This week I am connecting with a graphic designer to create a logo for my new venture (the thrifted miniature tavern sign above was part of my original inspiration.) With a name like “Bird in Hand” the logo seems pretty self-explanatory. But what kind of bird should it be? Should the bird be nestled in the hand or lively, ready for flight? And most importantly (or so it feels to me) should the bird be looking right at you or with head turned to the side?
Last night I gathered for dinner with some wise friends. One of them shared that she has recently been reading about fairy tales and epic hero journeys. She says that in this genre, when a bird shows up, you better pay attention. And if you don’t the bird’s lesson will likely come back in a way which seriously disrupts your quest. Interestingly, she said that in fairy tales birds never look you right in the eye, instead they are always depicted from the side. She says they remind the hero (and the reader) that you are not the center of their attention; instead they are always looking to the future.
Birds are wild things that inhabit even the most urban and developed landscape –or perhaps we inhabit their landscape. When I’m functioning on autopilot I can look at my life as though it’s a computer screen. Sure my eyes are open and I’m taking in and responding to what is in front of me but I’ve really retreated to my thoughts and am minimally present (driving carpool comes to mind). And then, out of the corner of my eye I’ll catch something move. Something tiny and unexpected and fiercely alive and the screen melts and reality reasserts itself and I’ll be reminded that this one moment is all I’ve got.
The soul is like a wild animal. When we go stomping through the forest of our own lives, we scare away the voice of wisdom each of us carries within.
I help people listen to the birds—both in their story and in their day to day life and I would love to hear from you and discuss how I might support you on your journey.