A Bird With a Bent Wing

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The sun is streaming through the curtains on my bedroom window following a night of tumultuous dreams. A borrowed red car with a dented right back door, into which I was loading a bathroom sink to take to a dump. I remember asking myself if the dent was there when I got behind the wheel or someone had crashed into it and I just wasn’t aware. I also was curious about why I wouldn’t take the sink to a Habitat for Humanity Re-store. Lately, I have been feeling as if I am sinking into a morass of worry and fear without the stamina to rise above at times.

A pleasant scene involved meeting up with a friend who has just had gender confirmation surgery and we had planned to get together IRL anyway, so her presence in the dream was no surprise. She has also just become a grammy, as her daughter, who I know as well, recently birthed a beautiful little being. In her message to me last week, she referenced getting together as ‘”Crones owning our Wisdom,  who can sit down and get to know one another in True Light.”  We initially met as part of an interfaith spiritual community a few decades ago and have lots of catching up to do.

Being called a crone is an honor, as I am now 63. I like to think I have gained some wisdom in my lifetime. The downside to this aging process is that my body is telling the tale. Last week, while I was watching my two-year-old grandson, I tripped over a toy and literally went flying across the room as he witnessed my less than graceful landing, wide-eyed. Fortunately, there was a play mat covering the hardwood floor. Initially, I thought I was cool since I landed on my knee which has been prone to injury and ouchies and I could stand up sans pain. My grand-toddler came over and put his hand on my leg and offered an empathetic “Awww,” as he does when he sees a character on tv get hurt or seem sad. A friend had come over to visit and she encouraged me to put ice on my knee just in case. I followed her sage advice but should have applied it to my right arm since I had braced myself with it and what remains is an ache and challenge with stretching it. In the past few days, I have offered it massage, Reiki, arnica, and ice. I have requested that friends send healing energy. The pain is less intense, but I have refrained from weight lifting since then, to give it time to rest. As I am typing these words, it occurs to me that my arm might be the dent in the red car from my dream. My body is stiffer but my mind is more flexible. Thoughts slip in and then swiftly out at times. There are moments when I stare blankly into space, both for respite and a meditative state, and to attempt to recall the elusive thought that flitted away like a butterfly. As a speaker, therapist and journalist, it scares the crap out of me.

Add to it the reality of events swirling around me, delivering fearsome images on tv and social media. My brain is on overload, trying to absorb the inhumanity of the assaults on Ukraine in the midst of a pandemic, in the midst of violence in other parts of the planet, in the midst of the planet gasping for life, in the midst of the ongoing undermining of democracy in this country.

More of my clients are speaking about their sense of fear, anger, and hopelessness about the state of the world that they feel helpless to do anything about. Good news can be found in the rubble of the destruction.

In my area, people are collecting items to be shipped to refugee centers, holding fundraisers, as well as donating a portion of their proceeds of regular items that they sell in the course of doing business. Last week, I loaded up a shopping cart with toothbrushes, toothpaste, first aid kits and diaper wipes. More today when I go out.

The young adult son of friends is volunteering to go to Poland to assist in the humanitarian aid process. My prayers are with him for his safe return following his service.

Last week I had a local friend reach out to me because he knows I know people and have connections (Social Worker’s Rolodex brain) and told me had two spare bedrooms in his home and could house refugees who were fleeing Ukraine. What a mensch. I gave him the contact information for the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America (UNWLA) They told him they would put him on a list of available hosts.

If you want to do something, please reach out to this or other reputable organizations to donate what you can.

We are in need of hope in the midst of what seems like a hopeless world.

Yesterday, I listened to an interview that my friend Yvonne Kaye did with John Pavlovitz on her podcast called How the Hell Did I Get Here From There? and emerged from it with a sense of hope that there are people in the world who are making a difference.

This bird whose wing is bent but not broken will keep flying through these tumultuous times.


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Talk to you soon.

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