Loving Wide Open at The End of an Era

Her Days Are Numbered. That's Why We Make Them COUNT.

Month: November, 2012

Day 55

So we’re headed to the park for our ritual morning walk, and the sky is big and blue, cloudless. It’s the kind that fills the heart with enough helium to make it burst from happiness. Izzy’s nose and paws are out the car window, sniffing up the sunshine and sage. It’s that simple for her. Look at this. Smell that. Sit on mom’s lap and enjoy the ride. The feel of her snuggled between me and the car door, the softness and warmth of her. The crisp cheery breeze blowing hair and fur, sunbeams kissing our noses. There is gravity in past and future. Bouyancy in the present moment. And right now? We’re both floating. And I realize, this is it. This right here. We get to have these feelings, share these moments, the glory and commoness of it all.

My mind is full of snapshots of other moments like this. I collect them. Store them on the harddrive of both computer and heart. And when I get sad or overwhelmed or lost, I pull them out. Well, first, I stumble and bumble around in despair. But when I’m ready to shift, I pull out these snapshots and I feel so utterly…blessed. When we sit too close to a computer monitor, we lose sight of the pictures upon it. Likewise, when we’re sandwiched inside our life, its daily challenges, fears, hopes, loves and disappointments  we lose perspective.

And today the big blue horizon whispers to me, nudging, “Lean back.”

As I do, life’s snapshots fill my view. A thousand thousand snapshots. Laughter. Hugs. Sighs. Friends. Fur. Silas’s chest under my head each night. Hawk’s nests in our Atlanta back yard. Sea lion whiskers tickling my nose in Mexico. Rubbery silk kisses from a dolphin in the Bahamas. The smell of Tink’s head, Izzy’s paws, Zeus’s everything.  Firelight and stories on a winter night in Taos. Pink lemonade on my wedding day. Spanish moss. Fresh cut grass under my 7 year old toes. The feel of  Winnie the Pooh’s arms hugging me at Disney World. Libraries, book stores, coffee. Grama’s biscuits and gravy. Oreos dunked in milk. Black and white movies with Mernie on Saturday afternoons. Holding hands. Florida sand between the toes.

So very many snapshots. So very much glory blazing a trail of gooey goofy love and gratitude across my cheeks. And this death thing? This aging thing? This all-of-life-is-saying-goodbye thing? Suddenly it seems a hell of a deal. A bargain! Age spots and grey hairs and achy bones and the crushing suddenness sadness of parting? Merely a shadow cast by so much light. And I think to myself, if this is the price I pay to be here, to take this journey, to share this breeze with the windows down, I’ll pay it.

We pull into the parking lot and Izzy barks at the first dog she sees in the park, which sets off a coughing spell. Spluttering to catch her breath, still she wags her tail. And, snapshots spilling from my heart, I wag mine.

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Day 53

Meet my longest lasting laptop: Izzy Fizzywigg, age 12. Seems no matter where I am, she finds a spot on my  lap. This was my wedding day, and I’m at the wedding table eating cupcakes and drinking champagne. She refused to sit anywhere else but her throne. Memories. Gratitude. My lap won’t know what to do without her.

Day 54


What? It’s not like we’re NOT gonna have fun

Our goal for Izzy, and for ourselves, goes like this:

Happy.
Healthy.
Happy.
Healthy.
Dead.

What a way to die.

What a way to live!

Day 52

Thanksgiving

i’m behind the wheel
driving into red rocks
and cliff-dwelling sunsets
giving thanks
for days shared
for laughter
for loud music and red wine
for healing threads on
a woven tapestry of memories
the car is crammed
with people i love
black eyed peas
thumping our seats
imma be imma be
i’m i’m imma be
izzy rides in my lap
windows down
as the scent of ghosts
and sage and wild horses
rustle her mane
whiskers twirling
delight
we race into
the horizon
turkey and gravy
and cranberry salsa
await us
just beyond the horizon
and i give thanks
that wherever we are
whenever we are
today tomorrow eternity
we are together
always
in the timeless expanse
of the heart
imma be
free
imma be
me
imma be
in love
with you
forever.

and the soundtrack:

Day 51

Our morning vitamin ritual. “Vitamins” is a friendly term for “Medicine.” And now that mommy puts them in cookie dough, it’s all tail wags and anticipation in the kitchen!

