Saturday, June 1, 2013

Bird and fish


I write this from my living room, perched on my plush, sectional and  purple sofa and watching my cat kill a bird just on the front porch. Another bird is calling out to the universe about this travesty. Is it the mate? 
I'm equal parts horrified and proud of my cat's actions. The poor beast has had a rough week as it went from being a mostly inside cat to a mostly outside one as my asthma has flared up out of control. It's fluffy white coat was not prepared for the beginning of a Texas summer either, which we can tell by the tufts of white fuzz we find all over the bushes. When we let her in occasionally, usually at night, as I've gone to my room away from animal fluff, dander, etc; she now has this look to her that seems to say: move aside humans, I hunt now. As she sprawls her belly on the cold kitchen floor. 
The other bird is still squawking. Wailing even. What kind of love could that little beast have for the other bird that could make it squawk like that? And for so long. Or is it fear?
My cat watches it fly around above her angrily. The bird is livid with rage now and letting the cat know it. Then it dives down right towards her and gets tackled. A stray cat has come out of the woodwork to join in the fun and the two cats bat the bird back and forth. Now a third bird is up squawking. As if there is an ever-supply of sentry birds to stand and lament the fallen. 
And I sit and type on my iPad. My bible sprawled out beside me as I pick through it with a new writing project I'm cooking up. The dryer churns its load of clothes and I resist the urge to worry that it sounds labored and I don't think we have the money right now for a new dryer. 
My son is prattling around in his room. When I finish my bottle of water I plan to poke my head in and squawk at him, just like the bird, but with less gusto. My daughter, precious obedient child, is silent. I know that when I told her to just read two books and then go to sleep that she would. However can two beings come from the same two beings and be so very different? I'm certain if we have two more like my parents did they too would be two more versions of randomness from us. That two plus two equals a million is not something they teach you in school, yet there are a million different ways we turn out. 
Some are quiet, like my boy, who goes through life talking about half as much as my girl. I wonder sometimes if there is some kind of word-limit you get in life and if the little-Kaiya-soul bumped into the little-CJ-soul up in heaven and struck a deal with him. "Hey kid, I'll be a great big sister. I'll protect you and keep you safe your whole life. But I get half your words cause this silly quota is ridiculous. Whaddya say bub?" And he probably nodded. That was that.
Thump, thump, thump goes the dryer, as the cat wanders by again this time following a frog. She bats it, leaps back in horror when it hops, and then sauntered off like she had not been afraid of it at all. I had poked my head into the boy's room who wisely went with option 'pretend I'm asleep' and I decide to give it to him and just quietly say 'go to sleep' from the door. There's no more fight left in these tired lungs tonight anyway. So I sit back down to a quiet house. The dryer now silenced and leaving a space that is hollow and waiting to be filled where its thumping had been. 
These quiet spaces that come and so often I squander them on silly games or pinning pictures to some imaginary board that has to be a giant hoax, I'm just sure of it, or scrolling through pictures on Facebook. That last one might just be the most useful for its pictures of people I love and I say little prayers as I scroll. Delighting in the babies, grieving for the needs, and so forth. Occasionally when I get quiet enough I start creating some kind of art, usually words spun into whatever. The little-Court-soul must of asked if most of her words could be written instead of spoken and kindly He agreed. Though lately I haven't had words of any kind quite when I want them which can be frustrating. 
For when words won't come I feel a bit like I can't breathe, which is ironic, because recently not breathing has been my thing. It's stifling. 
Still. It's a world where cats kill birds. Where little boys don't go to bed. A world of a woman in a quiet house by a window whose head is full of dreams. There is only so much living that can be done in the space we have to do it. Sometimes it's a frenzied living like when the cat made the mad dash for the bird and the bird squawked its last breaths in terror. Other ones are the hum-drum thumping of a dryer sounding out work and toiling away money that doesn't exist. Then there are those inspired moments. 
Little golden bits from heaven itself where you have a real moment with a family member and break down walls you didn't even know were there. Or you learn something new that may be deeper and truer than you can almost bear but the timing of that hard lesson couldn't be more perfect if you were a holy God writing out a script for one of your little children. Those are the moments that make this tired, thump-thump life worth it. For they have hope of something more, something better. 
The cat trots now with the bird in its mouth and looks up forlornly at the door and quietly drops the bird on the top step. Nudging it a bit, to get the blasted offering positioned just right, she mews into the door in hopes her bird will get her back inside. Such am I. My little poems and paragraphs all bits of flesh and feathers clutched in my mouth and being set down as an offering. It's the wrong offering of course if I'm dropping it before the door to heaven. Only bits of Jesus' flesh open that door and while I know this with my mind my heart remains unconvinced. 
Maybe if I wrote something pretty enough? Something daring perhaps. What if it went viral and glorified God, cause heaven only knows that God needs a few more million 'hits' online. 
The little-Court-soul stands with her feathered gift clutched between gritted teeth but the door evaporates to a beach scene. There, the Christ who is the gift-offering himself kneels and cooks up a breakfast of fish. I sit and munch, thinking about my friend's wedding I am most likely going to have to miss as my spirit is very willing but my flesh quite weak. Quietly he asks, "Court, do you trust me?" I nod and reply yes, but of course, though there isn't much gusto in my response. My mind wanders to the pending fight with the insurance company that doesn't want to cover my asthma treatment, because, I needed that this weekend apparently. One more thing. Munch, munch, munch. Again, do you trust me, he asks. I stop mid-bight this time, a fishbone rolling on my tongue, and I nod slowly and whisper out that yes I do. 
He stirs the fire and I see that his eyes are fire and I wonder that I have a friend whose eyes are fire and I worry that a little squabble over medication can't be resolved. Smiling he turns his fire-eyes on me and looks deep into my mismatched ones and asks again, for the third time just like with Peter, the stubborn-mule disciple: Court. Do. You. Trust. Me?
The answer wells up inside me. Despite thumping dryers, dead birds, wide-awake children and even asthma that is crippling me: why yes my Lord and my God. I do. I do trust you. And I take the first deep breath that I have taken in about six weeks. It will be alright. For he is good all the time and I trust him.

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