Wednesday, October 29, 2008

She turned 8 years old today

This morning I heated her food, then topped it with cut up chicken and an egg. She was delighted. But she's delighted no matter what when it comes to food in her bowl. Then I went to the garage and got her present, which was four stuffed lions with squeakers in them. That got her dancing around the livingroom. Then I took her to the park, and then I dropped her off a friend's house, a friend who is almost as crazy about her as I am. And that friend? She's taking Cheyenne to PetCo and letting her pick out her own toy and treat. Tonight, there's a small party in her honor. Seriously, was ever a dog more spoiled than my own? And rotten? You bet. Exactly how it should be!

Birthday Girl 001 Birthday Girl 002 Birthday Girl 003 Birthday Girl 005

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Good points, all

I'm already registered and I have every intention of voting but still find this to be timely and interesting and, really, a very simple message. Because when you delete the bs, that's what you're left with usually, simple truths.

Go here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

File under "Things I love"

A dear friend of mine recently joined this blogging world, yesterday as a matter of fact. Her site, Soul Promptings, is linked over there to the right under my links. At the top of her blog, she has written these words:

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders & says, "Oh cr-- ... she's awake!!"

Not only do I believe that to be solid advice, it also makes me smile because the words and her choosing to put them there are very telling of who she is. Her first post is also telling. I'm delighted she's joined the blogosphere and look forward to reading her musings.

Welcome, my friend, welcome.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The head of the nail

As I'm heatedly venting to my friend about something that is bothering me, something that is happening to someone I love, something that is out of my control and yet hurts me deeply, she says to me, Please don't make yourself crazy over this. I told her I wasn't going to, that was why I was talking to her about it, getting it out.

And then it hit me. While it is a release of sorts, talking about it, even deeply discussing it, does not mean dealing. Intellectualizing and verbalizing feelings, that stuff I'm good at. Feeling them, processing them, allowing that time, not so much.

Figuring that out just now is an epiphany for me. Truly.

Among other things

Things making me happy today:

- Soon, I get to see my personal hurricane.

- Soon, I'll be eating Belgian waffles... in Belgium.

Monday, October 13, 2008

How she loved it, when she could

This weekend marked twelve years since Shelly took herself from the world. It occurrs to me that she's been gone now for longer than I knew her alive. I hit some wild grief for her over the weekend, stubborn and insistent, just as she was. I unfolded bits of paper, notes and letters postmarked in the 80s and looked at her handwriting, my name, touched the paper as if I could find some part of her lingering there. She was my friend and I miss her, I miss her still. There's a part of the heart that always searches.

Oftentimes at this time of year, I read the poem I'm including below, The Tatterd Kaddish. The Kaddish is a Jewish prayer, a caring way to express your undying love and demonstrate that the soul is never forgotten. While this poem is not the actual Kaddish, I believe the explanation is important. It's a comfort for the living because, for me, it extends the elusive understanding as to why Shelly chose to leave this world. And us. It’s been a long, long time since I wrestled my faith for understanding, more often I’m simply and purely missing her physical presence. So, although I’ve long ago accepted that I’ll never understand why she left, this poem, and in particular the last line, continues to lead me to broader comprehension of her struggle.

Tattered Kaddish
Adrian Rich, from An Atlas of the Difficult World: Poems 1988-1991 (1991)

Taurean reaper of the wild apple field
messenger from earthmire gleaning
transcripts of fog
in the nineteenth year and the eleventh month
speak your tattered Kaddish for all suicides:

Praise to life though it crumbled in like a tunnel
on ones we knew and loved .

Praise to life though its windows blew shut
on the breathing-room of ones we knew and loved .

Praise to life though ones we knew and loved
loved it badly, too well, and not enough.

Praise to life though it tightened like a knot
on the hearts of ones we thought we knew loved us.

Praise to life giving room and reason
to ones we knew and loved who felt unpraisable.

Praise to them, how they loved it, when they could.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The unlikely place of song

On Tuesday morning, Cheyenne and I set out on our walk beneath gray skies and some low rumbling thunder but I thought surely we'd be back to the house before the rain started. I don't know why I thought that, it's not as if I had any experience or particular education to base my thoughts on, I just guessed, and hoped with my fingers crossed. When we were at the farthest point of our walk, I heard the first drops of rain falling splat on the leaves above our path, heavy drops splatting fat on the expanse of leaves. And then I felt them. Cheyenne did too. She'd take a few steps, stop, look up at me as if to say where's the umbrella you're supposed to be holding over me, and then she'd shake the annoying drops of water from her coat and let out a disappointed sigh that I had rendered the two of us woefully ill equipped. We walked on, the two of us, right to my friend's apartment where Cheyenne was delighted to find her morning turned around, suddenly getting towel dried and offered treaties.

I left Cheyenne there for a morning visit and I carried on in what was now the pouring rain. It was delightful. I picked up my pace into a jog and my footsteps splashed in their own rhythmic pace along the sidewalk. When I turned down my street, I stopped and closed my eyes. All around me I heard the rain. I heard it plopping on the tin roof of the neighbor's house, and I heard it rushing into the gutter. I heard it gurgle down the drain, and bubble along the ditch. I heard it drop and drip and splash and fall all around me as I stood there sopping wet with my eyes closed. And it was a concert to my ears, it was. A magnificent concert!

Monday, October 06, 2008

I'm crazy about this girl, my niece

Her boyfriend took this photo a couple months ago. She showed it to me Labor Day weekend and I've been bugging her ever since to get a print for me. Finally, it arrived in the mail on Saturday. Every time I look at it, I can't help but smile. I love the dappled light on her skin and the way her hair falls, but mostly it's that smile of hers that gets me. If you know her, I bet you're smiling too.

cat2 cat3

Friday, October 03, 2008

What comes to mind is the word, Menacing

I took this photo just a few hours before Ike slammed into Houston. I'd never seen clouds like these. This was the northern edge and we had no idea then what the night would be like, how much of the landscape would change before dawn.

Hurricane Ike 023