It is not all good.
It is not all bad.
I’m talking about this day, this week, this year, this life we share, like it or not.
Last week, many terrible and shattering things took place.
Last week also included Hobbit Day, Bruce Springsteen’s birthday, the first day of autumn, and the Feast of Padre Pio.
(It also brought us Vin Diesel’s musical debut, but I’m not sure which category that belongs in.)
This week is anybody’s guess. Let the record show that I’m predicting wonderful and terrible things, small and large and personal and global, that will bring us together or tear us apart, drive us deeper into our quest for peace or send us shuttling off into our angry corners alone.
We can be like frightened children.
Or we can be like Bianca and Padre Pio.
Bianca is Tabby’s Place’s newest Weeble(TM), a wheat-colored wonder with cerebellar hypoplasia. Some people call this “the cute disease” and swoon for the tottering, tenacious cats who wobble and bobble their way through life. But some people find cats like Bianca hard to bear, turning away from the very sight of their awkward, laborious motions.
Although it’s painful for some to watch, CH does not cause a cat any suffering. Born with an underdeveloped cerebellum, the Biancas of the world simply learn to ambulate with their own kind of grace. They teeter; they tumble; they take their time like Mr. Rogers and take their pleasure in life everywhere a “normal” cat does. Bianca is no exception.
She is, however, exceptional.
There is so much joy in each of Bianca’s steps, it’s all we can do not to crank up the Vin Diesel bop and dance our heinies off beside her. (I can neither confirm nor deny that this has actually occurred and will occur again. Often.) There is so much love in Bianca’s bobbly, bubbly face that you can’t help but feel like History’s Best-Loved Being after just five minutes in her presence.
And there’s such an absence of angst in Bianca’s very being that you can’t help but get infected with peace. If you really want to hang onto your own worry, you’d best avoid this flailing phenomenon.
But I’d recommend you subject yourself to her as often as possible. She will extend her very personality into your soul, and you’ll be gobsmacked with peace, ready or not.
Getting back to Padre Pio (since I know you turn to Felis Catus for all things Padre Pio), we’d be wise to listen to this literal saint right about now. St. Pius of Pietrelcina, known to his friends, buddies and pals as Padre Pio, did not have an easy life. Afflicted with both physical and emotional suffering, he was nevertheless a fount of tenderness with a gift for reading hearts. He was known for his extravagance of love, his fatherly tenderness to all who turned to him, and, most of all, for these words:
“Pray, hope, and don’t worry.”
It’s not all good.
It’s not all bad.
It’s not all tenderness.
It’s not all stigmata.
We are not in charge.
We are utterly beloved.
We have the choice to thrash against the throes of our lives. Or, we can live as Bianca and Padre Pio, relentless in our love and revolutionary in our peace.
One more thing about Padre Pio: he was supposedly given the exceedingly rare, exceptionally weird gift of bilocation. I am not making this up. Numerous eyewitnesses attested to his simultaneous presence on different continents; to this date, he has been known to quite literally show up when people seek his help in prayer, ready or not. I can’t pretend to make any sort of sense of this, but neither could Padre Pio. The closest he ever came to giving an explanation was simply to say this happened “by an extension of his personality.”
How will you extend your personality today, kittens?
I leave you with this challenge: bilocate, in your own humble way, to the side of someone (human or otherwise) who needs your peace. Lavish it on ’em. And then sit back and marvel as you feel it grow. Even now. Especially now.
Need a refill? Come see Bianca.
It’s not all good.
It’s not all bad.
And there is great good in our power, and Bianca’s, even now.