Posts Tagged ‘Animals’

sartre lives

In a word, GR, NAUSEA.

So.  We now have Turkey, Baton Rouge, Minnesota, RNC., the Mediterranean Sea full of ghastliness, somewhat reminiscent of Otay Mesa, and more.  Even the police around here are nervous, looking at everyone as though a barrage of gunfire will erupt at any moment.  Given that it appears that the police around here are crack shots, based on the news, I don’t know why they’re uneasy. Yes, being a policeperson is a challenging job.  But no, you don’t just get to shoot people because they’re…well, whatever.  We are, after all, supposed to have a “rule of law”.  Not a rule of, I don’t like how you look so you are getting blasted to kingdom come. And, if you are being honest, you have to admit that this sort of thing happens All the Effing Time.  Here.  And, everywhere.  But the U.S. is kind of an epicenter of violence, oddly enough.  Or not oddly.  Just enough.

Moreover, it’s a really humiliating, more than usual even, time to be an American citizen, what with this “election”.  I look at the images of the individuals “in power” on TV, everywhere.  Istanbul to Cleveland, all of it.  Nobody looks even remotely human, like they’re not from this planet at all.   I’m horrified and saddened even though I am fairly sure this is all part of an evolving cosmos and world and really it will all be as it should, and fine, and well.  Still.  This is not the world I thought I used to live in.  I’m sorry, but really.  Trump? it’s totally inconceivable that anyone with even a small portion of a working brain could think he would be a functional, positive, competent leader of anything.  His business record includes, to my understanding, SEVERAL bankruptcies, not just one- and what this means? Is he defrauded everyone who invested in him.  UNBELIEVABLE FINANCING, we might call it. So, voters? Caveat emptor.  Just bring a barf bag and your check book.

But of course those feelings will not move us forward, and forward we must go.  In our world, we still have one person down and massive gardening duties as one result.  The Dog is using this time to great advantage.  For the first few days he ran wild outside, doing Bad Things Which Culminated in Vomiting since Mommy was Busy Elsewhere (with Daddy, of course).  Now we’re in more of a turbulent holding pattern, and for the four plus hours or so it takes to do what absolutely has to be done outside every day (temperature setting on BROILER), the Dog is in a state of bliss.  He paddles front paws in his water tub (yes, he does want to go swimming), flies over the deck with those same wet paws outstretched and tail extended gracefully, rolls in stickers and sits in mud.  He laughs, he smiles, he races back and forth carrying either an old slipper or small log in his mouth.  On the whole, it is in fact a lot of fun, I am getting MUSCLES.  Serious muscles, Gentle Reader.  Sort of an odd time in life to get buff but it is what it is.  And the plants are happy which is the true Big Deal.  We’ve got cucumbers and zucchini and grapes and chard already, which is exciting especially given my spotty  focus this year.

Other than that? I’ve had only one brilliant idea.  Kentucky Fried Chicken has had some, for them, quite witty commercials lately, featuring different people as Col. Sanders.  The most recent one features George Hamilton. ( Extra Crispy.)  I think the obvious next choice for the Colonel is Christopher Walken.  Followed by Samuel. ( Jackson, that is.)  It’s good to know in this dizzying world that I can still have ideas, after all.

I leave you with a picture of someone who does not like papparazzi:

dontwakeme

And of course, my thanks for reading.

shaken AND baked

The Dog is taking the triple digit heat in a Sensible Doggy Way.  He’s snoring on his bed, coming out periodically for ice cubes and the odd chicken dog sausage.

I’m sitting in a heat induced stupor with spinning wheels, for the most part.    The one year I am totally on top of starting my seeds, it’s too damned hot to plant the seedlings.  My Looming Project, re-doing the website, is acting like a wayward foxtail in a sock and making me the teensiest bit anxious and procrastinatey.  Partly it’s because I read an old blog about when I did it the first time, so long ago.  I forgot how much screaming was involved and the over the top frustration level (oh, you mean this browser DOESN’T SUPPORT THIS ACTIVITY? AND YOU SAY NOTHING IN THE INSTRUCTIONS?), and the daily tide of you can’t keep a thought in your head for two seconds is not abating around here.  I realized I was fretting over a shopping cart button, in short, while I was looking for remnants of a thyme plant.

