a feathered friary
As legend has it, the many pigeons flocking the streets of Krakow and most numerously gathering on the Market Square were once an army of tenacious knights, riding into battle under the apt command of their lord, Duke Henryk IV Probus. Turned into fowl by an old witch, they pecked pebbles from the towers of Saint Mary’s Basilica, which – turning into gold upon their impact on the square – were to finance the duke’s ambition of uniting Poland under his reign. [Alas], the duke had no mind to travel so fast. (1) When he took off for Rome, finally to be crowned by the pope, he quickly succumbed to worldly pleasures and squandered his new fortune most frivolously. As their lord never returned to the city, the knights of Krakow remain feathered until today.
ma's monastic rule
- All who have come must leave again.
- All birds must take the initiative.
- All desire to obey the abbot must be subdued.
- All silence must be broken.
- All that is owned must be loved.
- A clearly predetermined object must [not] be kept steadily in view. (1)
- The building of the bird [...] needs not express anything like this. (2)
Or at least that's what Jack read on some tacky tourist website.
All birds are distinct, yet all birds seek to create new life. Jack Ma establishes an avian monastery to invite them to Krakow. There, their birdly desires are met in exchange for their adherence to Ma’s Monastic Rule. Based on this communicative codex, the birds enact rituals that qualify the new Cracovian conscience.
(1) Michelet, The History of France Vol 2
(1) Darwin, The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication
(1) Ruskin, The Stones of Venice