“Looks like your dog is walking you”. Harmless neighborhood remark. One I hear often, from many, as my dog drags me around the block.
Man, that comment absolutely ruffles my fur. I feel it start at the base of my spine, the hairs raising, right up to a lip curl, revealing fangs. Who knew I had ’em?
No. neighbor. You are wrong. The thing that has me by the neck, that is dragging me to and fro, threatening to pull me flat on my face on the icy sidewalk, is grief. And right now, I hate it. I resent it. And I really resent comments that refer to my dog training abilities.
It has been a rough week. I’m finding myself in a very emotionally unstable place. Probably shouldn’t even be driving. Everything in my path just seems to be an accident waiting to happen.
It has been hard making it to (and through) work. I am distracted, forgetful, tearful, an emotional time-bomb. So today at lunch I went to Starbucks, my saving grace, to reward myself. I pulled up toward the drive-thru and there was some lady, half pulled-over, half blocking the entrance, on her phone. Net result? I couldn’t tell if she was in line. Because she was on the phone, she didn’t react to my questioning hand gestures, so when the car in front of her moved, and she didn’t, I pulled forward, around her. This didn’t go over well. Apparently she was in line. Continue reading →
You give me a day or two of gentleness and hope. Maybe I can actually take on an extra task. Like grocery shopping, perhaps laundry, or sending a thank you note. And on this day, if a friend were to ask, how are you doing? The answer might even be, I am OK.
I’ve always loved camping. And I mean the real thing. As in, hiking, backpacking, and sleeping in a tent – not rolling up to the campground in a house on wheels.
First of all, I think it plays into some maternal instincts. Organize the gear, prepare the food, pitch the tent, fluff the sleeping bags. And realizing, there is so much you can easily live without. It’s fun to nest, and when you do it in nature, without a gizmo for every gazmo, you actually get creative. Using flat beach rocks to create a path to the tent, or little pine cones to write a love note, or a stick…the simplest but most useful of tools, sharpened and honed, just waiting to skewer a puffy marshmallow, or poke a friend. Or stab at a fish, for dinner. Ha ha, that would be stretching the truth, dinner comes from a can. Continue reading →
Sometimes I wonder if, on some level, deep in his body, he knew.
The tiredness, the headaches…?
I remember watching a show about dogs, and how they could sense when it was time for their owners to come home from work. They’d start getting themselves ready, pacing in excited preparation to make their big greeting. Probably, it was just the habit of it. We are creatures of habit, and dogs revolve around our routines. But I think dogs also have internal, intuitive clocks just like we do.
There’s a strange phenomenon taking place in my house. It’s not a huge place. We always thought it was the perfect size, for two, and possibly a third. But I just realized, as I went upstairs to my office, that I hadn’t been up there in days. Maybe even weeks. It almost felt like I was walking into a stranger’s office…a half empty mug of coffee, dried up and hardened on the table, papers here and there, a poster had started curling off the wall. It looked abandoned. Un-lived in. Un-loved. It would seem that I’m only living in half of the house.
And then there’s the matter of the old calendar, stuck and spooling in the month of December. I can’t bring myself to take it down. While I know I should be kind and patient with myself, I can’t help but wonder about me, and my life, circling around in the twilight zone of last year. In this house, where rooms are half empty, half clean, a mess of his stuff and mine, some things have been moved, to accommodate some semblance of future as a single dweller, and some things, like the little bowl with two pills (one of the last things my husband touched) are practically cemented in place. Relics of another time.
I attended our company holiday party the other night. It got rescheduled due to the winter storm we had in December, and took place at a quirky german place called the Essen Haus. There would be pretzels, polka and beer.
I had avoided some previous company events, but felt like I could brave this one. I need to re-integrate. Many of my co-workers are also friends, a wonderfully wild bunch…and, there would be dinner…a huge motivator…as I am still not eating well.
We just had an unseasonably warm couple of days…and as I was walking the dog, noticing the snow patch diminishing, I saw some grass peeking through. Contrary to how it usually looks (brown and dead), it was still green. Hmmmm, maybe this winter will be a mild one, a short one.
The thought sent a jolt of anxiety through my body. Anxiety and fear. By the time I got home, I was feeling kind of sick to my stomach. What the hell? Am I scared of “spring”?
We all know how nature is. The truth of it. You find a baby bird on the ground, its wobbly head and paper-thin skin, and you debate…and worry…and try to make the “right” decision, a decision that is “of nature”, when our humanity crosses paths with the wild of it.
And this time, perhaps you are able to get the little chirper back in the nest. And then you cross those fingers that mama bird, and mother nature will accept your intervention.
I know I can’t escape my sadness. The truth of it. That I too, am injured, vulnerable, a wounded animal that no one can save. And so we all sit, in different places, hoping, perhaps praying, or back to doing dishes, then down for a good night of sleep, not knowing if that baby bird will survive the night, or ever take a first flight.
It’s the nature of it. Of life and love, and trying to help someone who has suffered a loss.
Sometimes the most comforting thought to me, is being rescued by my husband’s beautiful strong hands, as he gently places me back in the nest. Broken wings, barely breathing, that he loved me, and cared for me, if even for just a short moment, that’s enough to get this little bird through the night.
I love flying. Even in this day of unglamorous, snack-less, dirty-plane and screaming-passenger travel, I still love going to airports, watching planes take off and land, the rush and pressure of physical forces on the body during a take-off. A window seat is a must for me, I would rather be squeezed in a corner than miss the view.
I wanted to be a pilot for a while, took lessons, flew solo in a small Cessna plane, also parachuted for my 30th birthday. A breathless and exhilarating celebration of my life, and love of the skies. I am my father’s daughter. He, long before me, loved flying, and had an amazing life-long career in aeronautics that brought him and my mom to this country over 40 years ago. What an adventurous spirit he was.