And so this week’s moment of happiness despite the news.

I’ve been feeling like the world has been so incredibly loud lately. Everything is a shout. Everything is a raised fist. Faces everywhere are pulled in expressions of anger or horror.

It’s just been so loud.

Covid, of course. Still Covid.

Guns. Guns. Guns. Shootings, killings. Men, women, children. Children. And idiots who claim they need their AK-47 war weapons to kill prairie dogs. An ex-president who dances on stage after announcing and mispronouncing the names of children who died at the hands of a boy who bought such guns on his 18th birthday, when he couldn’t even legally buy his first drink.

Roe vs. Wade. People who say they have a right to personally own weapons of war, but women don’t have a right to their own bodies.


The January 6th hearings.

It’s been so, so loud.

It was in this mindset that I went to bed last night at 3:00. I did my usual before-sleep meditation, but it didn’t help much. Then I rolled over to go to sleep. My side of the bed faces big windows, and during good weather, I don’t close the shutters. And I leave the windows wide open. So my eyes, which didn’t want to close, looked right outside, from three stories up.

There was fog.

Everything was the softest of gray, backlit to a glow by the lights it covered. I can’t say it looked like lace or cotton or clouds or felt. It just looked like quiet. And it was quiet. We live in the city and it seems there’s always sound coming from somewhere, particularly lately with all of the construction. But there was nothing. No traffic. No sound. Quiet.

The fog turned the world into a whisper.

The sigh I released was one of such intense relief, my body shuddered with it. It was likely enough to blow the fog away, but it didn’t. It stayed and it glowed. Quiet.

And then a bird began to sing.

If you know me, and if you follow this blog, you know I hate birds. More than that, I am deeply afraid of them, particularly red-winged blackbirds. I am in the two months of summer where I am very limited where I can go, because of birds and their nesting seasons. I can’t even walk through my parking lot and through Walgreens parking lot, because a family that lives in between insists on feeding every bird in the state of Wisconsin, and red-winged blackbird calls are everywhere.

On this night, a bird sang. This bird typically does this every night, between three and four o’clock. I don’t know what kind of bird it is, but it’s a single bird. And I find it very annoying, I often have to get up and shut the windows and shutters to block the sound.

But this night, I listened. The notes were clear, the fog was quiet. The bird sang in the whisper.

My shoulders released. My eyes closed of their own accord. And I fell asleep.

It amazes me how little annoyances, little fears, can become beautiful when the bigger picture shouts its way into your life.

I woke, of course, to a shouting world. But I remind myself to look out the window and remember the whisper and the song. The fog likely won’t return tonight. But the bird will.

I will listen.

And yes, that helps. Despite. Anyway.

I didn’t get up to take a photo last night, so I decided to include a photo of an evening when the fog was so beautiful along the Oregon coast.
Walking along the Oregon coast. My favorite place in the world.

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