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It’s about air-borne diseases and the air we breathe. It’s about actualizing our birthright. It’s about staying well—and it’s been going on for years, spawning opaqueness in the psyche. Listlessness, confusion, even panic, estrange relationships and distort reality. Flailing for the once-familiar ends—disease has taken its place, and in its wake: fear, suspicion, and incalculable stress.

In my perception, such a scenario exists among us. Pestilence, the fourth rider in the Book of Revelation, still sits astride his pale horse spreading disease and mayhem. There appears no way of suppressing his evil intent, recently targeting planet Earth with the volcanic eruption near Tonga.

But we are not alone. The Psalmist reminds us that Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (119:105) Interfacing with the power of this word in our psychic depths requires prayer, discernment, and rebuilding community with the like-minded. The guidance comes, if we ask.  

Blackbird singing in the dead of night, so addressed the poet/musician Paul McCartney to this harbinger of spring, with its rich flute-like trills. Then, he unleashed his response to police forcibly removing a black woman from the white section of a New York restaurant in 1968. Moving back from his hotel window across the street, he continued writing.

A close look at the words chosen for this song-poem evidenced Paul’s artistry: This was not your usual blackbird; in the UK, the words bird and girl were used interchangeably, so the victim in the fracas morphed into blackbird whose spirit sang, no matter the violence fraught with death. Years of such bludgeoning no longer mattered and spawned more protest marches.

Only visionaries intuit patterns for critical change, and McCartney’s revolutionary paradoxes sought to fulfill this purpose:

Take these broken wings and learn to fly.

Take these sunken eyes and learn to see.

The mandate to receive these gifts, despite their uselessness, and learn different ways of empowerment and vision was clear. Precisely in their woundedness, they would find healing, through their imaginations. It would be their experience.

Indeed,

All your life/you were only waiting for this moment to come.

That moment has come and gone. Not much has changed, or so it seems. Ensuing betrayals and tribulations have scarred hearts, that is true, but more learning to fly and see continue among us.

And the mandate still holds:  

Blackbird fly/ Into the light of the dark black of night.

Within that paradox, LIFE abounds … and always has.

I am glad—Still more to be gleaned from my study window this morning:

The finest mist freezes, midair, and saturates the plank fence across the backyard; it decomposes the twiggy circumference of the empty sparrow’s nest, from the summer, lodged among branches of the snowflake verbena. A few of its monkish leaves still clings as if grieving the loss of the chick’s family.

Beneath the shrub, the crystal droplet swells from the tip of a fallen leaf, its indecision like a toddler’s first steps: there is security in holding on.

Sudden movement in the corner of the yard distracts me. A mature squirrel, its pelt blending with the trunk of the London plane tree, pauses, then scrambles to a higher limb and disappears. Below, snow swirls pattern the bleached grass with feathery fingers. More melting islands of what looks likes snow creates rivulets across the pavers of my patio and slinks into the muddy corners, across more spent leaves. The ground appears juicy, its remote preparation for spring, in the making. The softest of breezes seems to slumber this world, dormant with life.

Prayer easily follows sloshing around in play boots stamped with ladybugs.

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