Picking a Fight

I want to pick a fight with someone & win. My fists bloodied & successful. My rage delivered in a physical way. Where does this urge come from? Is it ugly or true? Am I just the only one admitting my urge to fight & win?

I told my friend Peter about this urge decades ago. We sat on a bank of grass next to the sidewalk. The sun was warm. He told me that I couldn’t do that. He said, “Listen to me. This is not a good idea. Look at your size.”

Oh Petey, I get it. I was tiny then. I am tiny now. All the colors of St. Paul met in your nonjudgmental love for me.

Nancy, do not pick a fight.

My fight is with this world that takes whatever it wants. Sometimes my empty hands want to punch someone’s lights out. Oh Lord, give me a place for my rage.

All week the world has rained. I walked and walked last night. Near the end of my walk, I realized it’s Holy Week. Stormy weather always arrives during Holy Week. It’s a small bit of belief left within this almost 49-year-old body. I see the story of sacrifice, the Easter story, and I want the hope within it. I want the stormy weather, the big love, and the rising. I hold out my empty hands and I want to fill them with hope.

Peter’s ghost travels in the blue light of dusk. Lately hummingbirds keep crossing my path. A hold on to a tiny, hooked beak of the hummingbird I saw on a telephone wire in front of my driveway. I hold on to the green hummingbird that furiously flapped its wings while hovering in front of my dining room window. Three seconds of beauty. A fast flash of a small green body.

The world is always here offering its story again and again. My hands are empty. My rage is real and I walk with it until I can set it down for a while. Liz pulled a cherry blossom out of my hair after my return home last night. What I see asks me to be OK with my empty hands. Everything keeps leaving and arriving. Arriving and leaving. Full and empty. Stormy. The blue sky of dusk. Green hummingbirds and winds that carry ghosts. The world answers in images. It’s all I have to give you.

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