Deciding to abandon that for the present in order to wipe the sweat out of my eyes, I’ve been trying to also not focus on the fact that Donald Trump is making an appearance in this podunk place today, at the Redding Airport. Waving to the Folks from his Personal Plane.  Suddenly we exist here, it seems.  Bernie came to Chico, which makes some sense as he actually has a brain and some ideas.  But Trump is the LAST thing anybody up here needs since they’re mostly 98% fully crazed and well armed to begin with.  A conservative hotbed where until quite recently I could count the number of black people I’d seen on one hand, and men in the post office make jokes about how the only “Allah” they like is “ala carte”.  Haw haw and all that.  They’re probably lapping his antics up like seals getting fish in a circus, right this minute.

That may not, in fact, sound very “nice”.  And there’s always the thing of not letting the other person’s Stuff poison you.  But there’s also such a thing as kowtowing to the fuckery and I for one am struggling with balancing the overt perfidy of people with the truth of our oneness and the absolute necessity of honoring that through love.  I’m tired of acting like this whole thing is working.  I read recently a good analysis of anger and resentment, which we see manifesting on every news program and interview.  Anger happens when you learn something you didn’t know (in this case it might be something like: There will never be a decent job for you, so sorry), and resentment is doing something you don’t want to do.  Which in this case seems to mean behaving cooperatively and as though one is not the entirety of the universe.  The hangdog, uninformed victimization one so often sees is very disturbing indeed, since it leads to so many problems down the road.  People believe things they must on some level know are not true- but hey, they saw it on the internet.  Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees are coming into the country.  If so, where are they?  Not here, since they’re not coming.  The Egyptair flight that went down- Trump brayed out that it was a terrorist bombing.  At present that doesn’t seem the most likely cause.  Will he ever acknowledge he shot his mouth off without knowing what he was talking about?  Given that the answer to that is a no doubt resounding NO, is this the sort of person you really want wielding power?  I’m not saying I’m happy with the other part of the spectrum which seems to be in favor of supporting the noxious status quo.  Still, it seems a sounder choice than someone who behaves as though being a crude embarrassment to the human race is a good thing.

The bigger problem with this is, of course, that people gravitate to such negativity, such bullying, and such straight-up disrespect for intellect and cooperation and each other.  Not to mention plants and animals.  Sometimes I think we’ve been so saturated with TV, computer, media images- where everything is split second, truncated, and meanings are fluid- that it has changed the very ability to pay attention.  There doesn’t seem to be much of that going around.  It’s like everyone is following the breadcrumb trail left by the evil empire, not caring if they’re going over a cliff or not.

Knowing as we do that this sort of thing has gone on for all time, just like people forgetting to put everything back in their picnic basket after lunch and then criticizing each other when the spoons seem to have disappeared, it still seems a challenging thing to resolve.  I do believe that things will shift and change, and that more and more human beings are rising to just that occasion- being real human beings.  This is a matter of joy to me whenever I encounter someone who is actually Living their Life.  Maybe that’s the thing.  So many of us are trying to run away from ourselves, our feelings.  So many people don’t even cook their own food.  So many don’t understand that they have abdicated their ability to think for themselves, and as a result will say things like “all the prices went up right after the minimum wage was raised and it just made things worse”.  No ability to look and see, or see what you’re looking at, or that hoary chestnut, consider the source.

When I did my herb farm apprenticeship, one of our teachers said we should remember that one day soon, planting your own food and medicine would probably be a crime.  At the time I thought it was a bit hyperbolic.  Now I’m not so sure.  But I’m certainly going to keep doing it.  (As we all should.)  And remember that loving kindness is worth more than almost anything- except perhaps water.  And air.  And Earth.  And ice cubes, if you’re a dog.

