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the word hummingbird


This little bird is not only an extraordinary beauty; It's also an extreme metaphor for the curse of beauty.

Here it does not exist.

And in so many other places neither, and there yes.

Here, in Spain, hummingbird is just a word that is not said.

Instead, if anything, they say hummingbird —but what those two words call does not exist in these lands.

There is something peculiar in the words that name what is not there.

In any case, the word


is also unclear.

No one really knows where it comes from: what part of America it came from, how, when.

It is supposed to have Caribbean airs, but no one knows for sure —how good to be able to “know for sure”, that emphatic way of knowing.

What is not in doubt is that the word designates a miracle: the most beautiful bird.

I remember and do not remember some exalted or forgotten poet who said that the hummingbird, alone or only he, justified the existence of America.

Whoever I was, no matter how crazy I was, I agree: there are few things, if any, in nature, as beautiful as the flight of a hummingbird when it is held in the air with the rapid swing of its iridescent wings to suck with its long thin beak the pollen of a flower.

They often go in pairs;

while they eat they dance, they have fun —or so it seems, and that increases the brilliance of those suspended sparkles even more.

(And, furthermore, they are supposed to bring good luck — so associated with beauty. Decades ago, one autumn afternoon, someone entered my kitchen in Buenos Aires. He flew desperately, he crashed. No matter how much I opened doors and windows for him , he ended up dying of sheer exhaustion. And then the philosophical question: if something that should bring luck dies in doing so, has it left you all of it, or is it, on the contrary, condemning you by dying? I couldn't decide and I decided that, while I was deciding, I would keep it. I had it embalmed: its little body was a strange presence, almost threatening, which reminded me for a while of how much I was unaware, how difficult it is to understand the world. In the end I threw it away.)

The hummingbird is very close to non-existence, which is where beauty weighs more.

The smallest do not measure five centimeters;

the most common about ten, and weigh four or five grams.

They can fly at 90 kilometers per hour and migrate every winter from Alaska and Canada to Mexico, about 6,000 kilometers.

But nothing compares to the choreography of her iridescent flutter.

And the witness admires them—and envy—until he knows.

There is a lot to say against knowing: so many times when ignoring makes everything easier, more joyful.

The case of the hummingbird could be a forceful argument against knowledge —because all that beauty is pure suffering, a most embarrassing anxiety.

Not only because its brilliant feathers made it so desirable, so hunted, that it was decimated in many places;

evil is more intrinsic.

The hummingbird is, among all, the animal with the fastest metabolism.

Its tiny heart beats about 1,000 times per minute — 10 times more than the fastest humans.

And the rest of his body works accordingly: his digestion, without going any further, is lightning.

That is why, to stay alive, hummingbirds need to eat two or three times their weight every day, because they swallow and digest, swallow and digest and are always on the verge of fainting, and that is why they fly from one place to another, waving the wings as possessed: looking for life on the brink of death.

That is why they live suspended in front of those flowers, picking at them: what we see as beauty is their hunger, their desperation to survive.

The hummingbird, poor thing, is not only an extraordinary beauty;

It is also an extreme metaphor for the curse of beauty, for the efforts that so many make to be more beautiful.

It's just that they do it on purpose and the hummingbird doesn't know what it's doing;

for not knowing, he doesn't even know that he is beautiful.

But it is also a clear example of how difficult it is to know when we talk about others, how easy it is to be wrong, how simple it is not to understand what we think we understand and interpret happily when we do not have the information to know seriously.

Dazzle us, belie us, describe us: for five centimeters and four grams, feathers, such a runaway heart, your task is quite extraordinary.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-25

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