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To The Rescue?




So it's been a while.
Hoping that all of you loyal Leo blog readers have been having a fabulous fall so far! Seriously, those of you old (and new) here, I still can't believe so many of you take the time to check in with the adventures of our little Leo cub.
As the years have gone by, I've kinda figured out why I keep the blog up, but I can only assume why so many of you keep reading it. I hope that my reasons for writing are maybe the same reasons y'all keep reading....let me know if I'm wrong on that by the way...
But.
I think I keep it up, not just for my own mental therapy reasons (which are many), but because I'm hoping that somewhere, Leo's story might give hope and perhaps comfort to someone who may be hurting and lost because of a similar situation.
Not that anybody's situation can ever be the same as anybody else's but I think you know what I mean. Fear, grief, uncertainty, medical trials- they pretty much are the same regardless of the situation particulars.
And man are there a lot of situations out there right now! Between the sickening political climate (or whatever the hell it is) in our own country and the atrocities happening elsewhere, jeez it's no wonder to me we are looking everywhere for comfort and reassurance....which brings me to halloween, and...superheroes...and why we love them so so very much! (Somehow if it goes well it will tie into Leo's story, I promise.)
Who hasn't ever dreamed or played at being a superhero? 
Even me, at my old and ripe age (33) can guiltily admit to a spot of Netflix superhero binge watching after the kiddos are in bed...who hasn't right? Right...?!?!
Anyway, the point is, we love our superheroes.
It's not hard to reason out why either, and even if the reasons seem like they came from a hallmark card: all that winning over evil with hope, love, self-sacrifice and of course some kick-ass powers...What is funny is that all that stuff doesn't seem to get old! Because even the old get a secret kick out of superheroes, as I've established. 
And never is this more clear than at halloween. The knee-high (and often much taller) parade of superhero costumes walking past our front door clutching candy baskets seems endless.
Why are we addicted to humans with super powers? I want to make the case that it isn't just about the super powers, I think it is also about the m.o. of the super hero; the mostly flawed, even perhaps seriously damaged individual who turns it all around in totally spectacular ways. (Just to say, because it has to be said: I'm pretty sure none of this can apply to our potential presidential candidates. Ain't no amount of super juice gonna help there.)
Sure it's great to see how each superhero deals with his or her own kryptonite, but come on, nobody over the age of six really believes that we can be a super hero ourselves, other than on Halloween night that is. However, even obviously knowing that we can never be bullet proof or able to fly, we all secretly hope that we can come out on the top of whatever crap pile we find ourselves in. Preferably in some awe inspiring way of course...
As I've been kicking these ideas around in my head, I had this crazy thought that it's not just the good guys we like, but it's the bad guys too. After the old and now probably iconic Batman movie where it becomes completely clear that Joker is pretty much the direct result of Batman's own hubris, we also realize that the bad guys call to us as much as the good guys. Every superhero is responsible for the creation of his own nemesis. And that my friends, speaks to us. That pile of crap we find ourselves in? Well...you get the idea.
Is it all just about perspective? Looking at something sideways instead of the same old same old? If you shine a different light on a bad guy, can he look like a good guy instead? Can we do that with our proverbial crap pile too? 
I think this is a lesson Americans especially really need to get in on. Bad guys are not always bad, and good guys aren't always good. Stuff in life goes up and down and even sideways too. I think  perhaps the Japanese Miyazaki movies might come the closest to truth in this regard, but even American superheroes ultimately can't completely take the truth out of the stories. It doesn't matter how bad-ass you are, you are also made out of your own probably flawed experiences and those of the people you happen to love.


The other day at work on a early misty morning I was able to capture this moment above, and it made me search around for the perfect caption:
"So the darkness
Shall be the light
and the stillness
The Dancing.
-T.S. Eliot
I think it's a superhero worthy moment.
Because the other thing superheroes have taught us, is that life happens in the split seconds between what we think is our long and, lets face it, usually boring reality; how shadows can show the light, how things we automatically think shallow can become quite deep, how up can also be down, and truly, how one moment of still attention in our crazy lives can define us and jolt our dull hearts into brightness. 
You have to be quick, maybe even have super speed, to really appreciate it to its true fullness,
but even without super speed, or x-ray vision, or time manipulation, we can get a sense of what it's like to be the king or queen of our own mountain. (Who says you can't make a dinky crap pile into a majestic mountain?)
I'd like to say it is just about perspective, but then I would also be missing the mark just a bit, because it's one thing to say it, and a totally different thing actually doing it. We can't just re-invent ourselves into a better, stronger, younger, more beautiful, successful, smart, yadda yadda, and etc etc versions...just by wishing it were so or even going out and finding a radio active spider. It just doesn't work. (Trust me on that one, it really doesn't work...)
Anyway, so other than binge watching our favorite super hero shows, how can we feel like our own superheroes? Cuz I think that is what we all need to be to each other. Think about it, wouldn't it be awesomeness? 
As long as we don't also become each other's nemesis, but unhappily, I actually think this might be happening already. Just turn on the news if you don't agree. It doesn't look like we need help in the bad guy department, we don't need any more divisive actions, or hate springing out of fear and whatever else is the opposite of love.
What it really comes down to is this: we can't do jack shit alone.
A superhero is only as strong as his +1; his sidekick, his team, his core, his, or hers...heart. Because even though it may be our own flesh, our heart beats to the rhythm of those who we love, and that is the only way we can be stronger, faster, smarter, or even remotely happy.
Even though all this may sound like it fits right into the corny halloween superhero aisle of your local wallmart, I can't stop thinking about how, unless we can become superheroes for those who we love, then what is the fracking point of it all anyway? Because life is so darn hard sometimes that giving up seems easy, and that is when we long for someone to come to the rescue, but the truth of the matter is, by rescuing someone else, even if it is with the last of our fading strength, we end up saving ourselves.
Every moment of every day, we get a chance to be a superhero for someone else, even if it's in some small super tiny way, like a kind word or a sign of attention, or even a prayer of faith or love sent zinging away into the sky, when ever we do something like that, we lighten the darkness by one small, but probably super strength, candle light. And cape. Never forget your cape people!

Photo of NICU baby whose nurse created a superhero moment! Now that's what I'm talking about!




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