Orion

 

 

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Icicles

My friend Becca told me to look out for Orion, he is one her favorite constellations in the winter sky.

I made his acquaintance recently and we have gotten friendly. Some nights he hides himself, off hunting or whatever it is these skybound heavenly bodies do. I couldn’t hazard a guess.

I just look for him and I think that for all my puny human insignificance, there is no one else in all the world like me.

And that’s pretty cool.

 

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Silent Night

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Silent statue

 

I walked in to my house and was greeted as I am every time when I return from somewhere by my little dog Sally. 

  I got her in a pet store in Brooklyn 9 years ago. She was called a Sheltie, but she came from a backyard breeder. I call her an “almost” Sheltie or a “would be” Sheltie . She weighs 12 pounds. 

  Sally is the definition of what Jon Katz always says, “you get the dog you need”. 

  I needed her. I needed something to take care of, something to be responsible for. I also needed a dog that didn’t demand too much of me. I needed love.

  Sally was the witness to my downward spiral and depression. She saw it all. 

  She didn’t want to see any people and neither did I. When we were out walking, she would hide behind me if she saw someone approach. 

  I am her person. We have a very strong bond. When I come home from work, she greets me ecstatically and then we head into the kitchen. 

  She gets a couple of treats and then we take a quick stroll down the block. 

  She doesn’t need a leash, she never strays too far away from me. We go back to the house, and I go upstairs to change out of my work clothes. 

  Sally waits for me at the foot of the stairs. 

  I come down the stairs and head to the kitchen where I make a cup of tea. She sits and waits. 

  I sit on the couch and Sally jumps up and plants herself on my chest. I lay down and she rearranges herself with a familiarity born from habit and she faces me, and we look at each other, and I feel comfort and love.

We’ve been alone together for a long time.  I don’t presume to know what’s going on in her mind. But I know what I feel.

People were unknown to me, I was more familiar with Sally than any one person despite the difference in our species.

  She is my dog. I needed to love something and be loved back. And for a long time that was enough. I lived a half life.

  Given my history of abuse, the idea of crediting a dog with human feelings and expectations is nothing new.

I’ve come to see that although Sally is my true companion, she is not my partner, my lover or my equal.

I see my future with a person. I see me and this person walking Sally down the street. And as long as I am there, we still wouldn’t need a leash.

 

  

  

  

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Meditations on a Stream

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Medititative Stream

  I woke up today with the remnants of a dream in my head.  I felt rather than saw myself crying and had to concentrate to grasp it before it went out of my head entirely.

  I decided it was a good day (or at least morning) to stay off the computer and give myself a few hours of “just me” time. 

  I decided to go on a drive to one of my special spots, a stream on the side of route 372, outside of Greenwich.  It was a cloudy day, but it wasn’t raining and the temperature was cold and windy. 

  I grabbed my camera and left. I drove out of Cambridge, saw the Country Gals diner was open, ran in and got a cup of coffee. Saw Mickey and he looked a little cold so I went back in and got him some coffee.

 I got to my spot and parked on the shoulder, and walked down to the stream. I quickly forgot the road behind me and focused on the stream.  

  I have been learning to meditate lately and as anyone knows who has tried this, the hardest thing to do is turn off the incessant internal dialogue.  It is hard for me, but I find that I have the most success when I am in nature. 

  So I closed my eyes and listened to the water.  I stood motionless, and tried to clear my mind. The dream I woke up to came into focus and I saw what it was. I saw myself at the end of a tunnel, but looking behind myself. I got the feeling I was being chased, and I was scared and crying. 

  That’s all I saw. I came back to myself and looked around, I wasn’t ready to leave.  I walked by the stream for a bit and came to a spot that made me stop. I don’t know why, I was trying to rely on instinct.  

   I was calm. I felt clear, acutely aware of all around me, yet detached. It was a new feeling for me. 

  Usually, I can’t turn my mind off, It’s going in many directions. This was weirdly tranquil and different. I felt good, renewed. 

  This may sound odd, but I feel this way after making love. Like I am back in touch with my life force. Back to basics in a way.  

  I know what that dream was about. I hope that the kindness I showed myself today extended to my inner sad self and dried her tears.

