My friend Larry had a parrot during his bachelor days. He lived alone, and the only noise the parrot ever made was the sound of a beer can opening.
I thought about Larry when I interviewed another friend, Chris Shea from Lifesighs
. She recently moved her offices into a new building with a storefront. The impetus? Her former landlord, who’d rented out the space next to hers to someone who rescued parrots.
Parrot rescuer. I’ve never seen that job title on a resume, but talk about a conversation starter!
I’ve always been enchanted by parrots--or rather, the idea
of parrots. To have a pet that’s an honest reflection of what goes on inside your house? Wow. You’d be inspired to keep things sunny, I think. Because when it was time to find a new home for your pet you couldn’t just erase its vocabulary the way you can scrub a computer’s hard drive.
Darrell wonders why more parrots haven’t appeared in Chris’s artwork lately. “They’d be on their backs,” she admitted, “with X’s over their eyes.” Because they’d be, you know, dead.
Chris is an animal lover who, while she recorded a sample of the audible mayhem to play for anyone who’d listen and perhaps empathize, holds no resentment toward the parrots. They gave her, after all, a new lease…on life. That’s how much she loves having a retail space attached to her offices. All she has to do is look out the window to be inspired. The customers who wander in--some to buy cards, some to look at cards, and some to look up from their phones and into the eyes of a real person--are endlessly fascinating to Chris. Some of them might be a bit lost when they show up, but all of them leave knowing they’ve mattered.
The latest incarnation of Lifesighs reminds me of church, or what church can be. Each visitor draws out the inspiration he most needs. It’s like what Jimmy Page
from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes says about sports. They reveal character. With help from coaches--and people like him--you can learn how to harness that character into something good. Jimmy says sport is
a religion for some people, in the best sense of that word.
That’s another reason I’m glad spring is around the corner. As the snow melts the college basketball season heats up. If Butler University is playing and I’m anywhere near a screen you’ll find me parked in front of it--watching Brad Stevens coach so calmly you’d swear he was just doing laundry. Stevens bet on himself
once upon, and few people inspire me the way he does.
Your friends, your pets, your favorite teams. More dandy reasons to get up in the morning, eh?