 

watching sports

I never watched sports before as much as I do now.  Baseball is a favorite and I miss, more than I would have imagined, being able to actually go to a game.  The expanse of green, the zen-like progress of the games, rooting for one’s team with cocktail in plastic glass raised high.   Television is a poor substitute but now I am incredibly grateful for the few times a game comes on- no cable here, G.R.  The Partner has now managed to explain golf and football enough that I can actually enjoy watching them, for a minute anyway.  I can appreciate the parameters but not get lost in them, so they don’t really count when things get rough.

Then there’s soccer.  Egalitarian, dramatic, impossibly corrupt.  How many leagues are there? Championships? Organizations? Zillions, it seems.  It’s hilarious to compare the difference between announcers, too.  The English are dry and understated (a murmur of “he’s been badly treated” about someone who’d got very mauled indeed and no foul called) and the announcers on Univision and Telemundo are hysterical.  !!NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! and the endless “GOLLAZO”.  I even recognize their voices now, Bermudez being a sort of favorite.

So while I’m sitting here today, watching Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid duke it out, coloring an impossibly complicated coloring book drawing, I’m trying to recover from the feeling of being a mirror that got a big rock dropped on it from a height.

It’s the usual thing, enduring the losses life brings and the deaths that occur daily in big and small ways.  Soccer makes me think of my dear friend and the ridiculous coffin story she has about her husband.  You can’t imagine, she said.  NOOOOO, I said.  Not one of those FURRY FAKE VELVET COFFINS? Yes! she said. How’d you know???  I covered my eyes and said- it wasn’t day glo orange was it? Fortunately not, it was the other choice, royal blue.( I guess you have to be in Mexico or Central America to get those orange ones, which just seem too shocking to be real.)  They’d asked if green was available, the color of the favored local soccer team, but that wasn’t available for another few weeks.  We discussed the possibility of her getting a future green coffin, and the overall desirability of a “natural” death.  Meaning, at home.  Meaning, so what if the house burns down at some point down the road and one is in it? Clarity there.  No prolonged illness or hospital or any of that.  We agreed that we’d both like that best.  Good, I guess, to get that settled.

It didn’t, however, help at all this week when we found out that a long time friend has a serious illness.  Really serious.  Just a sock in the jaw out of the blue, and I was amazed by how much this news hurt and made the whole world just look so dark.  Of course the important thing is to think positively, be as supportive and helpful as possible.  Yet and still such news inevitably brings up all the old memories of all the other deaths, the residual pain and questions.  Which gets you smack into Your Very Important Story.  Which is not where you need to be.  Maybe ever.  I suppose it is the actual nature of things that one gets flung hither and yon by life, and the sense to be made of that is always in flux, always being revealed.  All you can ever really hope for in a way is to be able to keep the hooks of fear and anger from taking root in your brain and twisting your perception into some fiendish pretzel shape.

This is what makes watching sports stabilizing in a way.  It’s another story, another constellation of moving parts upon which you can focus until the breathing returns to normal.  Especially important now, too, to focus on something that takes one’s mind off the potential disaster of The Trump becoming….fearless leader.  Watching yet another soccer game, we were aghast to see a red baseball cap on a participant that said “Let’s Make America…” on one side.   As we clenched our collective teeth in eye watering horror, the guy turned his head and revealed the rest of the message..”Part of Mexico Again”.    That may wind up not being such a bad idea.  ‘Course what I think? is it should be Native land again, altogether.  But that’s another train of thought and right now? I’m in the switching yard from Purgatory, trying to make sense of things and see which freight to hop.

The Dog, of course, is like salvation on four legs.  After telling the neighboring cat to clear out of the garden in No Uncertain Barking Terms at 4:20 a.m. this morning, he trotted back to bed, laid down next to me and put his head smack on my heart.  Sighed deeply, went to sleep, and snored just the tiniest bit.  It’s like he’s always telling me things are really OK, don’t worry.  And? come out and play with me.  His advice is always stellar.  I guess I should take it.

the dial got stuck

Indeed it did, Gentle Reader.  For the past few weeks the setting has been permanently on CLUSTERF***.

