A Real-life Angry Bird and a Word About the Mormons


I accidentally parked on the towel when I pulled Mom’s Cadillac into the garage tonight. One towel I throw on the motorcycle when I take her car out, the other I usually throw over the grill but the wind must have blown it onto the ground. I saw it there as I was pulling in and you’d think that since I can pretty much parallel park an LAV (8 tires, 14 tons, combat vehicle I drove for the Marine Corps) that I could get this candy-apple Cadi parked somewhere on all the surface area that wasn’t the towel but alas, I didn’t. And I was too tired to get back in and move the car forward or backwards a few inches so I just took off the wife-beater I was wearing and put it over the side mirror on that side. That’s the purpose of the towels, to cover the side mirrors. “Why do you have to cover the side mirrors, Jeff, is it so that they don’t get dirty?” you ask. (Go ahead, ask.) “No, it’s not to keep the mirrors clean,” says I, “it’s actually to keep the sides of the car clean.”

You might be wondering how covering the side mirrors on the car (I have to do it for my truck too) keeps the sides of the vehicles clean. I’ll tell you.

There is this little bluebird, a male, who sees his reflection in the side mirrors of our vehicles and absolutely freaks out! He starts hovering in front of himself and screaming angrily and eventually goes in to deliver a blow– only the mirror is a helluva lot harder than his little bird skull so it must hurt like the dickens which only pisses him off more. More screaming, more “buzzing the tower,” more attempts at delivering the lethal blow, which of course only hurts him worse and makes him madder. He eventually gets so mad that he shits himself and thus, the white “pin stripes” down the side of the vehicles and the need for the mirror covering.

What a silly little bird, yeah?

And then I realized what a great metaphor it is. I have long been looking at nature for answers about life. It’s part of why praying in the Native American tradition resonates so much with me. Even as a young boy I would go into the woods and look closely at the beautiful natural world and ponder. There is so much spiritual and emotional help available if we will only avail ourselves of it and take the time to meditate on what we see, smell, hear, and sometimes taste around us.

With regard to my histrionic, fowl-mouthed (get it?) little feathered friend… I have so much to learn from him.

1) He’s obsession with his own reflection, if he doesn’t cut it out, will be his ultimate undoing.

2) He cannot see that his “enemy” is actually his own reflection. Literally, he is his own worst enemy.

3) He is unwilling to learn from what has not worked.

4) By his own actions, he gets himself so worked up he literally scares the shit out of himself.

5) He cannot control his anger.

6) Others suffer because of his ignorant actions. (Even if it’s just me having to clean poop off the vehicles.)

7) This entire drama (a war of epic proportions in his imagination) is entirely of his own making.

8) The perceived aggression of “the other” would disappear if he didn’t show up for the fight.

9) He’s a male bird defending his territory because that’s what males are supposed to do.

10) Most of life’s headaches can be avoided.

Cleaning the bird poop off the vehicles is annoying. Having to cover the mirrors each time I park is annoying. I’ve decided to recognize the value in the lessons he’s teaching me and consider these mild annoyances to be a small price to pay for the spiritual lessons. Aho, bird medicine!

Did you hear that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has, for the first time in history, given a donation to The Utah Pride Center? No, there’s no punch line and no, it’s not a joke. They really did! It’s to The Center’s homeless youth program. I think that’s great! What a worthy cause. I’ve often taken the LDS Church to task when the leadership was actively doing things to hurt me and my people– while always, hopefully, saying that some of the best people I know are Mormons and I have friends who are LDS who would do anything they could for me if I was in need. There will, of course,  be people saying that the Church is just doing it to help with PR and you know what, I’m sure the Church made the donation knowing that would be the case– that some people would say that– and they chose to make the donation anyway. I’m choosing to celebrate it as a sign of goodwill and of progress. Thanks, Saints; solid work!

Anybody who thinks all Mormons are assholes is an asshole.

That’s all I’ve got for tonight. Love to All from Alabama.

See y’all tomorrow.

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