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.
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.