One tiny example? No internet or phone for a week during which my email “chats” (from my landlady’s where I was perched between a cat litter box and a saddle) with the satellite provider started being all caps. As in, NO.  MY INTERNET ISN’T WORKING AT ALL YOU CAN’T DO A TEST ON THE LINE.  NO.  I DON’T HAVE A PHONE BECAUSE IT’S CONNECTED TO THE SATELLITE. THERE IS NO PHONE WHERE I AM.  WE ARE OFF GRID.  SEND HELP.  That sort of thing.  Finally, after extended misadventures, workability returned to the ethers and the entire system was replaced.  For once none of this was even remotely my fault. This miracle entailed a visit from the person who owns the “dealership” here, who asked me out for a drink with the Partner sitting there and with his wedding ring shining brightly- right after he told me about his private plane.  Are your neighbors 7th Day Adventists with a landing strip? I asked him.  Deflection scored.   I’m telling myself it’s all fine even though all the ideas I was brimming with when this latest crash happened, for the website and whatnot, and of course brilliant blog musings, evaporated like the fog rising from the ground last night after it rained.  Even the part where we ended up dispatching and then cremating a scorpion who’d mysteriously appeared in the middle of the floor with its tail raised ever so adorably (the P: What’s THAT? Oh, SHIT.  Me: What? OH. SHIT.).

In the meantime all sorts of other things have been revealing themselves and it seems clear now that we don’t, in fact, live in Kansas anymore (in both personal AND cosmic ways of course) and none of the people we used to know remember us except in the most fetishized sort of way.  The Giant Finger that is public/government involvement in one’s life (think insurance, and certain other basic things, like registering to vote plus various other matters the County involves itself in) has been showing itself to be ever more puckish, which contributes to 1) A bit of screaming 2) Deep breathing 3) Acceptance that one seriously needs a new map.  It’s a kind of condensed grieving, actually.  Where you grieve for yourself as the human you thought you used to know you were, and the life you thought you used to live.

The truth of course is nicely put by Wendell Berry:

“When I rise up/Let me rise up joyful/like a bird.

When I fall/let me fall without regret/like a leaf.”

It takes some practice but it IS possible to greet all the pits with the stakes and the live tigers as ways to do it differently.  Ways to see it differently.  I’m thinking now that if you can at least catch yourself sometime in the 24 hour period during which these things hit, you’ve got an excellent chance of doable change in circumstance.  The question is, what do you do during that gruesome 24 hours when your stomach is in your toes, your heart is torn and your head aches?  What you do is stop, and breathe, and WAIT.  Let yourself have time to speak.  Then, of course, you have to listen- which doesn’t have to be so bad once you firmly stick to the NO JUDGMENT rule.  You can, and often probably should, decide not to do or feel or think certain things again, but you mustn’t torture yourself for having done them.  Or as the case may be, not done.  It’s all a springboard, weirdly enough.

And in more important news, the Dog is almost a year old.  At 75 pounds he is what a PetCo employee admiringly said, a “tight-looking dog!”.  Even though he has taken to rushing to his bed and pretending to snore when it’s bath time, he’s really VERY handsome. The Partner took him shopping for birthday toys and evidently it was a smashing success, with the Dog investigating all appropriate items, sniffing bones, and even playing with another 11 month old.  mycouch2The romantic hues of this photo show that…well.  He takes up the entire couch now.  It’s admittedly not a big couch but it is about….five feet long? He revels. When we’re out his smile disarms even the crankiest individual. We’re still looking for a chew toy that will last more than 56 minutes and not hurt him if he swallows any of it, but I suppose that is the Quest Perilous in which we try to prove ourselves Worthy.  Prithee, Sir? doth this chew toy ring satisfactory and please thee? Anyway,  I’m making hummus for his birthday next week- it’s his favorite.  So far.  Right after potato curry and home-ground hamburger.  Little nibbles, of course.

