After all the riots, demonstrations, pepper spray and tear gas, it is a great relief to find another New Yorker as crazy about birds as I am. Mr. Cooper, who was the target of a white supremacist attack, reflects upon that incident. He re-directs our attention away from that ugly episode to a deeper, hidden reality. I am inspired to turn off the computer, get on my bike, ride up to Central Park and tune into a conference of birds. The best things in life…


I always go into the woods and always find a lot of little wonders there. But meet almost no one , nobody takes a walk, despite the fact that where I live we are surrounded by forests. Most are online or spend their time in shopping malls. That people are stressed out and remain indifferent to the destruction of the environment is therefor not surprising. This is particularly detrimental for children, the future generation that is supposed to preserve it. We lost the contact with Nature and ourselves. And we won’t save it unless we will regain that contact.


This is great tragedy, that we have lost the capacity to tune into the rhythms of our senses in relationship with birds and woods and water and big sky, the sense of the surround, of the bare feet in the dirt. Our addiction to the narrow, external focus of flat screens is distorting our capacity to work with the subtle realms. I love technology but I am also aware of its misuse. Mr. Cooper is grounded in the aesthetics of relationships, as he guides us to listen with devotion and delight to the bird communiques all around us.

Last year, it was reported that three billion birds had vanished from North America. I wept. How can we possibly create poetry, music or social justice without our fine feathered friends? Birds are a vast and irreplaceable intelligence, an extension of our own human intelligence, without them we can’t function . And the best antidote to suffering and grief is a walk in the park, a bench, a good book, the chatter of sparrows. We city dwellers are at high risk.