Briefly Superheroic

At times I go back and parse

The pain, the bone-deep ache

The fever, chills, fatigue

The way it felt like constant, relentless muggings committed by tiny, unseen assailants

No hunger

A brief sense of being untied from all ordinary things

As though powerlessness could be construed as

Super-heroic

Shedding

At first I thought it was my age, that some magic threshold of peri-menopausal bliss had been breached and entered and that the clumps of hair went with the hot flashes and wrinkles. Then a survivor 20 years my junior told me she was struggling with hair loss and it occurred to me that perhaps it was one more Covid peculiarity?

I think I am handling it well. I have trimmed the remaining locks by inches and let its spun lightness rule the day.

I am alive

Lazarus

He walks into every room looking for someone who might comprehend

what it is

he has seen and heard

He weighs their solemn waiting-room-faces

Do they have

Better memories now? Do they still need to write things down or

Know every word by heart?

Are all the lambs among them and

can we see their scars?

Who can end this waiting

By calling us out

Out into life

My Covid Story

Around Thanksgiving I got Covid. I work in a doctor’s office, so eventually all of our staff got the disease as did our immediate family.

Symptoms and severity sorted out by age. The youngest two had the mildest symptoms, the oldest–me, ended up in the ER for a day, facing a diagnosis of damage to my heart and lungs.

First, let me say, that I am mending. I am the recipient of miracles and healing.

But the 24 hours leading up to the ER visit were really scary. The day in the ER was a gift. The oxygen machine they sent me home with was a gift.

And my current pulse, O2 stats, and general health–belong to the grace of my Ransomer.

Jesus gave me miracles, as He has done my whole life.

Covid is a really scary disease. It leaves some scars. It leaves fear and memory of the pain and uncertainty.

But Jesus is bigger than mountains. Jesus is bigger than tiny killer viral agents.

And Jesus never walks away from us.

I know I have been saved and given the gift of my life back.

I will do what I can to praise the One who saved me.

And I will use these beautiful lungs to pray for all of us.

That we feel him there with us,

No matter what.

Woman Up!

I have never been a roller coaster girl. Too queasy, but these days the ride is all mental grit and actuarial tables–I stop in the credit union parking lot just as the preacher on the radio quotes Jesus–ask anything in my name and I will give it to you!

Ok, God, I tell Him, make those doctors brave

Could substitute kind, generous, humble, compassionate

Feels impossible, I tell Him then

He reminds me

Impossible

Is His specialty.

Another Pandemic

The summer of 2018 was hard on us. We lost beloved kitten after beloved kitten. People in the community who fostered kittens talked about PTSD and loss.

The agony of hope and grief was indelible, but so too was the change in my experience with veterinarians.

Some refused to care for the kittens; others failed to tell us what was really killing them. I had always thought that veterinarians were doctors for animals, with the same abiding principles of integrity and common good.

That is what I thought before.

Now I know that for many it is just an income stream, a path to selling things in order to make a living.

I think about that summer. It was a bad summer for panleuk. There was a terrible tragedy unfolding for the most vulnerable among us. Back then, the people were ok, but the wee kittens had no chance.

Now I think about it because the pandemic we face this summer is counted in human lives.

Let us all hope and pray

That the people we trust with our lives

Are in this for the right reasons

And for the distance.

The borrowed borrowed story about crises

A pastor told a story about a priest or monk whose brother was a fighter pilot. The pilot took his brother to the flight simulator. In the course of learning and crashing in a computerized model of flight, the non-pilot commented on the steep cost of learning to fly, the risks, and what happens when there is a crisis.

The pilot said, people train to a level and in a crisis they revert to that level–to what they know or have already mastered.

Rarely more.

We don’t rise to a higher level in a crisis. We revert to what we have trained for.

That is what the pilot said, I tell myself

When what we have trained for

Happens

Indelible

There are things that happen in the indelible. First, time becomes a character in the story, exerting control over both the narrative and the heart rate. It moves through each room, touching old pictures and hidden spaces, spinning a cocoon so thick it makes normal movement impossible and must be pulled apart like spun sugar

Next, change

Old you out to sea, pared down, bereft

So you

Write down promises

On every doorpost, every lintel, every exposed beam and limb

Let the words become living things

A forest in the house

The case of the disappearing email

I have watched (read) coverage of a big (really big) powerful (really powerful) Entity which has been recently caught out lying.

This particular lie involved a lot of people, maybe all of us. The Entity is pretty powerful.

And I have lived in the place they do. So I shoot off an email detailing my pain over the lies, the way victims’ voices were suppressed, the great need for western journalists to hear and report the truth.

When I went back to my sent folder the email had been erased. No content.

What happens when Big Brother can silence little sister? What happens when we, the free, let him?