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Sunny Corner

I am usually working at this time of the day, so it was a pleasant surprise to be home and see this corner lit up by the afternoon sun

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Sunny

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A Night at the Theatre

FE913F06-A870-4BDA-BE7C-79B2DA056AF1  Tonight I went with some friends to the Oldcastke Thestre in Bennington to see a great play The Curious Savage. It’s a small community theatre and I loved it. I love the idea of community theatre, so vastly different from the Broadway shows I was used to when I lived on Long Island.

This was great. We pulled up right in  front of the theatre and parked and had good cheap Mexican food for dinner. Then we walked back to the theatre and sat right in front and saw a great play.

I got such a good feeling being there and the Director of Education, Christine,  was really inspiring. I always am interested in trying new things and I would like to be involved in a community project such as this.

Somehow I feel like I’m going to be learning about the theatre. It feels like a good idea to me.

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Sunny Friday

 

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Sunny day

So this morning I was greeted by the sun.  This is a big deal for me cause it’s getting dark here at 430 in the afternoon.

I get up, throw on my clothes, feed and walk Sally, get my camera, throw it and myself in the car, drive to a beauty of a spot outside of Greenwich, walk up to the river, raise my camera…and nothing.

In my haste to leave the house, I forgot the battery for the camera and my cell phone, so no phone photos either.

Shit. I drive home, turn onto my street and I see my photo op.

Sometimes, some of the best shots are right there in front of you.

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Feeling Alive

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Alive

  When I leave the hospital I work at in Vermont to go home, I step outside and the first thing I do is look up. I scan the sky, looking for the moon.If I am lucky, there will be a full moon and a clear night.

   I get in my car and drive until I get to my spot, a rising curve in the road that gives onto an amazing vista on my left, fields and woods and farmhouses and barns stretching until the mountains in the distance.

  I pull over. I put on my flashing lights and I get out of my car and just look. I see the moon lighting the view before me, a cold white silvery light that is picks out details; a rusted tractor, a collapsing barn, a silo. 

  Sometimes there is a brief flash of yellow eyes, a coyote I think, another nocturnal wanderer.

  I stand and watch. I close my eyes and feel. I feel my world vibrating with a significance I had not known before. I feel alive, I feel tingly, like my skin is giving off sparks. 

  The life I lead now is so different than the one I led before. The life I led before moving up here shouted lifelessness, there was a void filled with boredom and despair. 

  I worked and I came home and watched TV and ate. I was sucked  into the whirlpool of my own depression. 

  I was living, but I wasn’t alive.

 I almost had to die to come alive, to feel alive and be part of this planet, this life. 

  I believe there are ways to reach this heightened feeling. Love is one. Seeing your lover’s face, cherishing every nuance and expression. Being known to each other in your own private space.Seeing yourself in their eyes. 

  Creativity is another. Seeing the possibilities in the expansion of your creative self. They are endless and infinite.I write a line that I know is real, I take a photograph that is the result of using my inner creative eye and I feel alive.

  Warmth and empathy for our fellow humans has to be a direct route to feeling. 

  I try to extend my soul beyond the parameters of my self and remember how much we humans have in common, rather than dwell on what divides us.

   I have made a conscious choice to affirm my humanity by being aware of others and paying attention. 

  My good friend commits small acts of kindness every day. I like this idea and it doesn’t take much. It is in fact really easy. 

  Things like holding a door open or smiling at someone for no reason. They might think you’re loony, but at least sometimes you get a smile back. These little acts help me to feel grounded and in touch with my world. They force me to interact in a positive way with my fellow humans. They prevent me from becoming numb and jaded to the suffering of the world.

There are a few things that I do that take no time or very little effort and make me happy. I volunteer to work Christmas so my co workers with family can have the day off. I take the mail in for my neighbor when I see she hasn’t been home for a couple of days. Last night, on the way home from work, I stopped at McDonald’s for coffee and paid the bill of the car behind me, just because I was in a good mood.

These little acts remind me that I am alive in this world and part of it in real time. That I fought hard to be here. I am realizing that what I get back is a whole lot of love.  Nothing wrong with that.

 

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

   

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