Dog Daydreams

Wet hair and hot tea, a blue sky and a quiet house – but for the noises Leonard is making with his mouth. I’m not sure what that’s about. I’m heading into work in an hour. And I can feel the muscles in my back tense at the thought. I had no idea that I had such a need for predictability. Stability. The past 13 months of Covid restrictions changing almost daily – an outlining of new regulations followed by two pages of exceptions – I have thrown my arms in the air like one of those gas station inflatable tube figures. I wish I were more vocal, I would growl impressively, or roar. Instead I curse. That’s hardly charming.

After work I will go up to the studio and paint a little, and sew the new books. And everything will be all right again. I just need to rise above it until then – float over turmoil and the drama and the sudden jettisoning of work done for new assignments. Go with the flow – the rush – the flood – because fighting it is useless and self-destructive. How are we all not cowering in corners by now?

Maybe I need a good day in the mountains. This time last year, we were hiking with clementines and tea in our packs. Well, in E.’s pack. I was doing yoga on the flat boulders. Maybe there is some truth to the idea that our minds and bodies are so connected that a stiffening of one results in the stiffening of the other?

I didn’t choose a word for this year. But am very surprised that it is probably “brittle”. I feel brittle.

In some ways.

My internal life right now is actually very rich. I am writing and making things with my hands. I am reading and listening to interesting podcasts. Learning. So maybe it is all perfectly fine. Maybe this year isn’t brittle at all. Maybe it’s enclosed, like a tortoise, an oyster, a cocoon. I’m not a silver lining kind of gal, so that’s not what I am doing here. What is, is. To take a step back and see a larger picture doesn’t mean to search for compensation for having to accept what we don’t like. I think that’s a kind of religious thinking: God takes away and God gives. I guess some people find that comforting? I know we throw out those kinds of platitudes hoping to comfort people who are grieving, but I have yet to hear anyone say that it helps them to hear it. “Look at the bright side: I’m going to beat you bloody, but give you a cookie.”

No. I don’t see this little period of creativity that I am experiencing as compensation for anything in my life past or present. It just is.

And I know I shouldn’t cling to it. And as soon as I think this, I start to feel fear rise: what if it stops? What if I don’t have any ideas tomorrow? What if?

And I take a sip of my tea and take a deep breath and laugh at myself.

Clinging desperately is a habit. I think my spirit animal is a gecko.

All things change. Everything is impermanent. I can tell and retell my story any way I want. And it is probably best for me not to think of it as punishment and compensation. It just is.

Leonard is growling at my feet. Dreaming. I wonder if he remembers his dreams? Is disappointed when he wakes to find himself here in the bibliotekette instead of hiking in the mountains on this pretty day?

I wonder if he has a story?

I still don’t know what
people mean by it’s a dog’s life
– isn’t it our lives:
arbitrary, according
to who yanks our chain?

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