Thank you and bless you, ALL!  as we continue on this ever wilder ride.

yonder: wild and blue

It’s hard to say what’s been occupying my mind of late.  There were a lot of “things” that happened and required a long, taxing slog through what I actually “think”.

Sometimes, it really is true, we hold beliefs about ourselves that are inimical to growth.  Or peace of mind.  Then we have to actually just look at those beliefs and put them in context.  Things really are dependent upon each other and try as you may, finding an exact individual starting point for anything is not generally doable.  Therefore, limiting beliefs are the result of a CONTEXT that had a lot of things in it which were aimed at being limiting: aimed at controlling us for one reason or another.  Aimed, also, at being the authority we’d accept.

When the Partner remarked to me the other evening that, given my history, the only way I ever really had to go psychologically  was UP, it made me think about how many of those limiting, destructive beliefs I’d adopted as reality.  And about how much they cut me off from what I am as a person.  (Whatever, uhm, that may be)  And then?

I had an experience of something that even still I had difficulty believing could be true.  It kind of dovetailed with becoming aware of how much not being able to take certain things seriously, largely relating to self worth, had held me back.   It also related to the ambivalence I saw in myself about my sense of reality- which is that everything is alive and moving and we CAN, if we choose, heal ourselves- maybe even cure.  A constant back and forth I didn’t even know was happening.   Anyway, I met another person who works in related arts, who “worked” on me, and helped me in the most profound way I can remember.

So.  I am here to tell you for absolutely dead bang certain that you CAN change the things in your life that don’t work.  Obviously this involves some distance from the capitalist model of money equaling success, and movement toward understanding that success is no more, or less, than LIVING and ENJOYING your life.    We’ve had, for example, the ongoing crap shoot of life here which has involved several largish unexpected expenditures- which is usually right up there on the disaster scale around here. ( A rock hit and shattered the back window of our car, for one thing.  With all the hilarity that ensues.)  But this time? It didn’t stress me out.  Earlier that day I’d spoken with a friend who has recently been diagnosed with leukemia.  We agreed that actually the diagnosis didn’t make a bit of difference- what mattered was still the quality of each moment and what this person DOES in those moments.  And that quality is something that we can influence, unlike most other things.  Something about the healing work I received finally really sank in and the actual joy I felt upon realizing I wasn’t upset about all the crap that just happened…was beyond words.

This helped also with the Dog.  He dashed through a foxtail forest getting one lodged in his ear.  Vet bills ensued.  But even though I was worried about him, I didn’t lose it.  Instead I was able to marvel at how GOOD he was at the Vet’s even though they were pulling something out of his ear.  He was with one of his “girlfriends” and watching through the window, I saw him resting calmly against her.  She had her arms around him and was scratching his head.  The Vet was in the affected ear with Something Official Looking.  And he? was smiling radiantly.   There is a light in the world, Gentle Reader, and we can see it more often that we think.  Sometimes all it takes is a friend and a 70 pound Dog.

fire and rain

I actually drove through such a thing this past week.  As you go north from Berkeley up to Redding, I-5 passes rice fields which, at this time of year, are burned.  The smoke, a very particular shade of brown,  is generally so thick while this happens that you can’t see anything, which makes driving even more problematic than usual (what with dozing truckdrivers and skinheads in pickups with hand grenade decals covering their back windows).  On this particular day, the fields were on fire, and the smoke rose up covering the horizon like a giant man standing square across the freeway, bending down with his arms ready to scoop up all who passed through.  It was also pouring rain. So it was strange, seeing flames and smoke in the midst of a downpour which turned into a hard and fast hail a few miles up the road.  By the time I got home, the sun was shining and it was hot.

