Sunday, November 30, 2014

Community of Crows

Mental health is an extremely complex subject that gifted healthy professionals must navigate. These learned women and men have the good fortune of centuries upon centuries of literature, experiments, conferences, writings and drug experiments to fall back on for insight when dealing with those of us that are experiencing mental anguish and turmoil.
I'm indebted to them for their hearts to reach out and help us. I'm ever thankful that they chose a profession that is ever evolving...never the same circumstances and rarely textbook to the point that they can enthusiastically grab the drab yellow folder with CURE #5 off of their shelf.
It's an interesting field. Cure #5 is a Unicorn...ever see one?
The goal of my therapist is to get me to the place where I feel that I can stop coming to see her. She's mentioned, not in so many words, that I won't be funding a cabin on a lake for her. I'll take that notion as a silver lining. 
Years of school etc to learn how to relate to the Broken. 
I have a thought about all of this. It's something that was bouncing about in my brain last night as I lay in my warm bed thinking of my homeless friends who have several issues of their own.
How many confused, frightened, desperate, lonely, drunk, drugged out, psychotic people THAT ARE INVISIBLE  ever get a God given moment of clarity where they can honestly notice that they need some kind of help?
And if they ever do hear that beautiful voice of they dismiss it as a devil? Do they ignore it as a guilty conscience? Was it delivered by some asshole in a nice suit as he gave a "fuck you" as they asked him for a bit of money? Was it YOU? Averting your eyes?
Fortunately for me, a person that you share this planet with was the one to tell me that I needed help. You may not meet her but that's neither here nor there. My point is, she hasn't given up (and in all honesty, she should have) What a shitty lot that has been cast at her.
There's hope. I hope for hope. She hinges the future on hope. Hope is a delicate thought that takes many consistently positive ongoing circumstances to be convincing. Lottery tickets hold no hope! The warmth of the morning sun kissing your face on a shitty day offers hope. If the Earth turns and there is no "sunrise" you'll know in about 39 seconds.
So...about these crows.
I'm fortunate to live in the shadow of 10,000 crows. Every evening as the sun begins to set, countless crows fly across East Vancouver to roost together in an evidently NOT secret location. I've followed them. Breath taking! Have you ever had the privilege? 
Almost nothing is known about why crows form these communal roosts or of the dynamics of the populations involved. It appears that crows will travel considerable distances to a roost, but that not necessarily every crow in an area will travel to a particular roost every night. There is some indication that some individual crows may go to a roost some nights but not others.
Those annoying birds go about the community on their own or in pairs and tidy up our trash. We hate their song...
In Alberta, rednecks are hired in towns to shoot them, sad really.
So tonight, as the crows commuted and cawed above me as I walked back from the shops, I began to think about how we humans interact with one another. I couldn't help but feel that we all fall far short.
My heart squeezed but I'm training myself to be positive (sorry Harry) to NOT compare us to crows.
And as I walked home, a white guy in a multicultural city, an older Sikh man in traditional dress randomly stopped me on the pavement and bid me Merry Christmas.
In an instant, my longing for the community of crows was satisfied! 


  1. Hope is a thing with feathers.

  2. Sometimes I feel like the "cloud of witnesses" - the communion of the saints - is like that glorious rushing of wings. By the way, I'm Michelle from Cornerstone days (back when I was a gawky, pimpley teenager who just wanted to disappear). I'm dating a fella who loves those exact crows you're talking about, and often mentions how he loves to catch the moment they fly back "home" (wherever that is).