I saw a pigeon in a train station yesterday. He had two functioning legs, but only one of those legs had a foot. He didn't seem bothered by this, actually. He still strutted his stuff, albeit with a bit of a limp.
I was captivated. His actions were oddly inspiring to me, making me think of how often I feel handicapped in some regard (many regards) - a gimp with a limp. But this pigeon was reminding me that we each have a choice in how we see these figurative injuries - we can let them dictate our sense of self, or we can envelope them in our own strut, embrace them as our signature walk.
He kept up his limping strut, pecking at invisible scraps of food, dodging pedestrians who weren't looking at him. I wanted to shout out to everyone to pay attention. Here was this small miracle, a feathered sermon, and they were missing it. This remind me of how often I am likely missing messages from God, walking right under my nose. This reminded me that I need to look, to see, and to pay attention.
While I was thinking all this, the pigeon suddenly remembered he could fly. The sound of his flight, just over my head, was a plumage song - a wordless whisper of Overcoming. It was a delicate, tentative shout of strength - a kiss on my ear drums. The soft sound was somehow louder than the hum of frustrated waiting emanating from the crowd in the station. It was an essay how we can be both broken and whole, both weak and strong, and how neither is right, and neither is wrong.
The music of his limping strut, and elegant flight, reverberated gumption into my ever-anxious heart.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
the trees are waiting to exhale
but color is slow to trickle into
their branch tips, into their skin
they are tentative to awake from sleep
their patchy shade does keep
the glade of daffodils in bloom
a whimsical, tiny forest
to which the sun drops have given way
and the geese have gone away
it was their unavoidable song
that prompted you to pause
called you to look Above
but now the dawn chorus of
robin, blue tit, and chaffinch
prompts you to look without
but also within
and now that the fruit-tree blossoms begin
their pedals soon dashed by the wind
making your walking route
decorated in nature’s confetti
you’re unsure that you’re ready
for the look within
for the awake from sleep
for the exhale
Sunday, March 12, 2017
There was a ceiling of fractured clouds, with the moon full behind them. Waxing Gibbous. You could tell because it had that same sort of glow as sun when it knocks on closed eyelids as you awake to morning light.
Awake. I want to be awake, and make no mistake - sometimes we find ourselves too long asleep. I’m not trying to be overly deep. But I sometimes find I’ve arrived somewhere and don’t remember how I got there. I missed digesting the details of the journey. And I don’t want to miss a thing.
The cloud ceiling beckoned my eyes upwards, beckoned me awake. It seemed to be telling me “I’m just like you! I’m just like you! Fractured but defined by light too.”
The moonlight was doing its best to bleed through all the fractures in the cloud ceiling’s armour, finding every chink, finding the wounds to bleed its light through.
"The wound is the place where the Light enters you." (Rumi)
We try so hard to cover all the ways we are broken, haphazard stitching, hurried glue jobs. But, try starring at the bleeding moonlight through all the cuts of clouds. You’ll wonder: why do we hide? What is so very shameful about being fractured, about having crooked seams? What is so very regretful about having places for the Light to enter in and shine out?
I’m not sure what I mean. But it seemed something to say, anyway.
Because I’m just trying to make sense of myself.
(I’m just trying to make sense.)
Friday, February 3, 2017
this morning was windy. it is still that time of year here were the dark lingers into hours when you’d expect light - it is a prolonged sort of night. it is still that time of year here where the wind makes the mornings colder than it should be. it bites at your skin, finding the chinks in your layered armor.
out running this morning was a challenge. not only for the head wind but because i felt strangely off balance. i found myself thinking of how much i want to be centered, to find a center, but balance is always hidden from me. i feel like i might have just been designed asymmetrically and this hunger for balance is going against my own wiring. how do we fight such desiring?
this is the shape i’m in. this is my shape - i’m always running a bit off step and out of rhythm. but that is rhythmic to me. can i call that a melody? and what happens if i can’t seem to make a symphony of the harmonies i’m trying to add in?
struggling over this, i decided to take off my hood. my ears complained of the temperature’s sting, but i just needed to think straight. i needed to feel the wind’s message on my neck. i had been trying to ignore the wind today, but it wouldn’t let me alone. with my heart closed, it whispered into my bones, snaked down into the marrow instead. it spoke to me of all the unknowns i dread.
i tried to avoid the wind today, but it found me on every path...imagine that, wind in every direction. wind pushing with firm hands on my back, a gentle but uncompromising nudge both backwards and forwards. usually i try to see a push as a sign that i’m going with or going against the “plan”. but an unwavering push against the wind? wind in every direction? how do i make the required correction?
have you listened to the wind today? careful if you do, because it might just take you all the way through all those doors you’ve been leaving shut. it might just force you to breathe. it was then i realized i have been holding my breath, anxious about fresh air.
because i’m not sure my lungs are ready for that strong dose of cold oxygen. i don’t feel quite up to the challenge of being blown out, so maybe the wind is trying to blow me over, to force out the stale air.
i then felt i had fallen asleep somewhere without knowing. i felt i had grown too fond of slumber, too attached to a quiet, windless atmosphere. that vacuum where i can just avoid the promptings of fear. my universe is sometimes so loud that i can’t hear what the wind has to say about this.
while trying to listen to the wind’s message on my neck, my eyes flitted to the birds overhead. they don’t flee from the wind but they don’t fight it either. they use it to their advantage. the delight in the gusts, letting it give lift to their wings, some of which seem to be patchy, missing some feathers. they rise up, gain a new perspective on things, and then return to pushing forward. they don’t seem harried. they don’t seem hurried. and they certainly don’t seem afraid. in fact, if anything, they seem to me remade by this wind, excited and drawn into the challenge, but never giving up the fight, never giving into fright of what might prove their undoing.
i like to be such a bird, a winged thing.
(i am not sure what i’m trying to say here, but thanks for listening).