The sensation of passing through something that was trying to scoop me up was intense and there really was a sensation of relief and escape as the smoke disappeared back down the road.  Naturally this made me think about THE SAME OLD THING- what is to be done?  We all have these tableaux daily, moving through time, approaching danger and reaching safety- and of course vice versa.   Now, whether or not you believe denial is a river in Egypt, it truly feels as though all of us are on the brink of a colossal drop into something malevolent.  It also seems to me that this malevolence has been, essentially, conjured by the absolute refusal to awaken, and the greed, of the tiny number of people who actually run the world.  Bill Maher pointed out in one of his New Rules that the six Walmart heirs have the same assets as 130 million of their fellow Americans.  Six.  One hundred and thirty.  Need I say more?

I also had occasion of late to observe the very real class differences in this country, which are supposed not to exist.  They do, though, and the sense of entitlement of those in the gravitational orbit of the “top” is quite striking.  They clearly live in another world from the one I’m in, and the one I’m in? Can just go to the infernal regions as far as these fine folks are concerned, and the sooner, really, the better.  All very polite of course, but really.

Still, one endeavors to see beyond the “apparency”, and even though the conduct of politicians and the powerful is reprehensible for the most part (do we even need to name names?), there really is something more, and that more, however obscured, is in fact what affirms life rather than monetizes it. No matter how dark it seems.  It is in the move toward that “something more” that, bit by bit, the light begins to be ever more equal to the dark, it seems to me.  I’ve spent years (ACTUAL YEARS) trying to open myself to this “what is” and now while my mind says, OMG! DUDE!  WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE! my heart says, all is well.  Love, and keep your eyes open.

And love is something a whole lot more all encompassing than I ever thought.  I realized the other night that even now my understanding of love is limited.  Love is really a universal, everywhere all the time, trans AND impersonal force.  If you can stay with that love, the answers may not be immediate but the questions are pertinent and revealing.  It also turns out that staying in that love also allows you to walk away from things that harm you, and lets you know that no harm really results from being truthful in a spirit of love.  My success with this is spotty, of course, but there is ever more of it, so who am I to complain?

In other perhaps more important news?  All the seeds I planted are coming up and the happy dance is being done daily.  Squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, cabbage, beets, sunflowers, peppers!  AND.  The vet originally said he thought there were probably three dogs in The Dog.  We had two narrowed down, retriever and pit bull.  The third dog has finally stepped up, unequivocally.  And the prize goes to GREAT DANE.  I kid you not, Gentle Reader.  The long, narrow fingers of the paw, the slim but graceful hips, not to mention the facial markings.  Not to mention the TALLNESS and the LONGNESS OF THE LEGS and BODY.  And the all round general ever bigger overall stature.  So it’s exciting.    We really are running with the Big Dogs.

love made visible

So yes, Gentle Reader, I do wake up in more or less a state of anxiety every day.  It’s better than it used to be, for sure, and offers AMPLE OPPORTUNITY for re-reading the Dalai Lama (I even understand parts of what he’s talking about now, which amazes me) and pondering the truth of impermanence and the space in things, and how it all interacts with us so that change is possible.  We got change if you want it, in other words.  And even if you don’t, so it’s wise to pay attention.

ANYWAY.  Today, after such a morning’s brain trajectory, it was another breakfast with the Partner and the Dog.  The Dog has recently been Saved by Benadryl and is quite bouncy now that he’s over his massive allergic reaction to grass. (WE, however, are still exhausted from the stress.) Even though he is not a small individual, he is totally confident that he can sit on your lap and crawl up on your shoulders.  While this is not a completely pain free experience for the sittee/the Partner, I can tell it’s fun because of the huge smile on the sittee’s face.  This morning was extraordinary because, as I sat with my tankard of coffee and the Dog stretched up and over the Partner’s back, suddenly I saw an incredible glow and the Partner looked twenty years younger.   I mentioned it and he said he reckoned it was from all the licking he’d received a few minutes earlier- the saliva acted like super serum.  He can be very funny that way.

