What to do when a bird gets stuck in your house

There’s power in that wind

I’ve been spending a lot of dreamy time these days on a 15 year old breeze.  An almost forgotten name popped up on some website or another, and after a series of rabbit holes and poking around in digital cardboard boxes, I’ve come face-to-face with a previous self.


She was brave, braver than I am these days.  She also cussed a lot, probably to cover up some of the insecurities of all that bravado.


It’s raining today, for the first time in what feels like months.  It came out of nowhere on my morning run, leaving me out of breath and a dripping ponytail.  I could feel the ground beneath my feet opening up, grateful for something it hadn’t realized it needed.


Present, how to be
23 April 2016, 7:28 am
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Having just wrapped up a two-day workshop on health activism and immigrant and refugee rights and mental health, I’ve been having a quiet, reflective day. I went for a walk this afternoon to enjoy the sun and the last of the lilacs, and on the way home I crossed paths with an elderly woman, a bit lost and a bit nervous about being a bit lost. She asked me where 18th Ave was, and I pointed, but when I saw the panic in her eyes I asked if I could walk with her. She nodded, then grabbed my arm and didn’t let go.


We were really only a few blocks away from her apartment, and in that time I learned so much about her: she has 4 grandchildren, she is from Taiwan, she loves to cook, she is bursting with pride for her daughter. Her English wasn’t great but that didn’t stop her from trying – she was practically bubbling over with stories. She asked me over for tea and for dinner; she showed me a picture of her granddaughter. We eventually found her place. I made sure she got inside safe and sound, and then we parted ways.


I keep on thinking of the workshop we just finished – we talked about mental health and the challenges that people who move to a new country can face. Feelings of isolation, difficulties with language, a lack of the familiar cause stress and can lead to poor health outcomes. As this little old lady held onto my arm (not because she needed the physical support, I gather) I kept on thinking about how often we grapple with coming up with big solutions, systemic changes that are necessary to improve people’s lives. I am so grateful for today’s reminder that our challenge is also to come up with a million different micro-solutions, individual connections, offers of an arm to steady someone on, a space for stories.

mornings, of
13 October 2008, 9:21 am
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I raced the cold air back into bed this morning; I used to do this all the time, jump out of the shower, dry off in the warm steam of the bathroom, and then slip back under the covers to listen to R and the cat breathe.  I had put about 12 miles between us in the interim of my waking and this warm sleep smell, and I wasn’t yet ready to face the work I never quite left this weekend.  As the world outside churned and roiled, as the winter steadily advanced and we all avoid contact with our better selves, R’s sleeping form shifted towards mine and my mind surrendered to the grey light of the sunrise.