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  • Archive for May, 2011

    What if…

    2011 - 05.22

    It seems the world did not end yesterday, May 21st, as it seems it was going to…

    When we are born we shoot naked and squealing through the womb. We cry when we are hungry, and someone feeds us. We cry when we are cold and someone wraps us in a blanket. We cry when are wet and someone changes us. We cry when we are lonely, and someone picks us up. Even though we cannot speak, we communicate our needs and someone understands us.

    As we grow we observe and learn communication techniques. We aren’t aware of this, but it is happening with every word we hear, every look we see, every gesture we witness; our little brains are firing and picking up how we will relate to the world.

    When we become adults somehow we believe that everyone we meet and interact with, should and will know just how to communicate with us. They should know how we expect and want to be treated, shouldn’t they?

    But do we know how to treat others? Do we know how to listen? Do we see what others need from us when we speak to them?

    None of us know when we go to work, go to a party, go to church or the grocery store, how those we meet along the way have learned their communication skills. We don’t know if they were cuddled and loved, listened to, read to, consistently praised, gently reprimanded, or if they were tormented by an older sibling, saw a neighbor kick a dog, cursed by a mother, listened to constant bickering of their parents, watched a father hit a mother, ridiculed by a teacher, tormented by their playmates. We don’t know what joys and pains arrive with others as they enter into adulthood.

    But what if we tried? What if, when someone is rude, or angry, or spiteful, we listen with something other than our ears, our pride, our arrogance and our need to be right? What if, instead of reacting with indignant resentment, we could see the small child, scared and confused; a child that needs comforting and reassurance? What if we had the opportunity to reach backward and heal that child of their pain? What if, instead of lashing out in anger, we reach out with care?

    What if we could spare someone embarrassment or shame by backing down, backing off? What if one of the lessons we are all taught, instead of competition and winning, is how to gracefully turn the other cheek; to change the energy, diffuse the anger…

    What if we were all taught the art of forgiveness; for others and ourselves? What if, when we say we forgive, we truly do? What if we take the broken pieces of humanity, and piece by piece, we knit them back together like a broken bone that becomes whole again?

    What if we could see the world as it was meant to be; without greed and hatred, cruelty and toxic emotions and waste. And when we finally understand, what if we then, throw down the words we wield as weapons, and allow love to be our armor and truth to be the shield?

    Maybe, this is what is meant by “the end of the world is coming”… The end of the world as we know it might not be a bad or scary thing. What if it is the beginning of grace?


    2011 - 05.20

    Dickie Bird

    Twenty five years ago I bought a young cockatiel. I wanted a parrot or a cockatoo but thought I had better start small to see if I could keep a bird alive. I named him Dickie Bird after my father Richard Graham. When Dad was young his nickname was “Dickiebird”.  My dad was a bit of a hellion and so this name fitted this rascally cockatiel as he was also a bit self willed; not at all like the sweet little cockatiels you have seen riding around on shoulders in pet shops. Dickie’s propensity to biting fingers, taking out whole chunks, contributed to his infamy.

    Every morning Dickie’s cheerful songs welcomed in the new day and his repertoire after 25 years was extensive. He was inquisitive and funny and full of life. He welcomed all of our guests and was frequently the center of attention.

    Dickie survived four major moves and myriad comings and goings of other animal friends. He sang at the top of his lungs through every band rehearsal, and competed with me when I met with clients to help them choose music for an event. He loved his big cage, his toys, and his organic food.

    A few weeks ago Dickie began feeling his age. He became a little crabby and slept a little longer. He only wanted certain foods and snoozed through his morning songs. When someone is with you for 25 years, they are a part of your life, your breath, your love.

    Dickiebird died in my arms this morning as we sat in the New Mexico sunshine together. I let him bite me without complaint because I knew it would be the last time. After taking two healthy chunks from my finger because I wasn’t holding him exactly the way he wanted to be held, his little brave heart just gave out. A bit of light has left my life today.

    Thank you for all the years of joy you gave me, Dickiebird. Fly free, my little friend.