This is not my life. This is not me. This is the thought that pounds at my mind, never allowing me to be content with my lot in life.
This is not my life. This is not me. This is the refrain that courses through my blood, ringing in my ears, never allowing me to rest.

This is not my life. This is not me. For I am the missing link. I never knew that at first, but destiny led me to believe that only I am the connect between all that I am and all that I can be.

This is not my life. This is not me. Slithering among my fellows, revelling in the sun, I waited, this buzz in my head preventing me from basking in peace. 

No, this was not the life for me.

I wasn’t cold blooded, you know.

I wasn’t cold at all.

In me, there beat a heart, there pulsed a thought- This is not my life. This is not me. This is not my life. This is not me. This is not my life. This is not me. This is not my life. This is not me. This is not my life. This is not me.

This is not my life. This is not me.

This is not my life. 

This is not me.

I waited. I watched. Change embraced me, slowly at first and then with indecent haste. They stared at me with distaste. How dare I?

I realized once you accept the inevitable, things fall into place.

My scales soon shed, of their own accord.

My beating heart made the connect, completing the leap it had begun a million years ago. I felt different. But it felt so right. Oh, so right!

But the others. They watched aghast as I changed from within. Soon the difference was apparent. There was a certain degree of alarm and a whole lot of conjecture.

At first I actually care to make them understand. It wasn’t their fault, you see. It was all me.

I said to anybody who would listen-

This is not my life. This is not me.

They blinked in all their incomprehension.

My beating heart sang this refrain. Over and over again. This is not my life. This is not me.
My heart changed as well. I now had four chambers. My love for life pumped through every chamber- I didn’t know when my body turned warm. So much joy! So much peace! I was doing what I wanted to do! I was being me! Oh the possibilities that awaited me!

They looked at me balefully and coldly.

How dare I even presume?

Hiding in the cracks during the day, they slithered onto the warm rocks at nightfall, cold and unfeeling except for the one common thing they had for me. Malevolent hatred.

Grouped together ominously for comfort, they twined and intertwined and it became less obvious where one ended and the other began. They looked my way a vengeful collective of dark, brooding menace.

All I knew was solitude.

Solitude was bliss. Ignorance more so.

Vital life coursed through my veins. I flexed my shoulders and hopped about in glee! A kind one shushed me and motioned at me with a blink but I paid no heed. I tested my arms, wiggled my digits and spread the membranes that defined me. I flapped. Blood surged through me.

I took flight.

A serpent reared its head and hissed- You freak! You moron! What do you think you are doing?

I looked down from my primordial perch and shrugged.

I didn’t have an answer to that. I didn’t have an answer to anything, really. You see, sometimes there are no answers. You just are. Things are. And that is all there really is.

All through my flight, my heart simply told me -This is not my life. This is not me.

I repeated these words to the now coiling serpent who slumbered on the still warm rock.

This is not my life. This is not me.

They fell on deaf ears.

I spread my wings. I left my perch behind. Far behind.

I now could view my primitive life from a different angle. Oh, the pettiness of it all. The struggle for existence. The futility of it all. I flew. Every flight I undertook changed me ever so slightly. I became this fascinating creature, at least I thought I was and began something I knew was unstoppable. I didn’t understand it myself, but all I knew I had to try. Well, you see it was my job to try. If I hadn’t tried, you wouldn’t have had these beautiful creatures who dot the skies, who wake you up with their song, need I really say more?

Who am I?

Do you need names, labels, categories?

You see I don’t really fit in.

I never belonged. I am different. And the whole world knows me. Because I dared. To be unique.

For I am Archaeopteryx.

I am the missing link.

I dared to dream. I dared to try. Alone. Never let them hold me back.

Where am I now?

Frankly, I don’t know. 

And really, I don’t care.

I lived my life. I mean, I really did. 

I was real.

Now, I am a fossil.

I am reduced to a theory.

I exist in your dust laden tomes. 

And maybe even in your vestigial imagination.

I am the bridge that forged itself between the cold and the warm

Between the unfeeling and the aspirers.

I am the pioneer of flight.

It all began when I said to myself-This is not my life. This is not me.

So much joy! So much peace! Oh the possibilities that awaited me!



27 thoughts on “Archaeopteryx

  1. This is mind blowing Sailaja. I loved this. You have just done it. Let me give you a hug for this. I was just wondering yesterday why there was no post from you. Listen dear girl, you can’t just abandon me. Write for us.

  2. A lovely post that leaves behind a connect ..touching the subtle heart of all of us ..a wave of questions seeking answers from the search possibilities ! A monologue for finding the way out ! What I was not or I am not…too good a line , knowing this in itself may pave the way for what I dare being different ! Love.

  3. The Poetry Channel

    Wonderful writing here! Fantastic imagery, metaphor, and message. The repetitious inner dialogue is becoming a nice part of your style, I think. This reader enjoys it anyway.
    At first I felt the one spot was too much of it, but then I realized it is excellent pacing, reflects the frantic of the narrator. Really well done, Sailaja. Thank you.

    1. Thank you Micheal. I get what you mean! There is an overdose of repetition…psychotic levels really!😉😂 Very nice of you to attribute it to pace and the mind of the narrator. 😀maybe insomnia got to me! Thank you for your understanding of the piece and feedback. It means a lot to me.

      1. The Poetry Channel

        Oh, the pace was not intentional, then? I think you should leave it in. Your inner creativity knows what it is doing.
        Yes, I took a moment to consider it and feel it adds to that element. In light of all that is being felt by the reader it gives a certain desperate overwhelming that works.

        1. No, it wasn’t intentional. I just sat there in the silence of the night and typed for I couldn’t really sleep having got up in the middle of the night after four hours of sleep. I let go. And then I laid emphasis on the lines that mattered to me like I was shouting to be understood. That is what really happened. The desperation came in for I couldn’t
          write for two weeks and I had to finally hammer away!

          1. The Poetry Channel

            That is my daily routine, though entirely beyond my control. My best unconscious writing seems to come when sleep deprived. Most often I realize I am writing in my dreams, or dreaming something I have to get down. I keep my tablet close for those reasons. But once I start writing I can’t stop until the ideas run dry. Si I tell myself I am cultivating a technique to leverage my creativity. Sometimes helps when I’m draggin’ my tail. ☺
            Tap that angst !

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