Awaiting a Gathering of Birds

In a couple of the places where we lived across our many years in Taiwan, bedroom walls didn’t extend to the ceiling. This probably helped ventilation, but it didn’t afford much privacy. At our first such place I filled the gap with boards, installing them with a hand drill and screws. 


In 1983 I helped some newly arrived friends do the same thing in a house they rented in Kang Shan. While drilling I developed a blister in the palm of my left hand. It looked like one of the stigmata, so I joked that things like this appeared annually on me during holy week. I was moved to think of that last week in Michigan.  

We planted lots of new stuff in what will eventually become a rain garden next to our street. My job involved using a broken-off D-handle from a shovel to poke holes in the soil. I’d neglected to don gloves, so after about 50 holes I had blisters on both hands. 

Now the blisters have burst and dried out, leaving me with what appears to be marks on my palms.  I feel like St. Francis of Assisi, just not so holy. I’m waiting for birds to gather.

David Alexander feigns holiness in Holland, MI after 39 years in Taiwan.

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