Category Archives: dog walking notes

Cover ‘em up

You know why it snowed here just outside of Boston, don’t you? In May? Because I just at long last and much later than usual put away the winter hats, scarves, mittens, and gloves.

With a chill wind at our backs, we three set out. Signs of the season were everywhere, most notably an abundance of maple flowers. They littered the road, sewer grates, and rock walls as if spring’s answer to snow.

Crystal Lake was closed, not due to social distancing measures, but because it’s being treated to prevent algae growth. Last year, a bloom turned deadly and killed quite a few unsuspecting dogs.

If ever I stayed behind for too long to take a picture, Finn turned back over and over to check on my progress. Look at him as I photograph a dramatic bole.

Lastly, I apologize for not yet responding to the comments of my last post. There’s been a bit of a funk going on here which isn’t depression but kinda resembles it. I don’t know what it is. I’ll chalk it up to the pandemic.

But let me say how grateful I am for the depth of sharing here. I know I keep saying this but it feels necessary to do so and true.

I will not likely burn my Pages until I have done SOMETHING with them, but the timing of that something matters. A strategy will matter. At Deb’s suggestion, I boxed them up and got them out of my writing space. An energetic shift, for sure — a sense of relief, of space opening up. Clutter management but more. I’ll have more to say about this soon.

Day 59 of Home Containment.

A balmy wind and gratitude

A balmy wind blew here today, making the black walnuts rain down like artillery. You won’t hear any nuts landing in this clip, but the wind shows up.

After four days of enduring an under-the-lid stie, I am beyond grateful — and not just to be better. I am grateful for how K put up with my whiny helplessness. Grateful for good medical care even if the doctor seemed to minimize things a bit. (“I see a little stie,” he said. Since it felt like a toothpick was lodged under my eyelid, I responded, “don’t you mean a giant stie?”) I’m grateful my brother could come through with a script for antibiotics even when the “little stie” local doctor wouldn’t.

But mostly, I am grateful for my vision.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t have seen this dead snake out and about with Finn this afternoon, would I? Or the morning sun shining through the bromeliad.

Or been able to stitch and type and make soup.

Today — TA DA — I finished font conversions and created a single document holding the entire novel. Word count: 315,000 plus a little. That’s about 650 pages. Not ideal, but I’m starting on my query letter.

I can’t tell you the relief at moving on!

Sturdy bones and spring

Notes from a walk with the dog

Today my body claims her bones. I am tired and sturdy. Bones and I share purpose. The pavement doesn’t defy me. Nor the dog. High in the upper reaches of a willow, a dove coos a greeting, not to me but to spring so newly arrived. Do you see her there, next to the clouds?

Think of all the other kinds of tired! There’s fragile tired as after a haunted night without sleep and wired tired, often associated with a deadline too long deferred.

There’s marathon tired, the through and through physical exhaustion that feels laudatory and comes with a permission slip reading: REST.

There’s dutiful tired, arising when the body ought to be firing on all cylinders but isn’t because drudgery and resentment make their nasty claims.

Mourning is its own kind of tired, one that comes in waves with rhythms all its own.

There’s 4:00 tired, requiring no cause whatsoever and almost always attended by an overwhelming need to nap.

There’s the hand-wringing tired of anxious grievance. Formerly rare, now nearly constant, this kind of tired jangles with us through our days as we watch the news, listen to the unhinged tirades, or merely read about them because we can’t abide the sound of his voice. As we scroll through twitter and go to our trusted online news sources, this tired has us reading current indictments in full and praying for more.

There’s the tired of despair. This type of weariness is dangerous, bearing as it sometimes does an irresistible and irrevocable mandate. Nobody who wants to live should heed that mandate.

There’s the tired of age that comes when you bend to wipe the floor as you’ve done with ease forever and upon rising, your hand grips the counter. Maybe there’s a tiny groan.

Sturdy tired is nearly indistinguishable from sturdy energy. It offers a determined walk, a pain-free pivot, a place on a warm bench where you just know hope visits.

Hope visits. Spring bears glad tidings in its bird song, bulb blades, warmed pavement, wispy clouds — and it does so every god-damned year. How is such constancy possible in a world full of damning variables?

Without thinking too hard about variables shaping clouds and rain, I’ll take this magenta scarf, formerly my sister’s, and walk back out into a morning brushed with promise.