 

Day 49

We salute you, Fiona Apple. I’ve cancelled all and all to be with my own swamp-breathing angel.

From Huffington Post:

Fiona Apple has canceled her South American tour stops in a very public, and very emotional way.

The singer, who was set to begin the tour inPorto Alegre, Brazil on Nov. 27, took to her Facebook page to post an image of thefour-page hand-written letter she wrote to fans.

“I can’t come to South America. Not now,” Apple wrote in the letter. “[My dog] has Addison’s Disease, which makes it dangerous for her to travel since she needs regular injections of Cortisol, because she reacts to stress and to excitement without the physiological tools which keep most of us from literally panicking to death.”

Apple continued, “If I go away again, I’m afraid she’ll die and I won’t have the honor of singing her to sleep, of escorting her out. Sometimes it takes me 20 minutes to pick which socks to wear to bed. But this decision is instant. These are the choices we make, which define us.”

The singer wrote many paragraphs about her dog, Janet, whom she adopted when the puppy was just four months old.

The original letter, as well as the transcribed text as posted to her Facebook page, is featured below.

fiona apple letter

For the full article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/20/fiona-apple-cancels-tour-stay-home-dying-dog_n_2167320.html3

Day 48

Hello Goodbye

I don’t sleep much anymore, but I dream. A lot. In between checking  on Izzy’s breathing (she sleeps by my head), making sure she has frequent water and gets midnight and 4am potty breaks, my sleep is fitful, but the dreams are plenty. I get what I would call “downloads”: between dreams and before waking, I have messages filter in from some far-reaching part of my self, and they grant me temporary access to a much wiser, much more liberated self than I know consciously. It both delights and irritates me.

These downloads fill me with a sense of peace and wellness. They assure me that everything is connected and that all the upheaval in my life is perfect. Gorgeous. Part of a breath taking tapestry, where I just see an unraveling, fraying mess.

My skin is aging. Hard. Im dried out. My house is selling (Yay!) but with it go all the momentos of a world of beginnings. Love beginnings. Family beginnings. Dream beginnings, all embedded inside the walls. My dog is dying. My sweetest baby, the never-grow-up baby who still falls asleep cradled in my arm, paws and belly up, in total trust and surrender. That baby. She’s dying right before my eyes. My website’s been down for months, undergoing changes. It doesnt know what it wants to be when it grows up. My body is stiff, even with exercise. I can’t concentrate. Like the caterpillar in the chrysalis, I’m just soup right now. Soup. In the dark. Stewing in its own transformation.

As I said, fraying mess.

And this dreamtime download thing tells me one night “It’s all related. It’s all Goodbye.”

And I realize with a start, it’s true. Every crisis I’m facing right now is Goodbye crisis, separation, loss, and the pain, anxiety and sadness that comes from that. Goodbye to my youth. Goodbye to my house. Goodbye to my ways of being in the physical world, in the web world. Goodbye to family. Goodbye Izzy. Baby. Mother. Friend. Soulmate.

And so life begs the question How to live in the wake of Goodbye? How do I–how do we–say goodbye to so many loves and remain an open, empowered force in the world? Without crumbling? Without caving?

And the answer comes. We must tell a new tale. We must build a new myth. We must turn the page in the Neverending Story and write our future on the blank expanse of white that appears before us.

I’m in search of my new tale. I am writing and musing in the wake of Goodbye, peeking around corners and under couch cushions in pursuit of Hello.

…to be continued…

Day 45

Shadows and Light

She stands in the shadow
but walks in the light
and reminds me
that each is part of the other
two sides of the same golden coin,
the currency of life,
and the token of passage
to the shores of a fairy tale shared

 

Day 42

After two years away, Grama has come for a visit. And we are very, very happy. Our heart is enlarged, but only with love for a pack reunited.

Day 40

She makes sure to let me know which laptop is most important.