Saturday, February 15, 2014

From the Dog's Perspective

At 3 a.m. I wade through snow drifts up to my thighs, enjoying a sense of peril, but also tired of having cold wet feet in winter. All habits - including reading habits - are there to be undone. At 5 a.m. a rabbit visits the bird feeder, the dark shape of it picking seeds from the snow, and I remember how happy certain guests can make us. Tea, green candles, and another layer of self, which is the same layer of self only seen another way.

The work is always before us, as is the joy its doing entails. One learns to see slowly, and relearns constantly, as if wheels really do need to be invented over and over. The waitress asked what I was writing and I showed her and she asked could she show me her poems and I said sure why not and they weren't bad, not bad at all. Sentences are natural as anyone who listens knows.

The question of worthiness arises, putting me in the mind of turtles awakening in April. In a sense, I only have time now for those who are truly helpful, who alleviate the urgency that attends my every prayer. One must learn to be water. And also to ask the vital question what is it for.

The forest does not clear itself, and order is always a form of resistance. Sensei's letters are at last relegated to indifferent flames. Deer tracks fill with moonlight and he longs to possess them but cannot and so comes home and writes it, which is different but not unsatisfying. "You make my soul sing," she said and I said "now you're just working me for a bigger tip" and she said "in a way yes but in another way - a better way - also yes" and that was interesting and so of course we made love later beneath a tall window through which the moon could be seen, clear and crisp and bright, rising like a cut stone that knew it owned the ocean's heart.

For decades I have believed that only the just can sleep well, which is why I don't, never have, and so often stumble bleary-eyed before dawn through whatever landscape I happen to call home. No more romance but instead a kind of steely pragmatism. The dog sleeps on my only blanket gently snoring and I sit shivering, trying as always to understand, and failing but - at least from the dog's perspective - in a loving way. I mean that yes and no other.


  1. We're always stumbling toward dawn, aren't we?

    Hoping you are well and not too weary with all this winter.

  2. So it seems . . .

    I am well. How was PA? Are you back in the snowless (relatively speaking) south?

    ~ Sean

  3. Arrived in Virginia yesterday evening. Cut my visit a day short to get ahead of the latest predicted storm. I dare say, I no longer romanticize snow, all that lovely susurration :) aside.


  4. P.S. It was a good trip, as they all are these days. A few of my favorite people live there ... a list that is ever expanding. :)

  5. Lately I question Romance (with a capital R) altogether, as invested (that may be the wrong word - entangled maybe, or ensnarled) as I am in its modes. I think it may miss some critical insight even as it facilitates others. And the snow keeps falling anyway, so . . . It is lovely in the moonlight when I remember to get out there and go deep enough into the fields and forests and give my attention to it . . . so many distractions when the gift is here and given, over and over and over . . .

    I'm glad you had a good trip - liked the six words today - and yeah, expanding lists of love are good . . .

  6. Your response brought this to mind from "Human" by The Killers:

    Give my regards to soul and romance,
    they always did the best they could.

    And I concur...on the capital "R" version. It's the epitome of special relationships, is it not? And I have to question whether the love affair we have with Romance is really love at all...

    Glad you liked the sixwords, and I appreciate the nod in their direction.