The bronze falcon is no less dignified than his living counterparts. Cast to catch the sun, poised for a flight he will
never take, he perches on a domed pinnacle outside my office window.
My view is expansive. All of Budapest sprawls in glorious splendor at my feet, its lights, its ancient architecture,
its rushed and struggling people. I fail to appreciate this view as I should. I think it is the bird. He has become my
muse, capturing my attention with his rigid wings, his bold and glinting gaze and the prey he sees but will never capture.
I am much like him. A graduate of the University, my head filled with knowledge of history, literature and business
skills. I understand my government, my people, and the place we're meant to hold in the world community.
We are mired in tradition, in favors owed and cruelly collected, in dynasties and empires still waiting for their reign.
This office, this building, has invisible ceilings, illusions we are not allowed to pass, no matter how great our
education or our promise.
I have vision. I see what Budapest could be. Should be. I think new thoughts and have ideas never entertained
in this country before. My eyes look west too often and I have to be on guard. I long to run with these new
concepts, to share these things with my superior and his superior, too. I want to scream at them, "Just think
what we could do, where we could go, who we could be!"
But the regulations and the prejudice and the old fears stay me feet. I stand at the window and dream my young
man's dreams and watch the falcon. Watch his vision grow dim as smog dulls his sheen, watch those rudimentary
wings (as impotent as my own) grow ever more frozen to his sides as we both listen to the far off cries of
those who can fly.
First published: May, 2006
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