Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Know Why The Free Bird Swings

Twenty-five years ago in a broadcasted speech by Gordon B. Hinckley he said, “There is so much of sorrow in the world. There is so much of pain. There is so much of loneliness and fear and misery. There are so many whose circumstances are desperate and who cry out in deep distress.”

I was fifteen at the time and probably thought he was talking to me because I had braces and couldn’t get Mike/Steve/Mark/Kevin to notice me. I am older now (29 days until I hit the big 4-0 – don’t procrastinate getting me my black balloons and Preparation-H gag gifts. The sooner the better – I’m getting really low on Preparation-H.) and as such have witnessed and experienced some For Real trials. Death. Violence. Betrayal. Discouragement. Stress. It’s all around me, and it feels heavy lately.

I felt the pressure mounting early this morning so I decided to exercise it out of me before I exploded.  Since the weather in Denver today had us confused with the opening scene from The Wizard of Oz, I opted for the gym instead of the outdoors. Kelly Clarkson got me going almost 8 mph to one of her latest hits – it boasts a ridiculous message, (“Being with you is so dysfunctional, I really shouldn’t miss you but I can’t let you go…”) and a chorus line that’s categorically lazy, (“My life would suck without you”) but what can I say, it makes me run faster.

I settled onto a machine that faces the wall of windows overlooking the outside. With the rhythm of my steps humming below and my iPod streaming through my consciousness, the tension started to find its way out.

I ran.

And I ran.

I felt a little like Forrest Gump.

Remember how he kept running?

Also, remember how he liked chocolates?

Forrest gets me.

Then, glancing out the window my gaze caught up with a bird attempting to take flight outside. There she was, suspended in the air and flapping her wings faster than a hummingbird on Red Bull – she seemed determined, (I bet she heard about the sale at TJ Maxx) but the winds were so fierce that she couldn’t move. Chaos reigned around her little, determined form. The unpredictable gusts pushed her up, thrust her down, and made her look like she had one too many glasses of wine but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t move forward.

Moving fast and getting nowhere.

I know how she feels.

If birds could talk I would have invited her back to my house for hot chocolate so we could swap stories. I bet she would have accepted my invitation, flown over and then upon seeing my house she probably would have been like, “Hey, I’ve been here before. I built a nest on your porch and then crapped on it all summer!”

I would have forgiven her. And then poisoned her hot chocolate.

In addition to the aforementioned Hinckley quote, he added this a few sentences later:

“May your prayers be answered. May you have peace and strength and love and gladness in your lives. I urge you to lift your heads and walk in gratitude. Spare yourselves from the indulgence of self-pity. It is always self-defeating. Subdue the negative and emphasize the positive. Count your blessings and not your problems.”
Which means I should probably take back that part about the poison.


Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Every time I start feeling swamped in my own problems, God gives me glimpses into some of that "heavy" you were talking about and I remember how blessed I am. But the heavy hurts a little even when it's not your own; I think God does that on purpose so we understand Him better.

Heather said...

I have nothing witty or thoughtful to say, but I know exactly how you feel and thanks for sharing...
But I will tell you, You are one of my favourite blogs to read... right up there with Bakerella and Seriously so Blessed... (I am diverse like that)

Kelly said...

Ah adversity... Such a wicked teacher. Yet such a blessing. I bet Kelly Clarkston hasn't read that Hinkley talk. Maybe you should send it to her.

Enjoyed this post. Thanks!

Oh- and Happy Birthday!!!!

Thelissa said...

Thank you for your post. I think it must have been for me. We had t make decisions yesterday for our son who has a rare blood disorder. It was a tough day. Between that and all the other trials of life, I was feeling a little picked on. I know that I am not! But for some reason my heart wants to complain sometimes. Your post reminded me to be happy, grateful, and stand tall.

just call me jo said...

Are you allowed to have a favorite prophet? If so, Pres. Hinckley is mine. What a sweet, profoundly understanding man! He got me...So glad you posted this. I'm queen of wallowing in self pity. Love this entry, lady.

Stefani said...

I have a quote on my fridge (from a dove chocolate wrapper, mind you) that says "blessings only come to those who notice" I've been trying to notice... But it's hard when life is stressful, I'm going to picture that bird flapping for all she was worth (that reminds me, I've got to go clean the front porch)

And I know what you mean about that kelly clarkson song... It totally gets me moving! The other day my iPod surprised me and played kelly's version and the glee version right in a row. I think I got my best run time ever!

Vern said...

Steph: You're so right.
Heather: Thanks for the love!
Thelissa: So sorry for your hard day. Bless you and your little boy.
Stefani: Dove wrappers are where all the good quotes come from!

ganelle said...

There's a U2 song call "Running to Stand Still." Great song, but it makes me want to cry instead of run faster.

I did have a run away from it all on my bike just a few days ago. For me it was the Bob Marley song "Three Little Birds." Good stuff.

I feel ya.

b. said...

I could really use a little "categorically lazy" right about now.

Keep on running.

Bethany said...

8 mph? You go girl!

Did I pull it off?

Meg said...

great quote

Adventures In China said...

What a beautifully written post. I really enjoyed reading it. And what an important message to send out to the world. Thanks for posting this.

Vennesa said...

Loving the new look of your blog! I always look forward to your posts.

Mom and Camera said...

Sometimes that heaviness and stress just needs to be worked out and forgotten for a while. Wish I actually "worked out" when I felt it. I'd probably not have those double-digit pounds to lose! I'll remember your example next time. I hope the heaviness has been relieved a little!

the emily said...

Whoo. You got it, sister. Sweet, funny, forrest gump references...you are the penultimate blogger. I know that work doesn't make sense there. But I put it there anyway. Booyah.

Chelsea B. said...

Boy this post sure describes my day. I went to drown my sorrow by going for a run in the pouring ran. It was mildly therapeutic and I felt better once I got home. But felt even better after reading your post, a small tender mercy knowing that I am not alone. Thanks.

Mom of Three said...

Love this one! I think we all have days, or years like that one. At least you get in shape running so fast.

rocslinger said...

Okay, its a good post with a great message (one I need to really heed) but what is it with you poisening animals?