‘It was eluding her again: the essence of bird.’
by Inga Simpson
I love this sentence. Jen, the protagonist of Nest, is an artist, and in this passage she is trying to draw a fairy wren.
I’m not an artist; in fact, I’m spectacularly untalented when it comes to drawing. But I know the feeling of trying to capture — in a photograph, perhaps, or in conversation, or in writing — what you see when you see a bird. To say that a bird flies, or that it sings, or that it is beautiful is true, but those descriptions come nowhere near to capturing what a bird really is, or how it makes you feel.
The essence of bird. Perhaps it will always elude me, as it does Jen. Perhaps that’s part of the fascination.