Mystery Road

A dog walk is a great opportunity to attend to mystery. There is the mystery of nature, of course. Everywhere. The varieties of fungi, the open fresh faces of morning glories, the jewel-like dew hanging off a hosta stalk.

And then there are the other sorts of mystery. For instance, why an apartment building housing between 12 and 18 units never exhibits any signs of life. Never. I walk past it multiple times a week. Study the windows. Examine the balconies. It is sooo dead. There used to be a marmalade cat on the second floor who’d come out to the edge of the balcony and glare down at Finn. But she’s gone.

Then there’s the mystery of nostalgia. How, even after living in this part of Massachusetts for four times longer than I’ve lived anywhere else, the sight of the silver-toned wire clips on the electrical wires still has the power to remind me of childhood.

Driving from Pittsfield or Schenectady as a family, headed to our beloved rental in Rockport on the North Shore, we always knew we were close when we saw these clips. To our young, excited minds, they were seahorses! (there must be other clips more seahorse-like? Kinda spoils my point here).

Always the wonder of spiders, right?

The wonder of some people’s talent with plants.

But also the wonder of preoccupation. How reading a post about Grace’s encounter with a lizard yesterday informed how I saw a dead leaf today. Against all reason, for a flash, my brain told me that the brown form was a lizard. That counts as a mystery.

Always the wonder of money. How much of the world it drives. And, how do other people make such big piles of it? Here are two such simple examples from this morning’s walk.

This project, above, started with tearing down a respectable, well-constructed two family house. So much effort! So many supplies! I’m guessing the new town homes will go on the market for well north of 1.4 million. (That’s how ONE person makes a pile of money).

And then there’s this new grassy sward on Cypress Street formerly occupied by a house. It appears the neighbor and owner of the RV, bought the lot to create space. In other words, that new driveway cost over $600,000. Woosh!

Lastly, there is the wonder of conditioning. I still don’t consider myself a dog person (written about here), but Finn and I have learned a lot together. When I get to about the car, I drop the leash and say, “Go home!” He dashes to the door and turns expectantly for a treat.

I started this practice after he ran away from a dog walker one time. Finn made his way home over a span of about a half mile. I guess, he already knew how to go home, but I wanted to underscore the command.

Before this area turned into Rabbitville, I’d drop the leash back at the corner of the lot, but those little furry hoppers are too tempting. It’s too risky.

Tomorrow: white versus black slips for the Patron Chicken Saint of Delayed Success and a blue silk heart.

24 thoughts on “Mystery Road

  1. Tina

    Mystery!! How you can turn a simple word into a chapter from a novel .. that to me is a Mystery as well as a Blessing.

  2. Nancy

    Those dew drops are so gorgeous. Made me stop to think when I last saw dew? Aw Finney-Boy has sure grown up in the trust dept. Don’t get me started on the money of the world right now. No matter if it has “always been this way” – I’m completely disgusted.

    1. deemallon Post author

      Real estate in particular. I keep reading that there isn’t a single major city where a person working full time and earning minimum wage can afford to rent, never mind buy!

      1. Mo Crow

        this is happening here in Australai too and not just in the cities, in the regional areas as well… it makes retirement & trying to live on the Age Pension look like an impossible dream…

  3. Liz A

    My parents bought a1915 Dutch colonial fixer upper on Long Island when I was 11 … sold it 15 years later for ten times what they paid for it … the new owners did zero maintenance on it, and it became a tear down a few years back … sad knowing how much time and effort went into it, all just dust to dust in the end

  4. Faith

    The electric clip looks like a totem eagle, to me.
    Even before I read what you wrote, the leaf was a lizard to me. Influenced by Grace’s post? I don’t know. But I haven’t seen any guppies, today. I will be on the lookout.

  5. grace

    for some unexplainable reason, this all felt like a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel…all
    being the walk and then the responses ….i await the blue heart for the Saint. And
    i think it IS a lizard.

  6. RainSluice

    We started to watch Spike Lee’s “NYC Epicenter” last night. I find it cold, distant and painful. Then, this morning, walking our new dog – who is so well behaved I hate to even mention it. ok, well, she does relish the occasional litter coated cat poop (this has forced us to keep a very clean litter box). I digress. You capture the magic of learning about dog-brains. Home is now a word our little rescue girl knows and that feels like a huge accomplishment. I try to elevate my senses – which I do by watching her ears and nose.
    This post makes to me think even more about how [my] American life and times have changed since 9/11/2001. During this pandemic, I feel a burrowing into micro-analysis as a way escape. I can’t help myself and experience a sort of meta thinking around an atypical type of dystopan emotional survival. That used to be a luxury, a thing found in novels? Now, this odd distance feels constantly my own. I find it very hard to watch the documentaries of last year, read the reports, and witness on a daily basis what’s become of this earth and it’s inhabitants over a period of 20+ years. Where to turn? What ARE we going to do? What can we do? I feel I am becoming closely related to a worm. Hopefully a very nice very good-hearted worm :-/ ???

    1. deemallon Post author

      So much here to respond to. Might do so in more than one comment. Yesterday I listened to Pam Gregory, astrologer, and she’s always interesting but at the very end of her recent talk spoke about how yes things are gonna get worse but we don’t have to experience them on the threeD level.

      The suggestion was to listen to the news but not take it in, somehow. I have to follow up on the plasma idea at the end. It is new to me.

      1. RainSluice

        thanks for the link! i keep thinking about what Spike Lee says in this documentary about it feeling right to be at the epicenter of these two disasters (WTC 9/11 and COVID-19). I have OFTEN thought, if I am going to have to experience a disaster, let me be in NYC with New Yorkers. Anyway, I love Spike Lee and I have great expectations for his 4 hours of documentation.

    2. deemallon Post author

      The fact that we now live in a dystopian landscape is very, very difficult to manage, intellectually or emotionally. If micro-analysis helps, go for it. But we mustn’t get stuck in our heads. I think for me, more music and dancing is one kind of answer.


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