It is amazing to me that something as delicate as a feather survives the onslaught of the waves. I see feathers on the beach all the time, sometimes these slight white ones, other times larger, longer gray/black/brown sturdier ones. Do the birds miss them? Are they molted or loosened or are they from dead birds? Where do they go? Are they eventually washed out to sea or perhaps buried in the sand?
My walks leave me with unanswered questions and sometimes a lack of urgency in answering them. Just asking them makes me feel more aware.
I had my hair cut today, too short, and think my hair is like feathers. Its wispy bits flutter down over the protective cape, onto the floor, to be swept away as if nothing, but our hair and our feathers are like our names, so integrally tied up in who we are and how we present to the world. I’ve been wearing hats lately, as I’m losing my hair to an unusual form of alopecia. I’m trying not to think of it as losing myself; my hair is not me any more than my skin is me, or my fingernails, or my (also thinning) eyelashes. But hair loss is much more aesthetically acceptable in men than in women; I doubt birds feel the loss of their feathers as much as women feel the loss of their hair. And all the classical, biblical, mythical references to hair indicate that this is an ancient association of hair with beauty, youth, strength.
Just feathers on the sand.