This series of six works alludes to the Persian book of poems, The Conference of the Birds, by the Sufi mystic Farid un-Din Attar written in 1177. This book describes a journey of a group of birds, led by a hoopoe bird, seeking a leader for their kingdom. They must cross seven valleys – some birds give up, some die, some decide to turn back and many make excuses. Finally, thirty birds complete the difficult journey, and when they reach the end they realize that the king they came searching for is merely a reflection of each of them. The birds described in this Sufi allegory possess human qualities and illustrate a master leading his pupils to enlightenment. The use of birds and human hands in this series also relates to a personal journey. In the fall of 2007, I helped move my elderly mother with early signs of dementia into an assisted living home. The home has an aviary in the middle of a large community room where many of the residents sit and visit. During my visits there, we would often sit in this sunny room. While observing the birds, my mother and the other residents would talk about their lives - past, present and future. These fragmentary conversations were some of the most enlightening and beautifully fragile discussions one could ever witness. Their personal journeys and memories, like the birds in the Sufi poems, reflect the various stages and the deepest truths of each human life. Each of these panels is a visual metaphor of those indelible moments.

This series is dedicated to my mother.