I had to take her to a new groomer since the place closest to me currently has no groomers (not sure what happened there) and I'm so relieved to say they treated her well AND they did a great cut on her. I have to admit, I get stressed when I have to leave her somewhere, especially with people I don't know. There just isn't any way to explain to a blind dog where she is or what is going to be happening to her. Leading her through a strange doorway without her tripping on the curb is task enough. But the folks at The Grooming Lodge were very kind, sensitive to older and special needs dog issues and next time I take her I won't have to get choked up when I leave her with them.
Hmm...despite Adam Gottleib's Ode to his bicycle singing in my head, I may not get on the trail today as Penny isn't at all anxious to go indoors. I'm a little out of writing steam so I'm poking around in my ninety (really) vignettes that await editorial decisions adn wathing duckings that are still too quick and tiny to count swim in the marsh leaving trails behind them in the thick yellow pollen coat on the water's surface.
This is a 'Dear Diary' entry that I can find nothing redeeming in but if you are curious to see some really bad writing, here you go. This was written around the time I was dismantling my coaching office, closing out my business bank account, shutting off the phones, feeling like I was erasing myself off the face of the earth in some respects and also feeling a little abandoned in other respects. The Patrick I refer to here will be known to some of you who have known me for years. If you don't know that story and are curious, ask me sometime when you see me and I'll share it. Not really something I want to go into great depth on here at this point.
It seems as though life is happening faster than I can process it.
Of course, everything about that sentence is a complete lie.
It is a stunningly beautiful day and I actually was able to coax Penny out of the house to sleep on the patio while I write. She gets intimidated by the commotion of sounds from lawn mowers and various activities within earshot of our house during the day so she has a hard time settling down out here. Mondays are good, though, once everyone is back at work and it's just us and the birds and breeze.
Birds and breeze and ducklings and deliciously perfumed air as the lilacs and honeysuckle envelop this place with their scent...it's an odd space from which to write about death.
As I am gearing up for the next several days of writing after the weekend (and last night's outstanding Waterline Writers event), I found I didn't have a clear starting point for today's writing so I thought I'd flip through the sizeable stack of vignettes I have written to see what might need an editorial eye to the degree that matches my energy. I chose three to work on, all of the "Dear Diary" variety (my internal processing of the external events), one from the spring before my Dad died, one shortly after Michael died and on from the spring the spring of the following year.
It's a challenge to go back and re-embody those feelings, especially when today is so peaceful and beautiful and I have a dog conked out on a big pile of blankets next to me. But then again, maybe it will make for better writing because I'm having to work to make the scene on the page become as vivid as the scene in which I now sit. When you are in the midst of grief, so much seems self evident that never makes it on to the page. But in the light of a day three years later, you see how much more there was to say, maybe not in quantity of words, but in depth.
Maybe that is why some books take so long to write. The vantage point I am currently writing from is making me more aware, rather than less, of what the impact was of the events that transpired. At first I was worried that if I didn't get everything down right away I would lose vital pieces of information, or lose some memories all together. That may be partially true as this or that detail becomes uncoupled from chronology and some of the jigsaw pieces have rearranged themselves, but in other respects the parts that have remained vivid feel more integrated and whole.
It's like when you deal with the belongings in someone's estate...you don't want to throw out so much as a paperclip early on because it is ALL significant. What if this was their lucky paperclip? Or their favorite? Do you have paperclips at home or will you foolishly realize you need to buy one just after you toss this one out? How many paperclips are needed to make them a sensible collection to pass on to someone else who might use them? How many unnecessary paperclips are cluttering up our landfills? What defines usefulness?
It's like that with memories and details, too. What is essential, not just to a book, but to oneself in preserving the story of your life and the lives of those you love? You can't keep it all. If you try, where will you fit your own life? What about your own collection of lucky paperclips? You can't make yourself into a living grotto dedicated to the preservation of someone else's life as much as you might be tempted to try (or feel you should out of respect).
So the question becomes, what is powerful enough and important enough that you still want to tell it, if only to yourself, on a gorgeous spring day?
So there I am, playing Sisyphus, thinking if I just keep at it long enough I'll get the wild onion population in my woods down to something less that "lawn"proportions, at least around the shade garden areas. So, I was bending over a patch of hosta and astilbe and such when I spied a very long tail...a garter snake easily closing in on two feet long.
I'm cool with snakes and was just glad I hadn't stepped on it. By the way, just how long was this one?
I peeked under some lady's mantle to see where the head was...the head was huge!
Not a head.
Well, sort of a head.
A head swallowing a large toad.
And it was then that I discovered there actually are some things even I won't take a picture of.
That doesn't mean that Scott and I didn't check it out and call our neighbor away from his weeding to look at it, too. I mean, I've never seen a snake in action swallowing something many times the size of it's head, let alone the size of its mouth.
I'll spare all details but honestly, you really never know what you are going to find in my yard. Life on a wetland is not for the squeemish.
Digging into some old photos of Dad's as I steep myself in writing the memoir about our time together and I just saw this. What the heck?! My Dad and I have the exact same crooked front tooth, same orientation, and same little chip (although mine is hard to see as I think it has smoothed out over the years. His must have, too, since I don't remember him having it). Now that's just crazy.
Oh, wow. Yes, you can still be discovering new things even three years after your father has passed away. I was just going through some photo discs and found these gems from Penny's youth, here with her fellow canine, Angel. We had to put Angel down just one week before Dad died. She had terrible hip dyplasia and was just falling all the time. It was heartbreaking. These guys would play so fiercely, it was hysterical. Just fascinating to watch them go at it, but never having one mishap result in any injury. Check out those teeth on Penny, man. You can see how such a little squirt could take out a few raccoons in her day. She was fearless.