But what I saw was, in the Partner’s words, the Dog laying a lot of love down on him.  I actually SAW love, and boy is it beautiful. Golden, light, happy.  Really, it is about the only thing worth focusing on, because it can do anything- and we have to learn to allow such things to happen instead of, as so often happens, wondering what will happen when a winged pig flies into the house brandishing a super soaker.  Apparently having a dog is one of the basic elements in that Instruction, which seems to be: You’ll never understand it all, but you can, and should, enjoy it all more often than not.

something, and more of it

A bit of a rocky start today, Gentle Reader.  Notwithstanding first crack out of the bag chest pain which I chalked up to…oh, reality? it was dicey.  The french press plunger decided to spray boiling hot water and coffee grounds all over a fresh loaf of bread instead of plunging down and keeping it in the pot as per usual.  The Dog went out and rolled, quite comprehensively, in Shit. This caused The Partner to blow a tiny part of a gasket and *I* did not take it as well as I might’ve.  Probably I was still reminding myself not to get a big head about just proceeding with the coffee, smarting burn and smile in place.  Sometimes hissy fits are unavoidable, sadly.

So, what is it? that keeps us from staying on an even keel.  Some days the quotidian pile up of whatever it is, be it dishes, vacuuming, armed struggle with the phone company AND the post office (come out big, right?) just gets to be like noxious fumes that remove one’s ability to concentrate on the task at hand and perhaps lapse into total stupor.  No, No! Just do it, I say to myself. Like what you do, and all that.  For the most part I do, but on days like today when it seems like the last bit of wherewithal has been drained from me, like from a car up on a  mechanic’s rack, I can’t figure it out.  Ah well.  Now, the Dog is muscling up on the keyboard, because he has something to say.  Which is, as usual from Dogs, sage advice about how enjoyable things really are if you just play a little bit, then take a nap.

The days when I have no certitude about what I doing, or  want to do, are the days when I don’t want to play, exactly, OR take a nap OR cook anything because why? Too anxious.  And that means I am not in the now, which pretty much always leads to problems.  Thank goodness this Highly Intelligent Dog came to live with us and point such things out.  I just wish it could happen less frequently right after Shit has been Rolled In.  Then again, when better?  I’m now going to go and thank him properly, which will no doubt involve his favorite treat.  And since they’re all favorites, see how easy?  All better.

 

 

clouds of color

The wild plum and cherry trees are blooming now, and they look like clouds that have come down to earth to talk.  The redbuds came out all at once, from Monday to Wednesday, and the juxtaposition of mauve and ivory against the brilliant green of the pastures and the varying foam green and pink hazes of the trees beginning to leaf out against a brilliant blue sky is astonishing, to say the least.  Dot in a few cream colored cows and dark sheep and it looks like paradise, interrupting as it does what seems like one long season here: BURNT, which is divided into HOT and FROZEN.  A bit of gold and wine fall color to mitigate the dried grass colors as we pass from Hot to Frozen, then dark, dark brown and if we’re lucky, MUDDY and cold, with hints of green if you really look.  Spring is even more fleeting than fall but so completely ensorcelling you almost forget that it hardly happens, and its succession of wild flowers goes by in a flash.

In the meantime, the Partner is building some actual steps going into the garden from the deck and soon there will be absolutely no excuse for me not to go out and start pulling weeds.  How we’ll keep the dog from destroying everything this summer is haunting my dreams, but I fully expect him to understand once we’ve explained it to him a few times.

It came to my attention that he really isn’t like other dogs, the Dog.  He, after all, did not really have the benefit of mom and fellow pups to teach him doggy sorts of things since he was all on his own by the tender age of two months.  Being the avatar of love that he is, he just simply assumes that everyone wants to kiss him as much as he wants to kiss them and there is simply no time to waste.  He can jump really high, too, did I mention that?  We were at a pet store looking for a training leash thing to attempt to put an end to Pulling, and they tried to sell us a puppy training package.  He was jumping and smiling and dragging me hither and yon and for a minute it seemed reasonable. Fortunately the Partner’s rationality took over, and he reminded me that the Dog is really a WILD dog, not a tame store purchased dog or even a grown rescue individual.  It’s kind of like expecting a Martian to immediately enjoy a cotillion.  He’s more like the two of us in terms of his responses to things, given his initial orphan status and strength of purpose- I mean, he’s a goof dog but at the same time has an iron paw in a furry glove. He really IS smart and insulting his intelligence isn’t going to work very well, as I have learned. He has an excellent Stern, if Droll, look for moments when I’m making an idiot of myself.  It was a good lesson in not attempting to push a situation into a shape it didn’t want to be in, in any event.

