" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

April 5, 2012

Freedom, Just for the Birds?

I've been thinking about the word FREEDOM quite a bit lately, especially when it comes to having to make a living to keep the payments going on my mortgage.  
Well, it's not hard to keep that word in mind when I look out the window of my workplace and see the word staring back at me.
It's the name of a furniture store that has it's logo painted on the side of the building, much like the one above. 
It's like the word is there to specifically taunt me.
The funny thing is that in a few months, the company I work for is building a new warehouse just down the road and when I look out the window in that building I will be looking at the words  
"Great Wall (of China?)".
I also have the signed novel by Jonathan Franzen called FREEDOM sitting on my bedside chest of draws, along with his other two, that I bought from the Brisbane Writers Festival last year,
The Corrections and The Discomfort Zone.
I love the design of the cover of FREEDOM at the top of this post, with the birds flying over the ( probably mortgaged ) house spelling out the word FREEDOM. 
It also contains the colours of my favourite Rugby League team - 
The Cronulla - Sutherland Sharks.
And Franzen's name appears to be written across a crow feather 
(one of my favourite birds).
But that is not the cover design I have. 
Mine is totally different to that design ... I'll come to that in a minute.
Jonathan Franzen in Brisbane last year
I wrote about seeing Jonathan talk in Brisbane last year here,
Jonathan Franzen in Brisbane
That's when I bought his three books that I mentioned above.
I had always planned on reading The Corrections or  
The Discomfort Zone first and Freedom last. 
At no time had I ever planned on reading Freedom before the others ... until the other day, that is, when the universe threw a sync at me I just couldn't ignore.
The bird that flew on to Mike's wife, Karin's hand
Mike Perry had the above photo on his blog post called  
Attracting Birds Coincidence.
I decided to read the one, of about ten books that were in front of me on my desk, because of this sync.
The book was called The Healing Wisdom of Birds by
Lesley Morrison.
I wrote about all the syncs related to Mike's birds and that book here, especially once I started reading it,
The Cosmic Egg and the Dragon 
But the 600 page book resting on my bedroom chest of drawers 
titled Freedom was the one that really got my attention.
I couldn't help thinking that the bird on the cover of Franzen's (the one I owned) book was the same type of bird on Karin's hand. 
According to the back of the novel's cover the bird on the front is a Cerulean Warbler. 
I had never heard of them before and I wanted a clearer picture of this type of bird to see if it was at all like Mike's bird.
So, I Googled up some pictures and info on the bird.
Cerulean Warbler
I found this picture of a Cerulean Warbler (above) and thought it had similar wing markings to Mike's bird.
But even if they are not the same type of bird, they are close enough for me to take the hint, and start reading the novel.
Looking though the three books I bought on the day, I couldn't help thinking that Jonathan Franzen had written me a medical prescription.
Each book seemed to be a message to me about where I was/am  and where I should be heading, as far as making a living goes.
Hopefully it will be freedom for Daz after a few corrections get me out of the discomfort zone;- )
Jonathan himself is a keen bird watcher by all accounts.
To quote him from this site;
Bestseller author Jonathan Franzen is a Birder 
"Finally, in the mid-1990s, I made a conscious decision to stop worrying about the environment. 
There was nothing meaningful that I personally could do to save the planet, and I wanted to get on with devoting myself to the things I loved. 
I still tried to keep my carbon footprint small, but that was as far as I could go without falling back into rage and despair.
BUT then a funny thing happened to me. 
It’s a long story, but basically I fell in love with birds. 
I did this not without significant resistance, because it’s very uncool to be a birdwatcher, because anything that betrays real passion is by definition uncool. 
But little by little, in spite of myself, I developed this passion, and although one-half of a passion is obsession, the other half is love.
And so, yes, I kept a meticulous list of the birds I’d seen, and, yes, I went to inordinate lengths to see new species. 
But, no less important, whenever I looked at a bird, any bird, even a pigeon or a robin, I could feel my heart overflow with love. 
And love, as I’ve been trying to say today, is where our troubles begin.
Because now, not merely liking nature but loving a specific and vital part of it, I had no choice but to start worrying about the environment again. 
The news on that front was no better than when I’d decided to quit worrying about it — was considerably worse, in fact — but now those threatened forests and wetlands and oceans weren’t just pretty scenes for me to enjoy. 
They were the home of animals I loved.
And here’s where a curious paradox emerged. 
My anger and pain and despair about the planet were only increased by my concern for wild birds, and yet, as I began to get involved in bird conservation and learned more about the many threats that birds face, it became easier, not harder, to live with my anger and despair and pain."
I found this still from The Simpson's featuring Jonathan Franzen and Michael Chabon.
I hope the universe is not telling me to read his book that I bought and is sitting on my shelf still unread.
How many books can I read at a time? 
Please ... give me a break!;-)


  1. Perhaps a speed reading course would help!!

    Like the quote from Jonathan's site and can understand what he means. I suppose when we become involved in some aspect of life we are 'doing our bit' so the pressure is turned off a little. All we can ever do is what we can.

    There's a definite likeness between the cover bird and the one on Karin's hand, even a darkish line from the beak to the eye.

  2. Re:
    "There's a definite likeness between the cover bird and the one on Karin's hand, even a darkish line from the beak to the eye".

    They seem to have the same wing markings,too (if you look at the other photo of the Cerulean Warbler).
    It's just that the one on Karin's hand has a lot of downy feathers obscuring the markings.

  3. You crack me up, Daz. You have more books beside your bed and o your desk than I do! Have never read Jonathan, but perhaps, given all these synchros here, I should!