Today I learned about this organization, International Bird Rescue and Research Center, that is spearheading the effort to capture, clean, rehabilitate, and finally release wild birds covered in oil from the disaster in the Gulf. They are the Red Cross for wild birds in oil spills.

I was grateful to finally learn about an organization that is doing something concrete to help. But beyond that, it occurred to me today that one of the reasons this disaster has felt so especially dreadful is because it feels like there is no way that ordinary ┬ápeople can help. Who’s in charge of the spill clean-up? Either BP or the government, depending.

It made me appreciate the power and importance of nonprofits in disasters– of being the eyes, ears, hands, hearts, and army of conscience on the ground– and the importance of feeling like ordinary citizens, thousands of miles from these kinds of crises, can at least do a little something to help.

Today I used the electric hand dryer rather than a paper towel in a public restroom. Not a big fan of the blow-dry, but did it anyway.

Today I gave two Muttville senior dogs a bath: BeeGee and Corey.

Today I’m struggling with low-level depression.

Here is the (incomplete) list of things I have found myself thinking about in order to soothe/distract/punish myself: food, sex, kenken, email, despair, self-loathing, my own death, my partner’s death, my dog’s death, baseball, politics, running through all the scripts about all the times I’ve been really, really right about something, all the times I’ve been really, really wrong about something, and all the things I “should” be doing.

Instead, I am trying hard throughout the day to carve out moments of staying with my feelings of sadness and aimlessness, and just letting them be.

Passing stuff along

Today I cleaned out some closets and drawers and made a donation to Goodwill.

This morning I was walking the dogs and saw some out-of-town folks trying to pay for parking with a credit card at an automated private parking lot across the street from our building. So I pointed out that since it was Sunday, street parking was free all day. They were so grateful!!

Today I took a brown paper bag from the Used Bags station at Rainbow Groceries and used it for my shopping. Then I brought it home and used it for my recycling.