different manner from the way they play with theirs. The result is, a few games out of a toy department of possibilities are universally and endlessly repeated. If you don’t play some people’s game, they say that you have “lost your marbles,” not recognizing that, while Chinese checkers is indeed a fine pastime, a person may also play dominoes, chess, strip poker, tiddlywinks, drop-the-soap or Russian roulette with his brain.
Mockingbirds are the true artists of the bird kingdom. Which is to say, although they’re born with a song of their own, an innate riff that happens to be one of the most versatile of all ornithological expressions, mocking birds aren’t content to merely play the hand that is dealt them. Like all artists, they are out to rearrange reality. Innovative, willful, daring, not bound by the rules to which others may blindly adhere, the mockingbird collects snatches of birdsong from this tree and that field, appropriates them, places them in new and unexpected contexts, recreates the world from the world. For example, a mockingbird in South Carolina was heard to blend the songs of thirty-two different kinds of birds into a ten-minute performance, a virtuoso display that served no practical purpose, falling, therefore, into the realm of pure art.
Read more about Tom Robbins here.