This lovely photo is of Memorial Bridge in Washington D.C. taken from the Virginia side.
It's also the site of where two cars and I crushed each other yesterday.
Virginia has some lovely crosswalk right where bridge traffic meets the highway on the roundabout.
A man stopped for a bike.
I screeched to a halt.
The man behind me couldn't stop his car.
Three car crunch.
We're all ok, thank you.
The man behind me felt really bad. He waited patiently as I spent 1 hour talking with the insurance folks and trying to see if my headlights worked.
He was so apologetic. I said, "It's okay, I just really wanted to use my car tomorrow to deliver food to homeless people."
He said, "Ugh, now I feel really bad."
So, I invited him to come with me on Thanksgiving to serve the homeless, elderly, poor and sick.
He said, yes! I welcomed him to our home for dinner afterwards.
So we made a good thing out of an-almost devastating situation.
I think we're a little far out from being able to ask ISIS' help to tend to the refugees. Since they're fleeing in part from ISIS.
But, still there was something hopeful in this Thanksgiving story.
As a scholar of language and conflict, I pay close attention to story lines and make sure I don't fall into problematic ones.
So, I consciously chose to not play the angry victim at the scene of a crash. I chose, instead, to make a friend.
He wasn't really at fault. It was a terrible intersection. No one got crunched, just our cars.
I will carry a reminder of this day with me. I want to apply it on a larger scale though still unsure how to apply it to ISIS.
Unlike my new friend, I cannot invite ISIS to thanksgiving dinner for at least three reasons:
1) It's a felony,
2) They'd probably kill me, and
3) They'd likely be terrible company.
That said, at least on a smaller scale, we don't have to perpetuate hate and react with anger when we receive a relatively small bop on the head.
I spent last week cleaning out the attic in my childhood home. This task had called me and pulled at me until I finally submitted, crouched down and opened up the archives of my life.
The "New Age" spiritual community often writes about the Akashic Records. They say these archives house a book on every soul -- all its lives past and present. We can know who we are and have been, they say, from these records.
While some say its possible to access this information from earth, I find old toys, college papers and long since extinguished Christmas candles far easier to grasp.
In the excavation process, one of the great treasures was a pile of poems and quotes that touched me.
I want to share one poem by Bill Holm...it seems fitting in light of fall and the events in Paris, Beirut, Baghdad and Mali.
"Above me, wind does its best
to blow leaves off
The Aspen tree a month too soon.
No use wind.
All you succeed in doing
is making music,
of failure grown beautiful."
(August in Waterton)
Sarah Federman, PhD
Enjoy these short blogs and videos designed to bring you a little cheer.
My other blog Language of Conflict addresses the importance of word choice and narration in conflict.
Finish and Flourish supports writers struggling to complete projects.