You Could Be This Headbanging Cardinal

Or, when everyone else can see how you're wrecking yourself.
Publish date:
July 11, 2011
health, mental health

How super horrible do you feel when you see a bird dead because it flew into the window of a shiny office building? Curse Man and his Industry, senselessly luring Nature to ruin! Do you not want to shake your fist, deny your own DNA? Well, did you ever think it might be the bird’s own dumb fault?

I never did until I met this one totally stupid ass cardinal in Arizona. OK, OK, I am not supposed to judge…though it’s really hard not to when every single morning it sounds like rocks are systematically pelting the windows of the house you’re staying in, and it’s because a bird is purposely headbanging.

Over and over again, every day, this really cute, bright red and mad as hell cardinal was smashing his birdbrain into the window. He’d perch on a ledge, jump up real high and flutter his wings, and right before he started his descent, he’d crack his skull into the window super hard. And after 20, 30 times at one window, he’d go to another. Non-stop. For days. Apparently he’d been at it for weeks.

Watching him I wanted to yell, “You are so stupid, you are going to kill yourself, bird! Please stop, the torture of you doing this makes me feel so, so badly for you, I just want to hold you and tell you to calm down, explain that there are things in life you simply cannot comprehend. Instead, you’re going to do this over and over again until you die, and it is highly likely that I will watch it happen.”

I think we all know this bird. We have probably all been this bird.

There are many corny (yet valid!) new-agey clichés in this scenario. Here are some, off the top of my head:

  • What looks like the enemy is really just yourself.
  • You really only get upset about the things you recognize in yourself and do not like.
  • Fighting is pointless.
  • Sometimes we have no idea what we're actually doing.

And one more for ya, in case you don’t feel like puking yet:

  • The tiniest actions contain the largest truths.