Since my teens, I have observed birds. I’m attracted to all kinds of birds from eagles to swallows. Throughout my life birds have been messengers, reminding me of more ethereal or intuitive perspectives on life. Maybe it’s in embracing their point of view; flying fearlessly, undeterred, watching the world below, which gives me some solace, that everything works out.
We live on a high floor of an apartment building with an expansive view of three countries and numerous birds. Two boisterous hornbills squawked as they flew over our swimming pool the other day. Vivid green bee-eaters dive and dart through space outside our balcony. Brahminy kites and white-bellied fish eagles circle the warm air currents thrust up by our building. Snowy white egrets and bright emerald parrots pass below. Swallows shoot past at eye level, twirling in the updrafts. It feels like a National Geographic documentary outside our windows. I cherish all my feathered friends. Except one…
Singapore is inundated with scrappy obnoxious black and white myna birds. They hang out on ledges and in hawker stands making a terrible racket. Fearless and apparently without predators, they do as they please. And I’m not pleased when they choose to perch on the pillars and eves outside our apartment, blabbering from sunrise to sunset. When trying to cogitate or meditate, their incessant chatter breaks all concentration. Working from home, they drive me to distractions and I spend more time than I would like to admit trying to scare them away. It appears they have built a nest just below our window and the young ones wake me in the morning and bother me throughout the day. I’m a grown man but I’m obsessed with ridding myself of these silly pests.
My wife puts up with my antics but may wonder if I am in need counseling. I have a pump action water gun. I use a red laser beam to shoo them away. I’ve enlisted the support of adjacent neighbors. Still, scream, shout and clap as I may, they are undeterred. They don’t get the message and I cant seem to let them just be. I fear I am going to spend the last chapter of my life trying to rid my apartment and mind of myna birds. I don’t know if there is hope for this condition and I fear this obsession is getting the best of me.
And yet I can see that these little distractions are just that. They are the fly in the ointment- the yin to the yang. This is how life keeps us from getting too comfortable or serious. And perhaps once I rise about this, I too will have attained some sort of enlightenment- or at least the realization that the universe has a sense of humor.