Monday, December 24, 2007
oh yeah...I was here LAST December!
There is something about coming full circle, landing again on this date in this season and I remember late December last year I started this project with great seriousness and here it comes again. My body remembers this date, the chair, this angel of the lampshade…the feel of nighttime and the sound of the keys. My goal was to write here every night, even if only for a few minutes. The project: The 4th Dog.
I haven’t kept up writing every night, though I still stay up quite late…crawling into bed at 2 or 3 and reading until I can’t read any longer. I am easily thrown off; my rituals are fragile. Some of them. Any change in routine can tip me over just enough to make me lose my footing and then I need to wander around until I find my footprints again. This time Maudie herself was pouring…
The other night was Solstice night at the P and J’s farm; a gathering of farm families and friends who come together around a makeshift jam of tables and folding chairs (that reminds me of Passover Seders and after Sabbath service kiddish…food food food—casseroles and cooked vegetables coming out from under tin foil, meat sliced, wine poured, the rituals of speech, deserts. The lighting of candles, the acknowledgement of the earth in space.) Everyone says what they valued most about the year and then blows out their candle until all the candles are out and the room is dark…on the longest night of the year---then the circle starts again with hopes for the next year, the candles are re-lit and we lean towards spring.
So in that spirit… I think about this last year, the journey (can I say trip instead?) that took me to Monmouth to get Maudie, the 4th dog herself, and where we are today.
First. I have this little mountain of pages that have piled up despite my distractions. On them I have not only chronicled thoughts and activities but I became a writer again. And I think maybe a better writer, my sense of economy and directness winning out over the baroque seductions of language itself as often as not. (Editing is fun. Although blogs aren’t very conducive to it…)
It remains the challenge. But I have come to treasure the adjective-less sentence…. even when I forget to build them myself. I even cut back a few metaphors that wound around the foundation of thought like kudzu---yuk yuk--- But that’s another story…thought and metaphor. I still hold that metaphor is how I know what I think.
Last year this time I was all glowy about Sonny’s first 2 CD legs—we acquit ourselves so very nicely in the ring. I didn’t think it would take a whole year to get the 3rd and final leg…but I got busy and we developed a little bit of a problem with “stay.” But neither did I think that a year later I would be all shiny again sitting across the room from where an enormous purple and gold ribbon hangs on the wall. (see HIT!!)
And Maudie. Me and Maudie. We start work next month in the library as a READ team. Reading Education assistance Dog. Less than a year it took to find each other and work to get certified to do therapy work. By both Dove Lewis and the Delta Society (well…once I send the fees in to Delta) Any day now Maudie’s special yellow DLAATE band should arrive. (The one she will wear on our outings). Wow. That and our work in Ellie’s class is going so well…we have fun together. I think the mixture of Maudie’s sensitivity and stability is a good combination for me.
And more. I didn’t know how much she would change my own life…how she would help me rebuild my physical strength. I went from barely being able to get down the street before my muscles would hurt, to being able to walk a lesuire mile in around 12 minutes. That includes 3 hills. PLUS. It was for Maudie that I got the bicycle, so I could go fast enough to help her sustain a trot, and here I am buying Gore-Tex and Merino wool so I can continue to ride through the winter and reading books about Lance Armstrong. It’s no longer about the big dog…. it’s about the bike. And the big dog.