Friday, August 21, 2015

When Little Bird Dies

I spent two days in a convent recently while my little sister took her first vows. It was beautiful, and a good place to get my head together. And it was a good place to let everything fall apart, too.
I’m mostly good with accepting things as they are, or, I always thought I was, anyway. But there are always situations that try my patience and sanity. Especially in the last year, I’ve discovered that I have a masochistically stubborn side, a part of my heart and mind that hates to give up with insufficient regard for self-preservation.  I’d been nursing a metaphorical bird, you see. Let's call her Hope. It was clinging to life when I found it, and I tended and fretted and watched over it ardently, refusing to accept the possibility of its demise. It was, after all, the most beautiful bird I’d ever seen—and I wasn’t about to give up on it.

But the bird kept changing. Its wings would change color, its character, its emotions. It would be healing one moment, barely hanging on the next.  The bird left me grinning with joy sometimes, and then weeping in agony just as quickly.

I brought my bird with me to The Motherhouse of the Little Sisters of Christian Charity in New Jersey, and while I was there, the wonderful nuns of SCC were gracious and kind enough to allow me to stay at The Villa—a donated mansion turned retreat house for visitors. 
My bird and I stayed peacefully in The Villa—at first—while I was caught up in the goings on of my family, reconnecting with my past, which, surprisingly, managed to remind me pleasantly of who I had become. I walked on the grounds with Sister Squared (my nickname for little sis), I prayed in a chapel, I dipped fingers to holy water for the first time in fifteen years. I was reconnecting solemnly with Self, questioning everything. Remembering everything.

Then, as I sat alone in the muggy coastal heat under a ceiling fan, contemplating dinner with the sisters, I got news that my poor little bird had flatlined. She was coding. Again.

My gut dropped. Last I had checked, her wing was broken, but she was hobbling along—perhaps on the way to recovery. I had hope for the outcome. But now, there she was, clinging to life once more. My precious little bird was suffering for breath. And so was I.

After a brief few moments of consideration, I felt something shift in my heart. I didn’t move to try and save her this time. I just sat and watched—heart aching—as she labored.  And I realized that I was exhausted from keeping her alive. That keeping her alive was killing me. I’d been feeding her my air for so long and now I was running out, and I found myself doing the unthinkable: I turned away and left her on her own.

Maybe she was meant to die, you know? Maybe she wasn’t. But the fact is, I couldn’t keep this vigil up anymore. It was depleting me, reviving her so often on my own. She had to want to live. And that wasn’t up to me. I had to release control.  The ultimate lesson—little bird was teaching me acceptance. No matter what.

Acceptance was harder for me than I thought. But being so separated from my life in Seattle, from the noise of it, the emotions of it, and surrounded by reminders of all that had helped make me who I am today gave me the inner quiet to begin accepting things with grace.


I guess we all have a bird we’re struggling and praying over, crying to keep alive. But there comes a point when we have to honor that maybe the bigger lesson is in its death. Maybe the miracles come after and they don’t look the way we expected. Maybe we have to learn to ask the hard questions with grace and prepare to let go of the outcomes. Maybe it’s all about unconditional faith.  You know….like unconditional love…the two go hand-in-hand. Not just for the sake of others, but every bit as importantly, for ourselves.  Sometimes, we have to let our little birds, the ones that are foolish enough to believe we can control one damned thing beyond the present moment, die so we can fully live. 

11 comments:

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kold_kadavr_ flatliner said...

Yes, I know 'when a lil bird dies' as what happened to my Jaybird in 85, 17, 15 respectively: my girl+friend and I were driving not far from my house and a truck going 70 in a 35 hit us; she was DOA which left me in a coma for almost a month. I will see her again soon, my lil Jaybird.

trustNjesus.
ALWAYS.
God bless your indelible soul.

kold_kadavr_ flatliner said...

Lemme tella youse what I know
since our accident, dear...

This is a prayer
for everyone,
as it's Catholic
which means 'Universal';
you say the 2-3 minute prayer at
6am...
Noon...
6pm everyday:

"And the angel of the Lord
declared unto Mary and she
conceived by the Holy Spirit..."
[Hail Mary, full of Grace...]

"Behold, the handmaid of the Lord, be
it done unto me according to Thy Word"
[Hail Mary, full of Grace...]

