The Sound and the Fury

In the wee hours today, a storm of cataclysmic proportions hit DeKalb, the kind of storm that makes atheists think twice about who might be in charge of this little planet. The windows shook; the bedroom door shook (making me think someone was trying to get in); the wind howled; lightning split the sky and threw jagged shards of stark white at my bedroom walls; the thunder rolled in giant waves across our flat, inhabited prairie.

It was as if Nature were shaking my Bird Cage – shaking everyone’s cage – shouting, “Look at me! You think you have one iota of control over anything on this earth? Check THIS out!” And another mighty cr-r-r-r-ACK of thunder came, and another bolt of lightning was hurled at us. In Shakespeare’s day, weather like this was an omen—and not a good one. Think King Lear or the Tempest, and you’ve got the idea. It was a Renaissance thing. Crazy, right?

What was not understood was that no one person’s evil actions could cause weather changes; rain falls, as they say, on the just and the unjust. And the kind of weather one person is grateful for, another one (and maybe someone right next door) despises. The actions of individual people in regions, or even entire countries, do not determine whether they get hit by a tsunami, or a tornado, or a flood. We all know that now, right? (Cue stern look from teacher, the kind meant to stop students from giving a differing opinion.)

To continue my storm story:

Eventually, the fury lessened somewhat. The thunder, ear-splitting before, now rumbled far away, though the torrential rain still splatted against my window, and the trees still swayed violently.

And in the midst of this, I heard music, music from a cardinal whose family nests in the tree outside the house. Because I heard him in mid-chirp, I suspect he’d been singing throughout the storm; it was just so noisy, his happy singing had been inaudible.

Did he mind the weather? Was he frightened? No. Did he know the facts? That one out of every three cardinals who sing during a thunderstorm was hit by flying twigs and killed? That thirty percent of all singing cardinals in DeKalb would die a horrible death from lightning burns? No. He knew his place in Nature was just as important as anything or anyone else’s. He was born to sing and fly, and there was simply nothing to stop him doing what he is meant to do: nothing. When his time came—when that window with his name on it came into his flight path—then, well, that would be it. Out with a glorious burst of color and a song on his beak, no doubt.

This metaphor is so obvious I suppose I’ve no need to spell it out, but perhaps I will anyway. I am like that bird. (And I hope you are, too.) Humans are just another creature in this amazing world, and, like Red Fred, we just need to live our lives in harmony with Nature. Stop worrying about facts and figures and probabilities and statistics. THEY…MEAN…NOTHING. Despite what scientists and doctors and specialists tell you: THEY…KNOW…NOTHING. They can no more predict when one of us will die from cancer than they can tell which windshield will be the end of Red Fred.

Yesterday, I sent an email to family and friends outlining the “facts” of my illness they all seemed to want to know. Until now—this very moment—I’ve deeply regretted sending that note, for I caused needless pain to the people I love the most. There’s nothing anyone can do, and those “facts” just depress people who care about the person to whom those “facts” pertain.

But now I see the situation a bit differently. You, the person I love so much, can do something for me. In fact, you can do things, and accomplish far more, than any medical doctor can for my condition. Remember: Only methods I have faith in can help me (if the Creator still wants me around, that is), and I have, as you know, no faith in Western medicine. Here’s what I do have faith in:

The Power of Prayer. You can pray for me, in any language, to any god. It’s all good. (Substitute “send good thoughts” or “meditate” for prayer. After all, it’s energy we’re talking about here; it comes from the same place, and goes to the same place. We just don’t know where that place is.)

The Power of Visualization. Please please please visualize me as happy, healthy, and bouncing into your day wearing my red high tops, making a bad pun, and singing a stupid song! I’ll do the same. “As a man thinketh, so is he” is not just a catchy phrase, my friend. It’s as real as anything gets on earth.

The Power of Action. And what do I mean by this? Stop discussing the “facts” of my case and get your butts outta that chair. Do at least one thing today that you love to do, whether it’s sing in the shower, go for a walk, compose a new tune on your instrument of choice, paint a picture, write a real letter to someone you love—whatever. It doesn’t matter what you do, it matters whether you love to do it or not. And while you do it, think or say, “Jen, I love you! Thank you for getting me to do something for myself!” For my life is no more important than yours–and no less. Dwell on your life, and mine will be better. I promise.

Then, listen carefully, for the next bird you hear singing will be me.

  3 comments for “The Sound and the Fury

  1. May 7, 2010 at 18:17

    I have never experienced a thunderstorm like that before. As an Idahoan, we were free from most crazy weather patterns and natural disasters. In Portland, it’s even worse. Hell, people here are too excited about one clap of thunder. They start posting on Facebook about “ooo, thunder, yea!” It’s cute, really. To experience nature like that, the power of the thunder and bursts of lightening, would be amazing. I presume someday I will, but until then I will enjoy your description of it.

    As for the rest, well, you probably already know that I do that everyday. And I have been doing it every day since the moment I met you. And even more so when you left. I hope you have felt my love and energy across the plains, because they have always been there for you. And while your email was difficult to read, I firmly believe that writing it down and sending it out into the world relieved you of its burden. In our world of constant burdens, both of ourselves and of others, that was one you did not need. So you expelled it. And I commend you for it. And it made me realize just how important it was to focus all of my leftover energy and love on you. May your journey to Oregon be full of life and love. I eagerly await your return. Bad puns and red shoes and all.

  2. May 8, 2010 at 19:46

    Jen I’m sending out a spike of positive waves for you babe. We’ll see you on the 21st for some laffs. I’m with you one way or t’other. Jeff

  3. thatspecialkgirl
    May 8, 2010 at 22:49

    I knew I knew what I was talking about, Jen. I knew my instincts were right. You are truly a beautiful person, inside and out. Power of Prayer, Visualization, and Action. Your amazing spirit and positive energy can be felt for miles. There’s so much to learn from you. You’ve touched old friends and new ones, too. As I said, there are no coincidences. I’m so glad I met you.

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