Sunday, October 14, 2012

Flightless Cormorant

WILLIAM BLAKE: "Without contraries is no progression."

PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL:  What misplaced vanity causes the flightless cormorants of Galapagos to lift their pitiful wings and strut against the wind on the blackness of these crooked lava shores? There are monsters in paradise. 

Galapagos was created sterile. It remains arid and scrubby. Everything that lives here came once by sea or air, and those that remained found themselves freed of old enemies and in need of new talents. Paradise transformed them. The cormorants stand this way because once, far away, on a distant shore their ancestors did the same to dry their wings for flight. Thus these cormorants, though not quite fish, have learned to live by swimming and are matchless in water, but not quite fowl, they prepare for flights they will never take, their muscles redesigned for underwater gymnastics.

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