"And the Word was made Flesh...
and dwelt among us"
[Hail Mary, full of Grace...]

"O God whose Only Begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of Eternal Life, grant we beseech Thee, that through mediatation upon this Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they offer and obtain what they promise through the same Christ our Lord. Amen"

A plethora of opportunities
await each of U.S. who proclaim
that simple message.

trustNjesus, earthling.
God bless your indelible soul.
Yes, Im an NDE.
Any questions?

kold_kadavr_ flatliner said...

Lemme tella youse what I know
since our accident, dear...

This is a prayer
for everyone,
as it's Catholic
which means 'Universal';
you say the 2-3 minute prayer at
6am...
Noon...
6pm everyday:

"And the angel of the Lord
declared unto Mary and she
conceived by the Holy Spirit..."
[Hail Mary, full of Grace...]

"Behold, the handmaid of the Lord, be
it done unto me according to Thy Word"
[Hail Mary, full of Grace...]

"And the Word was made Flesh...
and dwelt among us"
[Hail Mary, full of Grace...]

"O God whose Only Begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of Eternal Life, grant we beseech Thee, that through mediatation upon this Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they offer and obtain what they promise through the same Christ our Lord. Amen"

A plethora of opportunities
await each of U.S. who proclaim
that simple message.

trustNjesus, earthling.
God bless your indelible soul.
Yes, Im an NDE.
Any questions?

kold_kadavr_ flatliner said...

Yay!
yoo RITE!!

Would U please help a plethora of King Size, wildchild, rawkuss poetry/wordz which are lookin 4 a home in thy novelty?? Thx. Whew. They're pretty insane. They're bereft of reason. Oi! Blimey! They're bloody PINK spiders!!

Gotta lotta gobba shrewd, surreal, supersonic, sardonic satires, sassy N savvy elixers N electronic elegance ( ...and palpable nuance) on our YOUTHwitheTRUTH blogs. Wannum? Have'm. N'joym. Gettm outta my hair!!!

How mucha wanna betcha our sugar-high-mojo, antioxident, hot-shot, full-throttle, pleasure-beyond-measure, fuse-blowin-exploits R a copious madhouse of one lavish bookay D.O.A.? Our proFUSE NRGod who leads U.S. to explosive fairy-tales in the 'one-stop-shop' symphony Upstairs? God's the BigDude, the Owner of ElysianFields, the Grand Prize, the Austere Overdrive, NoPurchaseNecessary: our bombastic tenaCITY on a Hill which'll plant the Seeds 4u2 grow-up to new N greater heights!! Mama mia! Thatsa good pasta!!

CAUTION: our 22ish, avant-guard, accurately-atrocious, offa-the-reservation-like-Jimmy-Hoffa, metal breadcrumms R sooo out-of-order, toots, they're an intimate wealth of bottomless sophistication. And dats da lethal fak, Jak. Go ahead. Sue me. Yawn. But, yet, here's the perennial KOO D'TAH: who else has actually SEEN the Great Beyond in spirit & lived to tella youse bout the bionic, bloated, brevity-like-earth we're living on?? Yes, earthling, I had an NDE, almost salivating4salvation. So gain altitude, never attitude: death has no intrinsick favorites.

If Mr. abSUREditty's an ultra-great-reward, and not everyone enters, Q: why is it an excruciating deluge of epic-.357-caliber where the quality's a limitless bulldozer plowin, pushin-your-power-cord with eternal goodies? A: the Prize-A+-TheEnd just gives U.S. moe-curley-graphix 2 VitSee: an explosion-of-extravagance which few R asking 4 anymore! Grrr. They're too concerned withe grotesque sanity of ambivilant piss-ants which swiftly crawl like lemmings to their scorecard, effusive destruction. C'est la guerre.

THANK GAWWWD!!! the Don has the ebullient BAWLS!!! to do the Manifest Destiny!!! To lead U.S. forward to the White House Upstairs with his SQUARES!!!

So, break-free, earthling; be like a contraversial outgrowth of incredibly-intoxicating-effusiveness in your zeitgeist to give the ultimate stunning, avant-guard, bareknuckle potency: Wiseabove. Wanna join this useFULL idiot Upstairs 4 the most zany, kooky, X-acto-knife antidotes? Extremely exquisite, explicit endorphins in abundance? Puh-lenty of pulverizingly-tantalizing psychopathic psychosomatics with eXtras? i2i-kick-velocity's-ass-ultra-maximum-rocket-fuel-party-hardy at my pad ya ever encountered without d'New Joisey accent 4 an eternal slew of precarious, magnanimous & primeval absurdities indelibly etched in the granite corridors of eternity with a total-barrage-of-melt-in-thy-mouth 'depth-of-undenial'???

