This painting is dedicated to a little blue parrotlet who was part of our family for much too short a time. His name was Milo.
He loved to dance while perched on my finger, enjoyed watching me type at the computer, and could say quite a few words, with obvious delight at the connection this created with those of the human persuasion.
One day, we noticed him standing on the bottom of his cage and not flying back to his perch. This is a real danger sign for birds; if you see your bird spending a lot of time on the bottom of the cage, get him to the vet. And that was what we did.
The vet did some tests but couldn't immediately diagnose the cause of illness. 12 hours later, Milo’s cheerful presence was rapidly spiraling into a tailspin. Within an hour, he shut down completely. As I cradled him in my hand—hoping to keep him warm and to surround him with love—he breathed his last. It was the first and only time that I’ve felt the spirit of a living creature pass away, in my own cupped hands, no less.
I created this painting in memory of his big heart. The red bird has come to guide him into the next life. He is there looking up, in the thin space between this world and the next, about to leave our lives, but also leaving behind the legacy of the great joy he gave us.