You and I used to fancy ourselves as birds, and we were very happy even when we flapped our wings and fell down and bruised ourselves, but the truth is that we were birds without wings. You were a robin and I was a blackbird, and there were some who were eagles, or vultures, or pretty goldfinches, but none of us had wings.
For birds with wings nothing changes; they fly where they will and they know nothing about borders and their quarrels are very small.
But we are always confined to earth, no matter how much we climb to the high places and flap our arms. Because we cannot fly, we are condemned to do things that do not agree with us. Because we have no wings we are pushed into struggles and abominations that we did not seek, and then, after all that, the years go by, the mountains are levelled, the valleys rise, the rivers are blocked by sand and the cliffs fall into the sea.
— Karatavuk, Birds Without Wings by Louis de Berniere (via le-kismet)