Diana and I were pals from the moment we met in grade school, cracking each other up, and shouldering each other as we adjusted to life as newly arrived American girls. Our friendship was/is freewheeling, raucous from time to time, and deep. The first movie we watched together was "Carrie" which gave us both nightmares, and also got us in huge trouble with our parents. Thus began our consistent habit of seeing better films together, "The Gods Must Be Crazy", "La Cage Aux Folles", "ET", "Close Encounters", "The 400 blows", "The Color Purple", "Diva", "Watership Down" hundreds more since then.
The last film we saw together was "Goodnight and Good Luck", it was fall around thanksgiving she looked great, she was buoyant and in love with someone who was exceptionally present. Around her birthday she got sick with a super-bug that defied every imaginable intervention we could think of, and she was gone by spring.
Shattered, unsure of what to do next as grief took hold for quite some time. Somehow, I came to understand that keeping this venture going, even if its only limping along or treading water, was the next right thing to do, for all the other lifelong friendships between women, and between girls. There's always a need for new & diverse voices.
I have never loved someone the way I love you
I have never seen a smile like yours
And if you grow up to be king or clown or pauper
I will say you are my favorite one in town
I have never held a hand so soft and sacred
When I hear your laugh I know heaven’s key
And when I grow to be a poppy in the graveyard
I will send you all my love upon the breeze
And if the breeze won’t blow your way, I will be the sun
And if the sun won’t shine your way, I will be the rain
And if the rain won’t wash away all your aches and pains
I will find some other way to tell you you’re okay.
So this juvenile red tailed hawk flew into my friend's house, straight through the garden door and into the living room. The hawk was perching up in the rafters and swooped down repeatedly crashing into the picture window, stunning herself and then trying again. Ouch! Poor baby. I was alone at the time, just me and her two eldercats/alter-kaker-kitties, who were small and bony enough to be hors d'oeuvres. I called animal care & control, but they were having a cray-cray critter day. Clearly, I was on my own.
By this time the bird was freaking out, and just wanted to be outside so badly that she sat on the windowsill longing for the comfort of a big cypress tree in the back yard, probably her nest. Its kind of a bird hang out and I've seen hawks whooshing around the tree quite often.
I was afraid she might really injure herself. So, I calmed the hawk by saying soothing words like Safe, Friend, Trust, Love and Help. I slowed my breathing down, (something I remember doing to calm new horses) and made simple slow exhales, used my most calming voice. The thing that surprised me was that I could visibly see that it helped the bird become more still, even her breathing rate slowed down.
After gently offering the hawk sticks and fishing poles as places to perch and be transported to the door, to no avail, I finally was able to coax her out by asking the Hawk to hop onto a pillow's edge. I carried the bird tai chi style so as to not make any jarring movements. Imagine a bird floating on the edge of a pillow and over to the open door on the deck side of the house. She hesistated in the doorway, and I walked forward onto the deck, gently moving the pillow up and down so she could sense that feeling of falling, just before flight.
For a kid raised her whole life in cities, this whole thing was way beyond the scope of my experience. I think sometimes we humans know more about this stuff than we think. The strange thing is, I knew the beak and talons could have easily injured me, I even wrapped my arms and hands in towels, but when that did not work, I went bare handed and took precautions in other ways. At no time did I feel anything except concern for the bird's wellbeing and the desire to help her and get her to where she wanted to go. If I could not trust the bird, how could I expect her to trust me?
Animal Medicine folktales say the hawk is a messenger from the Great Spirit, hmm.
Please bear in mind that just because I took this course of action, does not in any way mean that I endorse the handling of wild animals without proper training. Whenever possible, call animal care and control, they are trained specifically to handle wild animals.
"I am alone but not lonely because my life is rich with music. Music saved my life" AHS
Her optimisim, her dedication to music and her ability to be present are an inspiration. Music saves lives and helps our brains to stay flexible, adaptable and brings such a sense of wellbeing, especially for those fortunate enough to make music.
When I hear people complaining, sometimes I will send them a link or simply tell her story. We all have our own moments in hell, how we get through them and who we help along the way makes a difference at the time, and almost always in the future.
To be whole, let yourself break. To be straight, let yourself bend. To be full, let yourself be empty. To be new, let yourself wear out. To have everything, give everything up.
Knowing others is a kind of knowledge; knowing yourself is wisdom. Conquering others requires strength; conquering yourself is true power. To realize that you have enough is true wealth. Pushing ahead may succeed, but staying put brings endurance. Die without perishing, and find the eternal.
To know that you do not know is strength. Not knowing that you do not know is a sickness. The cure begins with the recognition of the sickness.
Knowing what is permanent: enlightenment. Not knowing what is permanent: disaster. Knowing what is permanent opens the mind. Open mind, open heart. Open heart, magnanimity.
a little Taoist poem & a bit mindfulness can make life flow just a little more easily