Archive for March, 2011

Dancing Where I Am

March 25, 2011

I am no longer trying to get back across the bridge. I’ve decided to stay and embrace this in between place. What had seemed a precarious means to get from here to there, has become a state of mind that feels like home. I have always loved the in between place – danced from the in between place. Between the breaths I found the grace to let myself fall. Repeatedly, my body unbalanced and tipped off the edge. I gloried in the dance of imbalance. Recovery happened, but only long enough to prepare me for the next release of breath and weight.

Walks with the dogs have shortened as Music recovers, but a certain amount of fear seems beneficial. I shall call it a friend as I learn to dance again in this in between place. Spring is where I am: a transitional season which has always inspired the dancer to bloom.

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A Fearful Spring

March 23, 2011

On Sunday morning I was innocent – glad to be stepping out into the Wisteria scented air. The fragrant clusters spilled themselves over the the trunks of trees, concealing as well as glorifying their hosts.  I breathed in their sweetness – was thankful  for the  beauty of my surroundings. It was a good day for a long walk with my happy dogs.

We walked out the long curvy drive to the main road. Traffic was minimal on this Sunday morning. We could brave the harbor bridge with a little less fear of  adrenoline-charged drivers. Music and Star are familiar with our bridge routine: stay close to the railing and no sudden veerings to sniff or do business. Focus is essential until we get up and over the bridge to the other side. Then we relax and tend to doggie agendas. We head with purpose for the nearest bushes. It is all a familiar ritual to them. Doggies – with their marvelous  sense of smell – find great variety in the same old route  and delight in sniffing and marking the same old bush. Music squatted determinedly while Star tugged optimistically in the direction we were walking. I began to pull a poop bag from the plastic holder attached to the leash. The monster came out of nowhere.

It was actually a Doberman out for an adventure, and we looked promising.  I tried for dominance – commanded the dog to go home. It was only someone’s beloved pet. It had a blue collar. But it also had a chewed ear, and it wasn’t listening. Music growled, as if to say: Back off, buster. Buster was five times Music’s size and took it as an invitation. He sprang. It happened so fast. Music was down and the jaws of the beast were clamped tightly around his neck. My commands turned to screams – became cries for help as I saw my dog as the victim of this  creature’s instinct to attack and kill. My fist made contact with the muscular back to no effect. I was a flailing animal myself.  Cars stopped: an elderly couple on their way home from church, concerned but helpless. Then a young man aimed a kick that caused the jaws to unlock and the dog to flee the scene.

I stood bewildered as my heart attempted to jump from my body. Music staggered to his brave little feet. He was limping a little and blood was beginning to stain the white fur around his neck. He was still attached to his leash but the the other leash hung from my hand, its collar empty. Star had wisely extracted herself from the danger. Now she came close  and we three huddled together as a different sort of fracas continued around us. The police had arrived and various curious and concerned individuals. My legs gave out and I sank to the sidewalk. Doggie bags formed a tangled blue snake around my feet.

The next thing I knew, I was being escorted back across the bridge by the most aggressively helpful woman I have ever met.  My chest hurt, my legs barely functioned, and my ears rang with the loud incessant voice of my helper. Music crept slowly beside me as Star forgot our bridge routine and sniffed the grass. Three days later, Music is almost recovered, but I still seem to be trying to make my way back across that bridge – back to the innocence of a perfect spring morning.

Trembling On The Brink

March 11, 2011

The approach of spring is tentative this year. The fierce cold nights of winter linger in the memory, and even the plants appear to be shy about trusting the sun’s smiling face. Redbuds are braver, flinging a purple shawl across their  naked branches. And the Japanese Magnolia has burst into beauty for a glorious moment before its petals fell. But Mardi Gras has come and gone with no Azaleas to convince us that the spring is truly here. Usually it rather overshadows the delicate appearance of the Dewberry blossoms.

I have noticed lately – as I have walked with Music and Star – that small clumps have pushed through the dry brown remnants of last year’s growth. I have seen the tight pink buds pop forth on the wine-colored vines. These seemed to hold themselves in protective readiness for quite some time before allowing the tender white petals to unfurl. Even then a pink flush hinted at a certain shyness about opening all the way. This morning I took my camera on our morning walk in hopes of capturing their fey-like prettiness as reassurance of spring’s advance. Even so I tremble as I share the fragile proof, try not to move beyond this moment to anticipate the dark sweet fruit to come.