It seems at this point that thinking about consequences is a huge part of life now.  Instead of compulsively doing what one has always done, it seems impossible to not stop and review what’s actually happening, and do it differently this time.  Some days that feels good.  Other days it feels like being completely lost with a map that’s disintegrating before your very eyes.  Those are the days it’s helpful to remember something Gandhi said, which was that whatever you have to do may be very insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.  Whether we believe we’re Ascending or Descending, it’s for sure all changing and fast.  If we can keep our attention open to that, we might have a chance.  I’m now going to go practice my dog speak and perfect my taco preparation.  More on tacos, and galaxies, soon.

uncharted waters

I had a horrifying moment earlier when it appeared that the Trusty Laptop was not going to function.  At all.  This would, to put it mildly, NOT BE GOOD.

But, as is so often the case with what appear to be looming disasters, there was food for thought.  For once I was able to relinquish my normal fears and sense of not knowing what to do which generally leads to Massive Floundering and Potential Crying.  For once, I didn’t immediately go to, and stay at, the nightmare thought of how another laptop might be procured.  No, Gentle Reader.  I simply plugged it in to a power source, and pressed the button I think of as “on” for several seconds.  I listened to the laptop, so to speak.  Repeating to myself that there is, after all, no crying in baseball.

What there is? though, is macrocosm in microcosm.  The ongoing dog “training” hits many and various snags even though the Dog and Trainer in question are  stellar sweethearts.  It’s just the way of things, however: one person wants one thing, another wants something different.   The Dog wants to roll in horseshit and eat dead mice, which we reluctantly had to use poison on lest they eat our car wiring.  We Humans want him not to do that, and also to come when we call in a reasonable time frame. Harsh words may be uttered and there might even be a bit of spanking.  Clearly the Partner is the patriarchal figure here and *I* am like the closely aged sibling.  We often, the Dog and I, get stern warnings to STOP THAT, just like kids do.  I’m both happy that I can be that way and not happy that I’m not mature enough at all times to properly Deal with the Dog.  This appears to be the way things are in the outside world as well.

It seems to be somewhat a matter of putting yourself in another’s place.  What is perceived, felt, thought, believed? And why?  Is it lifetime conditioning, pure laziness, evil, fear, awareness, or what?  I mean, really.  Why DO dogs like to roll in disgusting substances? Straying into politics for a moment, we see that Justice Scalia who was touted as a conservative which in today’s parlance is supposed to translate into “good” it seems, was on a little trip with someone who wasn’t his wife when he died.  How honorable and good is that?  Trump picks a quarrel with the Pope, for God’s sake, when his deplorable behavior is described, accurately, as generally un-Christian.  How does this mental desuetude happen?  And more importantly, why are people in this condition running things?  I of course then relate this to my own inability to keep things always running smoothly in my little world.

That line of thought may be where we go astray.  Things CAN’T run smoothly all the time and it isn’t our job to cram them into position one way or the other.  We go forth, do what we do, experience consequences.  It is to be hoped we learn from the consequences but this seems to be an often missing piece.  Maybe it is our fear of consequences that keeps us from embracing them as the learning tools they are.  But fear never really works as a positive motivator and avoiding things, resisting them, turns out to be a massive waste on every level.  Some days, accepting this concept this seems like a daunting challenge. Others it’s like a get out of jail free card.  Today I’m swinging between those poles; the dog is snoring, sleeping off his post-bad-dogness, and my stomach is making I’m-getting-upset-noises.  Time to remember there isn’t any shape here except the one there always IS, which is the shape of things as they are, even if we can’t see that all the time.

But before I forget? thank you all, so much, for reading, and liking, and being.