Saturday, December 18, 2010
This is a picture I took from my Key West desk, while writing (my very important) manuscript #4. I ask you - what are my chances of putting the writing first? Um....none? Pug first (note his mournful, disdainful, corrective gaze) and book - far second (even though it will be here after we're both long gone) Even my editor suspects the lineup.
So this is to say, we made it to Key West again, which as you know became out PUG HAVEN last year, when I had the movie-worthy freak-out and shouted (to no one) "ENOUGH! I CAN'T WATCH THAT PUG SLIP ONE MORE TIME ON THE FREAKING ICE! WE'RE DRIVING TO KEY WEST! WEATHER, LOGIC AND COMMON SENSE BE DAMNED!"
And then I politely, with a remarkable amount of poise, graciousness and finesse (otherwise known as fear and loathing) high-tailed it through every hideous ice storm, blizzard, freezing rain storm an un-nameable yet very real weather condition the universe saw to throw at us. It was a bad idea, coupled with a nervous driver, a for-the-moment crippled pug and an excessive amount of luggage.
NEVERTHELESS. We made it.
As we made it again this year despite a freakish throat infection that required sudden medical treatment. WHY do I look at these various challenges as taunts from a bully universe? Each unpredictable, strange and uncomfortable element appears to me as a dare. "What if we make your car emit weird noises? During an ice storm? What if we remove all non-scary hotels and chuck hail AND snow at you simultaneously? What if we put a tailgater on your butt for fifty miles, and you're in Arkansans, where you could kill him and get away with it?"
I say to each and every..."Oh yeah? Is that all you got?"
I look at the above photo - a picture of walter watching me work and I stop. I think about what a miracle, what a stupid, strange, unlikely miracle, sheer FREAKING MIRACLE it is that this dog is even alive, let alone with me. Traveled twice now all the way to Florida. Bad foot? You bet. Limps? All the time. Were we unlucky? In spades. Did a miracle happen? You God Damn bet it did. Is the shoe permanent? No. Maybe. I don't know. I don't care. He's here. We can live with a shoe. Take the look of pity somewhere else. We're the luckiest people we know.
Shoe goes on, shoe comes off. I answer concerned passerby's constantly. To the point of exhaustion.
"He got hit by a Lexus SUV. Now he wears a shoe. But he's doing really good. He's a trooper. A soldier. He's okay. He made it. We're just glad he's here. He made it. " And I see these people, strangers, who maybe now number in the thousands, and who look at him and smile. They go on, they go off. They take the idea of perseverance with them. It is always, always, always a look of recognition.
Tonight I looked at Walter and I thanked him. I said, "If we're all sentient beings here on planet earth and we're all connected,and weaving our own destinies, then thank you. For picking me. If it's all random and you're just a dog, well hell. You're still one good egg. Here's to you and me and the lemon balm plant. We rock." (I bought a lemon balm plant a few days ago, which suffered greatly in the sun, and I revived it this morning with soothing words and distilled water...identifying with it's fragile nature and weak constitution, making me absurdly attached to it.)
I'm starting to believe humans are at the bottom end of the evolutionary ladder. The self-centered rung caught up with worry. When we're done with that...when we're ready to turn our lives over to the healing of others...we become animals. Cats, dogs, canary's, pugs....creatures with an unlimited supply of unconditional love. True powerhouses. Limitless understanding, Creatures who have dedicated themselves to giving. To the rest of us. To you. To me. What else explains it?
From becoming dogs I don't know what happens. I drank some tequila to find out - and thought maybe we move to plants and then soil and then stone...and then I don't know, because it's outside my intelligence, but I believe as we progress we become more and more able to love, to care for, to heal. SO. My twitter tonight was this:
I just realized. It's all backwards. Intelligence is only ego. True power is unconditional Love. Upshot? The dogs win.
It's the best I could do, in a small effort to say thank you to you - the wonderful souls out there in the dark, Who we think of daily, and love always and who are never ever far from our thoughts. And to Walter, A spirit I can never properly thank, to whom I will always be grateful. Why I was shown such grace, I do not know. Why the universe chose to bring this odd/beautiful experience into our lives, I'll never quite grasp.
Love, love LOVE to each of you. Viva el Pug, el girl and el Lemon Balm Plant. Screw you, bad luck. You don't even know where we live anymore.