Friday, January 31, 2014
Normally Herself enjoys a fair amount of solitude. Every other evening of the week, if Beloved Husband is traveling or working late or out at a function, she's quite comfortable closing up the house and going upstairs by herself. Not a problem. She never begrudges him being out -- he does what he needs to do, and she does what needs to be done, as always.
Friday nights without adult company, though, are Very Difficult Indeed.
Why Friday? She does not know. She doesn't talk about the something about Fridays, because it is so inexplicable, and so seemingly inconsequential, that it sounds nearly ridiculous to try to describe the deep-rooted unease that appears on those nights.
One of the reasons Herself took up sparring in taekwondo was because there was a Friday evening sparring class. It occupied the time perfectly, took Herself out of the house long enough that she could avoid the cloud that would otherwise descend in the evening. It was good. Now that she's retired from taekwondo, though, the Friday disquiet creeps back. And it is even more enveloping than ever.
Nights such as tonight, Herself is especially grateful for company on a Friday.
Such a blessing.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Une question demeure: ai-je été apprivoisé?
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
His voice was cloves and nightingales, it took us to spice markets in the Celebs, we drifted with him on a houseboat beyond the Coral Sea. We were like cobras following a reed flute. - Janet Fitch, White Oleander
Monday, January 27, 2014
(Gloves were worn to protect Herself's chapped winter skin. There's no doubt the gloves would be completely ineffectual against Tiny Dog dentition. Fortunately, Tiny Dog was more a-tremble than bitey.)
Saturday, January 25, 2014
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.
And when your eyes
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets into you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.
-- John O'Donohue
Friday, January 24, 2014
Thursday, January 23, 2014
'On est seul aussi chez les hommes', dit le serpent.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Le Petit Prince
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.
Monday, January 20, 2014
Then I opened it and lo, the mist was a worm.
And I closed and opened my hand again, and behold there was a bird.
And again I closed and opened my hand, and in its hollow stood a man with a sad face, turned upward.
And again I closed my hand, and when I opened it there was naught but mist.
But I heard a song of exceeding sweetness.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Friday, January 17, 2014
Thursday, January 16, 2014
One of the most perplexing items: the $50 lipstick. Why so much? Is it made from unicorn tears? Does the color come from flower petals crushed under the heels of fairies? Is it guaranteed to make one's mouth look inescapably alluring? Will it bring fortune and fame? Or inspire kisses by the wealthy and fabulous? And who purchases such an item?
The box says it all: The Lipstick Queen.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
There have been several interesting conversations lately in the household regarding the definition of the term, "friendzone," and the circumstances under which which the term is employed. Offspring the Second and Offspring the Third (just recently having left high school and are currently plowing through the first year of high school, respectively) have provided a fair amount of insight. Herself is still slightly perplexed.
As best we understand it, the "Friendzone" is a self-categorization, usually by a boy or a man, with regard to a desired relationship with a girl or woman of interest. (We'll use 'guy' and 'girl' here for convenience, since that is a more comfortable nomenclature for individuals in the age group that employs the term, though we recognize that the words may stretched to encompass older individuals as well.) Typically, the scenario unfolds as follows: a guy is interested in a girl in a romantic- or sexually-attraction-based way; the girl in question responds to attention bestowed upon her by the guy in a manner that emphasizes that she is not similarly interested in the guy -- such as, for example, by telling the guy that they should be 'just friends', or, more subtly, telling him what a 'good friend' he is; and based upon his thwarted overtures, the guy proclaims that he has been relegated to the Friendzone. His male friends groan in sympathy.
We certainly understand that it can be rather soul-crushing when one is informed that a potential love interest does not share the same degree of attraction. It's impossible not to take that personally. Why is he/she not similarly interested? What's wrong with me? Did I do or say something to repel him/her? Is it just the way I am that is somehow unattractive? Even knowing -- as we eventually, painfully learn (usually after years and years of adulthood) -- that the mysteries and foibles of the human heart cannot explain why one person yearns, unreciprocated, after another, we still are hurt, angry, defensive. It is difficult.
Yet the question remains: why is the Friendzone such a terrible place? We propose that the Friendzone should be renamed. Let us call it instead, the "unrequited love zone." For to use the term "Friendzone" denigrates the word "friend," in the same manner as the word "just" does in the phrase, "just a friend." We know that the phrase, "just a friend," is typically used to emphasize that there is no romantic entanglement between a guy and a girl. Still, to tack "just" in front of "friend," or to describe a relationship as being in a "friend zone", diminishes the value of the word "friend" itself. A friend -- regardless of gender -- is a magnificent thing, indeed.
Herself could use thousands and thousands of her own words to describe a friend. Instead, let us borrow a few fine quotes that answer our questions nicely:
What is a friend?
to whom you are loyal,
through whom you are blessed,
and for whom you are grateful.
-- William Arthur Ward
Monday, January 13, 2014
Heart of the winter doldrums -
Dry, lifeless desert.
Sun shines and breeze blows -
When will the blossoms appear?
To do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.
