Zeke. The Countdown.

zeke-dog-pet-cute

I walk Zeke outside.

He sniffs at the grass, at the plants, at the trace of bunny in the air.

I watch him circle the yard: It’s gone.

The vigorous flourish of the tail. The accelerated gait, his canter. All gone. In its place, the all-consuming lethargy.

The panting is incessant. His barrel chest rising and falling, a steam engine chugging, The Little Red Engine That Could: I think I can, I think I can, I think I still can.

He’s parched, always. His long tongue stretches to lap up gulps of water.

And Dad, “I’m hungry. I’m always hungry. I can’t help myself. It’s those damn white pills you wrap in the lunch meat.”

The steroid dosage has been lowered, his normal surefootedness slipping.  Another stumble up the stairs this morning, his head lunging into the hardwood –and then, a soft, helpless yelp.

Water from a tap drips.

No one is ready for this. No one wants this.

This shot clock is running out.


Related Posts: Zeke

I’m not screwing around. It’s time.

patty-maher

I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:

I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.

Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever.

Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”

~ Brené Brown, Living In the Questions


Sources: Quote – Your Eyes Blaze Out. Photo: Patty Maher – There is Always Hope (2015)

Muro 128

rodney-smith-book-ready-upside-down

I’m freakish about putting anything near my eyes (and anything touching my Adam’s Apple like a turtle neck – I tug and tug and tug at it to Free Willy. Get it off! Get it off!  Or the mouth guards dentists use to take impressions of my teeth and the chalky putty sliding down my throat, the eyes tearing, the gagging reflex, the choking, God, help me…Jesus that escalated quickly.)

It has become a necessary ritual to solve the eye-thing: Recurrent Corneal Erosion triggered by the back story here: I need to read.

The right hand grabs the 2.5 inch tube of Muro 128 5% Sodium Chloride Ophthalmic Ointment. I’ve made the switch from the cheaper generic. Raisin Bran maybe, but generics with eye lube? Saving a few bucks on chemicals you’re pouring into your eye balls, really? Are you nuts?

I think about why it’s Muro 128 and not 130 or 100 as I squeeze the salve in the lower lid. The hands tremble like an addict. I need this. I really need this. What I need is, to pay attention to the trembling hands inadvertently driving the aluminum tip of the tube through the eyeball into my brain.

One dab in each eye before bed time.

I pause, the chemicals coat the eye balls, the world goes blurry, I feel my way to bed. [Read more…]

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

Dog-gif-ball-chase-funny


Source: gifak.net

Lightly child, lightly.

light-flicker-flash

Pale sunlight,
pale the wall.
Love moves away.
The light changes.
I need more grace
than I thought.

— Rumi, (1207-1273), The Essential Rumi


Notes:

  • Photo: Eric Rose.
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

 

It’s been a long day

rest-fatigue-float 

I empty myself with light
Until I become morning.

— Charles Wright, from “33,” Littlefoot: A Poem


Notes:

Truth

anxiety-news-terrorist-fear-chart


Source: Indexed – Existential Heartburn

 

Milk

drink-milk-spill

For half a century,
he opens the door and there it is.
Chillin’ and chilled.
Cold, smooth, white as snow.

From bottles, to cartons, to jugs.
On cereal.
With chocolate chip cookies and PB&J.
A chaser for warm apple crisp.

And then he wakes.

Blink.

A half a century later.

And this insomniac finds himself standing in front of the open refrigerator door. The same Boy who stood in a similar place on a similar summer morning in July. Bare foot.  White t-shirt. Undershorts. With the freon propellant misting him with its cool breeze. And he pauses to think.

Tolerant. To intolerant.

There he finds a plastic jug of 2% flanked by “All Natural Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almond Milk.”

And a single thought comes to his mind. The title of the 1989 biography written by Marion Meade:

Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This?


Notes:

We need a litany, a rosary, a sutra, a mantra

morel-mushroom

After a run of darkness (Orlando, Baton Rouge, Dallas, Minnesota, Nice), Rebecca Solnit writes an essay for The Guardian titled “Hope is an Embrace of the Unknown” on living in dark times. I’ve shared a few excerpts below.


After a rain mushrooms appear on the surface of the earth as if from nowhere. Many come from a sometimes vast underground fungus that remains invisible and largely unknown. What we call mushrooms, mycologists call the fruiting body of the larger, less visible fungus. Uprisings and revolutions are often considered to be spontaneous, but it is the less visible long-term organising and groundwork – or underground work – that often laid the foundation…

…our hope is in the dark around the edges, not the limelight of centre stage. Our hope and often our power…

What startled me about the response to disaster was not the virtue, since virtue is often the result of diligence and dutifulness, but the passionate joy that shone out from accounts by people who had barely survived. These people who had lost everything, who were living in rubble or ruins, had found agency, meaning, community, immediacy in their work together with other survivors…But people return to those selves, those ways of self-organising, as if by instinct when the situation demands it. Thus a disaster is a lot like a revolution when it comes to disruption and improvisation, to new roles and an unnerving or exhilarating sense that now anything is possible…

Together we are very powerful, and we have a seldom-told, seldom-remembered history of victories and transformations that can give us confidence that, yes, we can change the world because we have many times before. You row forward looking back, and telling this history is part of helping people navigate toward the future. We need a litany, a rosary, a sutra, a mantra, a war chant of our victories. The past is set in daylight, and it can become a torch we can carry into the night that is the future.

~ Rebecca SolnitHope is an embrace of the unknown’: Rebecca Solnit on living in dark times


Photo: Morel Mushroom by Kim Fleming

 

from a generation in which one was what one did, not what one talked about.

old-men-bench

Sonja said once that to understand men like Ove and Rune, one had to understand from the very beginning that they were men caught in the wrong time. Men who only required a few simple things from life, she said. A roof over their heads, a quiet street, the right make of car, and a woman to be faithful to. A job where you had a proper function. A house where things broke at regular intervals, so you always had something to tinker with. “All people want to live dignified lives; dignity just means something different to different people,” Sonja had said. To men like Ove and Rune dignity was simply that they’d had to manage on their own when they grew up, and therefore saw it as their right not to become reliant on others when they were adults. There was a sense of pride in having control. In being right. In knowing what road to take and how to screw in a screw, or not. Men like Ove and Rune were from a generation in which one was what one did, not what one talked about.

~ Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove: A Novel


Notes:

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