Sunday, August 17, 2008


My birds spend hours and hours every day preening. Run a beak along a feather. Run a beak along another feather. And another. Then fluff. Pick a new spot, repeat. Even bringing them into human civilization, where finding food and staying warm aren't concerns, just maintaining basic health requires an amazing amount of time.

To some extent, the same thing is true of humans. And I resent it. Time spent exercising. Brushing and flossing. Even the time required to shower, I resent. And why? Somehow I have this idea that I need to be doing fulfilling things with my life, and time spent on mundane tasks is time spent unfulfilled.

My birds don't seem to resent the preening, though. In fact, I bet the only reason they do it is because they find it enjoyable. Fulfilling, even, if I could anthropomorphise that far. I try to take it as a reminder that life is about living, enjoying the daily routines. Learning about exotic phenomena, pursuing novel tastes or sights or experiences, or trying to better the world are novel ways humans have found of being fulfilled in life. But they don't have to exclude finding fulfillment in the mundane.

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