Thursday, 3 November 2011

my canine friend

A little muse on the black dog, who visits from time to time, wraps me lovingly in his great hairy paws and tries to tell me that his is the only view of the world.

The problem with this is that sometimes it's hard to see beyond all that fur, it obscures, makes one feel that really, this is the only true view, and so the soul shrinks and the heart feels afraid. However much the bossy rational mind says "oh for goodness sake, stop being such a wuss, get a grip, get over yourself", that old dog feels so warm, so oddly reassuring, so comfortably uncomfortable, that it's hard to resist. He's been my occasional companion for many years now, and his presence has a tendency to stifle to the point that, when he starts to move away for a while, it can feel as frightening as when he's close and cuddly. Constant pain (which is just another way of being) doesn't help, as the weariness makes it hard to find a true perspective at times.

We had very welcome visitors last week. But we normally lead a pretty quiet life and have still not got ourselves "straight" after decanting three large flats into one middle sized house just under a year ago. However welcome, the preparation, the clearing to make space, the being "on show" - this was their first visit, and the pleasurable effort of a long day in London, where we spent some time in the presence of Gerhard Richter's extraordinary canvases, took their toll. I am still, a week later, in more pain than usual, as my body recovers from the extra exertions. One can't expect young, fit visitors to amend their usually busy way of being, or understand the invisible effects of a somewhat compromised physique. The change in pace left me drained. Suffice to say, "let it come, let it be, let it go" is a good mantra to take one through - pat the dog on the head, look the other way and just wait quietly, doing as much of life as possible, until he gets bored with the lack of attention and turns his mind to other things.

And remember - he will go away, he always does, he's only there when you look at him .....


  1. Oh, that dog! He does the rounds! What I have found unnerving, disconcerting, is how little I can attempt now, in middle age - either all is quiet and serene and I feel ashamed I can aim at so little, or else some small thing is demanded of me and I become entirely overwhelmed! Sometimes I wonder if I made a pet of that dog at some point long ago. Certainly I trip over him every time I try to leave the house!!
    May you be peaceful and restored x

  2. feeling more restored now - probably the excitement of sending out nearly 26,000 emails! I'll tell you when we meet