avenues of sadness and the alleyways in between. / by Birdie Busch

This week was peculiar. A week in which a best friend went to the hospital to discover her immune system was that of a chemo patient with no concrete reasons as to why just clinical conjecture. Each blood test that came back was a cross off of relief. Meningitis-negative. HIV-negative. A week where I found two $100 bills in the street in a way that felt serendipitous, a universe token to give to an amazing artist  waitress friend to help alleviate some stress for missing shifts due to said sickness. A week where I got to open up for one of my favorite bands in a beautiful venue because I persevered to make it happen. So it seemed in keeping when I found the dresser. The 1930's Bakelite handled, inlaid wood beauty. I kicked my old dresser yesterday morning at its brokenness. I've been kind of balancing the drawers on nails inside it and when I open the t-shirt drawer the jewelry drawer falls down into the dresser and the scarab that rests in the top of a pewter box I have falls out. Sometimes I just wait a few months to place the scarab back into its indentation knowing it'll just happen again rather than gluing it.  I made the decision I'd try and get one at a thrift store that afternoon. But instead another lovely token.

Today I went to see Howard the guitar player from the Dixie Hummingbirds with Mr. Huff in a home in Germantown. He is the only original existing member. Huff was with me to revel in the joy of the dresser find, and remarked I'd probably be one of those guys with a pick up truck with stuff hanging out the sides if I could. And as we drove further west on Germantown Avenue he asked if we could visit Howard. Huff, while 89, has not had to succumb to such a place, but he doesn't have eyesight to drive, so he's been sorrow stricken that he can't visit Howard to keep him company. Howard, whose wife passed away in the two years he's had to be there, calls the place an avenue of sadness. It is somewhat crushing to visit a musical legend in such a place, whose mind is still so acute weaving elegant thoughts, with visitors few and far between, while being on the short leash of an oxygen tank. But it is also transformative when you breakthrough the confines, when you pull off the avenues and seek love any way you can. It leaves you with that kind of day that you go home and sew those buttons back on your shirt finally because your head is clear as a monks. Mr. Huff handed him a crumbled selection of bills that amounted to about $18 dollars and Howard took it like it was a golden pirate's coin, their eyes locking and holding back tears that seemed the perfect cocktail of both happiness and disgust for how things can end up.

It was a peculiar week. But one that I felt better to go through, an affirmation, a meditation. I am ever more aware that life is best when lived knowing that there is so much that is unpredictable but also so much that is not. We will build our lives through love and meet the hardships together, and through our intentions the mystery will rise to our occasions and acknowledge us with gifts.