― Pablo Neruda, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair
Sunday, January 12, 2014
But there was not such a day in school. No one got the instructions. That is the secret of life. Everyone is flailing around, winging it most of the time, trying to find the way out, or through, or up, without a map. This lack of instruction manual is how most people develop compassion, and how they figure out to show up, care, help and serve, as the only way of filling up and being free.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Thursday, January 9, 2014
They were worth every penny.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Monday, January 6, 2014
She looked so stately, so reserved and regal - you'd never know that she was clumsy and silly and exuberant.
If she was excited or pleased, she'd run and get one of her many squeaky toys and bring it to show you.
She loved to play fetch with a tennis ball.
She once snuck half a bowlful of apples from the table, carrying them away one by one to consume gleefully in private. Apples were her favorites.
She enjoyed biting at the spray from the hose. Water -- except in the form of a bath -- was always good.
If she was embarrassed or perplexed, she'd spin in circles and try to catch her tail. A 70-pound whirling tail-chaser was always guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Sunday, January 5, 2014
It is harder to write about Daisy than it was to write about Thorbert. It is difficult, with Offspring and Beloved Husband experiencing their own bereavement in such close proximity, to give full rein to my own mourning. My grief needs to gallop in the open, to trip over the rocks and be scratched by thorns -- to run and run and run until it is soothed by sweat and blood and tears. Then peace and a quiet emptiness can descend and fill the void. Such naked emotion, though, is not for the Offspring (or even for Beloved Husband) to witness. Some sorrow must be experienced alone.
When we returned from the veterinarian's office yesterday, Beloved Husband spent some time sorting through old pictures from when Daisy was a pup. A mere thirteen years ago - and yet an eternity. I had forgotten how young the Offspring were, how young Beloved Husband was, and (I suppose) how young I was as well. The loss of Daisy is the loss of a string connecting us to those times. The thread is broken, the Offspring are nearly grown and beginning to disperse into their own lives, and we are left afloat, unanchored.
Tender-hearted Offspring the Third offered his own words on his Facebook page in honor of Daisy. I present them here for you. I cannot bear to write such words of my own yet, but perhaps I need not at this time, for his are just right.
This is Daisy. For 13 years, she has barked at people, stolen food off the table, knocked stuff over with her tail, snapped at everyone, defended the house, carried dog toys around when she was in trouble, and was a general nuisance for herentire lifetime. Today, she can do all that stuff in the dog park in the sky. Rest in peace, Daisy. We will always miss you and no dog could ever take your place. I will miss all those times when I cried into your shoulder after something bad happened, I will miss falling asleep on your tummy, I will miss you being excited when I came home from school every single day, no matter what. Godspeed, and never forget us.
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Ancient And Decrepit Dog was suffering. The new medication, although strong, did not alleviate her discomfort. She could not rest. She was alert, tense, hunched. She whined. She waited, looking and listening for things we could not see or hear. It became clear that today was Now.
You are at rest now, Daisy. You can once more chase your tail and roll about on the floor without pain. You can lie in the sun for hours. You can slurp gallons of water whenever you like, and snap with glee at the spray from the hose again. You can have an orchard of apples to consume, and an enormous pile of squeaky toys to squeak. The angels will play ball with you whenever you would like. Eternal joy is yours.
Godspeed, Daisy. You were such a wonderful dog -- alert, cheerful, giant tail always thumping, your face always smiling. We were so blessed to have you as part of our family for so long. Thank you for your time with us.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Last night, and periodically during the day today, she has looked up, expectant. She appears to be listening. Since she's almost completely deaf, it's unlikely she actually hears anything.
Or does she?
For reasons unknown, I have the odd impression that she is listening for ottoman-shaped dog. She always paid attention when he barked, and it was only after he was gone that we realized how little she could hear by herself. He did pave the way over The Bridge for her - perhaps he's giving her guidance now. I am sure she would be happy to see him.
It seems silly to write it out. And I'm not sure it's comforting to me, since it reminds me afresh of our loss of ottoman-shaped dog. Still, if there is any solace to be gained, it is in knowing that there's that chance, however infinitesimal, that it might, in fact, be true.
I want to believe. My faith is absent. Yet perhaps Daisy's is strong, and she understands that she will be with Thorbert again soon.
Stairs - too tricky now.
We stay together downstairs
On the sofa-bed
Like rough sandpaper
Her paw pads, pressed against me,
Warm upon my skin
She woofs quietly
I feel her muscles twitching
Chasing dream squirrels
Shedding, coughing, well-loved dog
Rest easy, Daisy.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Herself currently attempts a method of information-and-enticement: "We are going to eat grilled cow and then watch a Manly Action Movie. Your company would be a welcome addition, though not a mandatory one." And she hopes, and waits.
Hope kindle and rebound you.
May your Hurts turn to Healing;
Your Heart embrace Feeling.
May Wounds become Wisdom;
Every Kindness a Prism.
May Laughter infect you;
Your Passion resurrect you.
May Goodness inspire
your Deepest Desires.
Through all that you Reach For,
May your arms Never Tire.
― D. Simone