Losing My Wings

"What is a bird that does not fly?"

Yagharek is caught at what we will call a gothic moment when he recognizes, “What is a bird that does not fly? How does one exist?” Yagharek’s body no longer fits the patterns that made up his old life and he has just realized that he can’t return to his winged existence. He also doesn’t have a clear idea of what his new life might be as he is only just beginning to apprehend the demands of his flightless condition. His apprehension comes not so much from what is unknown but from what is feared and undetermined. At this moment, Yagharek is simultaneously aware of what he has to give up as well as suspicious of what may actually occur.
Much like Yagharek, humans also went through a gothic moment where they lost the potential for flight. Sometimes we can feel this through the longing in our shoulders. It became palpable to me as I read about Yagharek's dilemma. When the feeling is strong, I can even feel a haunting of the presence of wings as an invitation to a series of new events in my day-to-dat life. We also know this as an outcome of the developmental pathways of others. Variations sometimes occur during the development of animals that shift or exchange the expression of limbs or wings. Our limbs are not the assured developmental outcomes that we often take them to be.

Read here about the Gothic and biology.

Read here about the role of variation in development.

Read here about the intertwining of popular culture and biology.

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