When I was in seminary there was a guy who had a fat, furry cat in his third floor dorm room, and it would rest on the windowsill of the open window swishing its tail back and forth all day. It was a great view overlooking the quad on Brattle Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a location few if any of us would ever be able to afford in later life.
One day the cat fell.
No one knew how or why but someone saw it from below. As cats do when they drop, it landed on its feet. Still, the distance was great and the cat was in shock and damaged. It wobbled and limped to the front door of the massive brick building where someone let it in. Once inside, the cat made it to the first landing where it curled up in the corner. There it stayed.
For days, maybe longer, it remained in the corner sleeping or unconscious, we weren’t quite certain. I don’t know why the owner left it there but he did, placing a small bowl of water and food next to it. There were plenty of jokes and guffaws, as well as head shaking and earnest concern about the poor animal, sometimes coming from the same person. Nonetheless, the cat remained in the corner until one day it didn’t.
Suddenly it wasn’t there any more. One day it just got up, good as new, and proceeded up the stairs back to it’s owners room and the windowsill. It is the kind of thing that gives the myth of nine lives its legs.
Since the election I have been like that cat, and I suspect many of you have been as well. My news intake is minimal, just headlines and snippets of NPR. I do other things, and focus my attention elsewhere, and above all, refuse and dismiss the Facebook crap about Trump, Clinton, Sanders, and whatever else is related to them.
I can feel myself trying to heal, and in the healing seek some understanding. Pushing the borders of my peripheral vision and sharpening the clarity of what I see in front of me is all part of it too. I know there is a storm gathering and I want to be both grounded and healthy when it comes time to weather it, and maybe even fly a kite.