Make Your Choice  -SAW
...cuzz nobody gitts outta here alive, earthling.

kold_kadavr_ flatliner said...

Yay!
yoo RITE!!

Would U please help a plethora of King Size, wildchild, rawkuss poetry/wordz which are lookin 4 a home in thy novelty?? Thx. Whew. They're pretty insane. They're bereft of reason. Oi! Blimey! They're bloody PINK spiders!!

Gotta lotta gobba shrewd, surreal, supersonic, sardonic satires, sassy N savvy elixers N electronic elegance ( ...and palpable nuance) on our YOUTHwitheTRUTH blogs. Wannum? Have'm. N'joym. Gettm outta my hair!!!

How mucha wanna betcha our sugar-high-mojo, antioxident, hot-shot, full-throttle, pleasure-beyond-measure, fuse-blowin-exploits R a copious madhouse of one lavish bookay D.O.A.? Our proFUSE NRGod who leads U.S. to explosive fairy-tales in the 'one-stop-shop' symphony Upstairs? God's the BigDude, the Owner of ElysianFields, the Grand Prize, the Austere Overdrive, NoPurchaseNecessary: our bombastic tenaCITY on a Hill which'll plant the Seeds 4u2 grow-up to new N greater heights!! Mama mia! Thatsa good pasta!!

CAUTION: our 22ish, avant-guard, accurately-atrocious, offa-the-reservation-like-Jimmy-Hoffa, metal breadcrumms R sooo out-of-order, toots, they're an intimate wealth of bottomless sophistication. And dats da lethal fak, Jak. Go ahead. Sue me. Yawn. But, yet, here's the perennial KOO D'TAH: who else has actually SEEN the Great Beyond in spirit & lived to tella youse bout the bionic, bloated, brevity-like-earth we're living on?? Yes, earthling, I had an NDE, almost salivating4salvation. So gain altitude, never attitude: death has no intrinsick favorites.

If Mr. abSUREditty's an ultra-great-reward, and not everyone enters, Q: why is it an excruciating deluge of epic-.357-caliber where the quality's a limitless bulldozer plowin, pushin-your-power-cord with eternal goodies? A: the Prize-A+-TheEnd just gives U.S. moe-curley-graphix 2 VitSee: an explosion-of-extravagance which few R asking 4 anymore! Grrr. They're too concerned withe grotesque sanity of ambivilant piss-ants which swiftly crawl like lemmings to their scorecard, effusive destruction. C'est la guerre.

THANK GAWWWD!!! the Don has the ebullient BAWLS!!! to do the Manifest Destiny!!! To lead U.S. forward to the White House Upstairs with his SQUARES!!!

So, break-free, earthling; be like a contraversial outgrowth of incredibly-intoxicating-effusiveness in your zeitgeist to give the ultimate stunning, avant-guard, bareknuckle potency: Wiseabove. Wanna join this useFULL idiot Upstairs 4 the most zany, kooky, X-acto-knife antidotes? Extremely exquisite, explicit endorphins in abundance? Puh-lenty of pulverizingly-tantalizing psychopathic psychosomatics with eXtras? i2i-kick-velocity's-ass-ultra-maximum-rocket-fuel-party-hardy at my pad ya ever encountered without d'New Joisey accent 4 an eternal slew of precarious, magnanimous & primeval absurdities indelibly etched in the granite corridors of eternity with a total-barrage-of-melt-in-thy-mouth 'depth-of-undenial'???

Make Your Choice  -SAW
...cuzz nobody gitts outta here alive, earthling.

kold_kadavr_ flatliner said...

Yes, I know 'when a lil bird dies' as what happened to my Jaybird in 85, 17, 15 respectively: my girl+friend and I were driving not far from my house and a truck going 70 in a 35 hit us; she was DOA which left me in a coma for almost a month. I will see her again soon, my lil Jaybird.

trustNjesus.
ALWAYS.
God bless your indelible soul.

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