While she is standing in front of a lake, a great egret raises her neck to cover with her gaze the highest volume of water she is able to see. I, standing in front of the egret, stay still to photograph the exact moment when she catches a fish with her beak. The egret turns her neck to look at a Nile tilapia that is swimming close to the shore in search for food. I try to approach without moving. Somewhere around me there is somebody observing how I observe the egret and, in another place, there is a security camera observing the person who is observing me and the content of that footage is observed at the same time. Anadromous is the fish that from the sea ascends through the rivers to spawn. I must ascend as an anadromous to know how far the game of the observer observed goes. Several anadromous expeditions have tried to find out the origin of the Nile: Plinio the Elder located it in a mountain of the lower Mauritania; Speke and Burton in Lake Victoria; David Livingstone had the feeling that it was further south and gave his heart to find the origin of the river where swam the ancestors of the tilapia that swims under the eyes of the egret that I try to photograph. The Nile doesn’t have an origin, it is born from paradox, from the sweat of an animal that doesn’t have sweat glands: Sobek, the crocodile God. In 1651 Gian Lorenzo Bernini had recognized the lack of knowledge of the origin of the Nile and represented it in the Fountain of the Four Rivers as a man with his head covered with a cloth. I, as the sculpture of Bernini, stand in front of the egret with my head covered not knowing how far my observers reach. Why is observing me the person who observes me? I feel its gaze transforming me into a tilapia. I know that the egret knows she’s being observed. We are all egret and tilapia at the same time. The yellow eyes of the egret reflect simultaneously the three times of the tilapia: the path of its previous moves, its current self-being, and the prediction of its future paths; there are also three times in the finger I have on the shutter button, and three times in the look of my observer. To hunt, the bullet must bifurcate and find its target in the two times adjacent to the present: past and future. The present doesn’t exist, in the present you don’t exist. The last time I saw you, you had the shape of a Bermuda petrel, with a grey crown and a grey neck and the top of your wings also grey. It was the year 1620 and until then you could be found in any part of the archipelago and precisely because of that, because of your excess of being, sailors and conquerors made you their food. They hunted you until they made you disappear. You were the first victim of the Bermuda Triangle. Years passed, no one saw you again, your name was written in the list of extinct species. In June of 1935 the lighthouse of San David lighted up your return: 315 years after you disappeared, your body was found dumped, lifeless, after being crashed into the lighthouse. Keep your candles burning, and make her journey bright and pure; that she will keep returning, always and evermore. You exist, you don´t exist. In 1941, you were found dumped again, lifeless, but now after you crashed into a radio antenna. You exist, you don´t exist. Finally, the 27th of January 1951 you were found alive: a Bermudian young man found fourteen petrels in a rocky islet close to Castle Harbour: you exist. There is a paleontological phenomenon known as Lazarus taxon that happens when a species disappears: there isn’t a register of its existence, it’s considered extinct, and then, it appears again. Its absence might be short: 10 years like Madagascan pochard, or lengthen and disappear 100 years like the night parrot, 315 like the Bermuda petrel, 500 like La Palma giant lizard, or several million years like the monito del monte or the Laotian rock rat which nobody saw for 11 million years. How do we know when something stops existing? The gaze of the egret stays still in the paths of the tilapia. Her visual range covers 320º: she can see heaven and hell simultaneously, she looks at the tilapia and looks at me and she reflects in her eye who looks at me. 40º escape to the visual range of the egret. To disappear is to put me there, in her nape, to enter her occipital lobe, not by the eye but by contact. To disappear is to live in her thoughts. The egret keeps standing still, she knows me close, tenses her body, half of her muscles are preparing to hunt, the other half to fly. To stay or to disappear? To disappear is to escape to the perceptive system. To change frequency. If you have been, you are always being. In a humid day with a light breeze and a temperature between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius, a deer can detect with its nose the presence of a human at a distance of up to 800 meters. To disappear from the perceptive system of the deer, the hunter should camouflage his smell, change the vibration frequency of the olfactory molecules that form it, whether rubbing his body against the leaves of a pine tree, covering it with gardenias or bathing it with the urine of another deer. To disappear is to vibrate in phase. To appear is to vibrate in sympathy. Kierkegaard’s knight of faith is the judge that celebrates the marriage between heaven and hell, moves from finite to infinite and from infinite to finite to expand his perception. Faith is a wide perception that sees what it is given to it and much more. I am a Eurasian blue tit. My first morning song culminates the twilight chorus. My song creates me, makes me be, and to be is to endanger. I only sing when my perception allows me to recognize the environment, when I know I will be able to escape the attack of a jay or a sparrowhawk. The diameter of my eyes grows. My pupils expand. My vision increases. My sing rushes. Now I am a blackbird that sings with the aurora. Each perceptive system means an awakening. My eyes keep growing. The darkness of my pupils covers them entirely. I can see the night. I transform into a common redstart that sings before the sunrise. The world appears first for the most sophisticated perceptive system. The world never disappears for the total perceptive system. God? Eternal God. His being doesn’t allow conjugation. Uni-perceptual God. The universe that we inhabit is perceptually more complex than eternity because it admits the time variable. Abraham, Christ, Buddha, and Muhammed are portals between two perceptual dimensions. The faith of God makes Him appear in our perceptual dimension. My faith leads me in the opposite direction to Him. To appear in another dimension. We will be Gods for the artificial intelligence that is being created. Your Father. Alleluia. Ultra-Infra-Hyper perceptibility. Spiderman, Birdman, Wolverine, Minotaur, Gorgons, Chimeras. Shamans, Nahuals or a simple lover who is duplicated by the means of love: his mixed perception initiates them in the knighthood of faith. The egret stretches her neck, bends it, leans forward and lashes out at the water causing a series of actions that start with the shutter of my camera and continue dramatically until spread over on themselves and a Nile tilapia devours a neonate axolotl while it is hunted by a great egret. Each action gives origin and end to the universe.
The head of the egret gets out of the water with the tilapia shaking in its beak. She presses her jaw to complete the death of her prey. Lifts her neck and at the time of swallowing it, a seagull comes and steals the fish from the egret. A crocodile takes advantage of the confusion and butchers the egret with its tooth. There is no more fish, neither egret. Both cease to exist in front of my eyes, as I cease to exist in front of your eyes.
An Inca dove soars as in rapture.