Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

LANTANA DREAMING OF MUSIC…or…(MOMENTS WORTH RECALLING)

October 1, 2014

Lantana Dreaming of Music 012 (1024x683) (2)

As I was pondering another blog post with yet another decorated pot (Two just emerged from the kiln), I was browsing pictures that I had liked enough to process and save. I stopped on this one and felt myself drifting into it…recalling that day, that moment that captured more than my eye. I came across others as I browsed, moments that never made it to the blog or any other mode of sharing, and decided to honor a few of those. I will also include a shot of each of the pots that I like as photographs…as moments worth recalling.

Butterfly pot on Bricks 095 (1024x706) (2)

Weary of trying for decent images of art as art,

I allowed my butterfly pot to alight upon old Chicago bricks.

Wisteria Vine - A Dance 006 (1024x799) (3)

Long after the Spring’s abundant blooming,

a single Wisteria vine dances en l’air.

Musical Moment 079 (1024x683) (2)

My old dog, Music, continues to teach me

to smell, taste, and listen as I step into the muck.

Pearl Napping in The Light 063 (1024x614) (2)

My cat, Pearl, eats, drinks, and is merry…

bef0re stretching out to absorb the light.

East Beach Phenomena 067 (1024x749) (2)

The light broke through like magic

as the water rushed the shore.

Lizard Pot on Stump 113 (1024x670) (2)

I place my lizard pot on a stump to photograph,

but my camera prefers the stump to the pot.

Cicada on Silk Milk Container 098 (684x1024) (2)

After breaking free from her old outgrown skin,

the cicada dries her wings before flight.

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PRAYING WOMAN

June 23, 2014

Praying Woman Pot on Black 096 (587x1024) (2)

This praying woman

appeared on  a pot

not long before losing Star.

The little dog was fading

and other things were contributing also

to a pervading sadness.

I sat in the annex with the other women

and willed my hand to draw something other

than a female figure

weighted with what I was feeling.

Yet I found that I was rubbing out more

than I was drawing.

Surrender gave me the truth:

a sorrowing woman appealing for mercy.

Praying Woman Pot on Black 8 103 (582x1024) (2)

And mercy came in the form of angels:

child-shaped…

plump and earthy with determined love.

Praying Woman Pot on Black 4 100 (601x1024) (2)

Generous and wise

as children can be,

they danced in the woman’s night sky…

and with them came stars.

Praying Woman Pot 2 (on black) 098 (602x1024) (2)

Sweet natures,

whether in children or angels…

or dear little dogs  –

always and innocently –

bring comfort.

Woman Serene (Starlight) 107 (635x1024) (2)

And STAR-LIGHT…

CROSSING THE THRESHOLD

January 2, 2013

Music - Crossing The Threshold (1024x768) (3)I did not write about Christmas.

Christmas happened,

and I went along for the ride.

For the past three days of relative peace,

I have combed through photographic images:

countless accumulated images

cronicling Christmas.

There were shrimp boats, gaily decked with lights

in the nearby harbor,

trees with gifts and grandchildren nestled beneath,

a cemetary visit with wreathes to place

on the graves of loved ones,

granddaughter, Julia,

searching for fairies in a brand new pop-up book.

Yet the image that hovers most invitingly

as I contemplate the beginning of this new year

is of Music dog crossing a threshold of sorts,

taking the first step onto the sunlit bricks

that lead to our home.

He has stepped into light and paused

as though contemplating further committment.

I project, of course, thinking…

out of the old year, into the new.

In truth,

I love the simplicity of this image.

It appeals to my longing

to take my time

to savor the gesture that carries me forward.

I would contemplate this moment now:

this place of light and shadow

is enough.

Dangerous Encounter

August 21, 2012

Walking in a woodsy place,

wild weeds entangled and catching

at bare white legs,

I watch for snakes,

feel a frisson of fear

at the thought of

 sinuous cold-blooded beauty

poised to strike.

I am on guard

as dogs go blundering on

tugged by their noses

heedless of all things sharp,

like blackberry thorns

or poison-laden fangs.

Gripping their leashes, peering

at thick green growing things,

I am on guard

but not on guard against

the sudden sharp sweet scent

of passion flower.

Vine stretches sinuous

across my path,

but I am no longer afraid,

armed as I am

with my tiny pocket camera,

its superior lens

providing distance from

the blatant passion staring,

ready to strike.

Visited By Love

December 28, 2010

Sometimes in a period of dryness – when  gestures of love have become habitual and shaming – something happens to arouse the sleeping heart, to soften and bring moisture to one’s sensibilities.

This little dog appeared at dusk on a frigid evening, collarless and unidendifiable by any means. He may have sought his liberation or been abandoned, yet now he shivered from the cold and craved attachment. My own dogs shivered in excitement, lunging forward – mouths agape and tails-a-wagging. The small one skittered in alarm, retreating as I coaxed the reluctant Music and Star into the car. Now the young Jack Russell Terrier came into my waiting hands, surrendering gratefully against my body. He breathed a sigh and so did I; the stress of both our days was instantly replaced by calm. It felt like calm. It felt like coming home. But even as my eyes were wet with tears of recognition, the rational me drove to Bienville Animal Medical Center. The rational me observed as the kind attendants scanned the lost dog for a microchip and telephoned possible owners. The rational me let them take him from my clinging hands. 

I felt bereft without him, and over the next few days I called repeatedly to see how he was and if someone had claimed him. By the weekend no one had and he wasn’t eating well. I was told that on Monday he would be moved to the shelter. I brought him home on a weekend when I had numerous holiday obligations. Love isn’t rational, and by this time it was love that moved me. Love made me foolish and brave. It made me take on that which others warned me to think twice about. I wasn’t ready to think twice; I was alive with youthful energy. Abandoning the limitations of my age I vowed to manage the complexities of loving three dogs and a feisty cat – with grace. I quickly discovered that the little dog loved the small green bed that the cat had rejected. To him the bed meant settle down, so the bed went upstairs, downstairs, and into the back of the car. This gave me respite now and then, but I also discovered he had never been on a leash. A leash brought on darts and dashes and dramatic flips in the air. I let him run along beside the other dogs – at least for the moment.

Their were moments when our time together was idyllic, when I was sure all things were possible. The puppy seemed to learn the patterns and rituals of the older dogs. He learned that the small blue bowl was his – that venturing toward the large green bowl or the large red bowl brought a NO from the one who provided the food, and nervous growls from other members of his pack. The little dog loved to play: to run and pounce on toys that were tossed and to spar with Star in a circling, prancing dance that made me laugh in delight. I loved to lean back in my chair at night to watch a movie, the little dog curled in sweet surrender upon my chest. The other dogs stood guard on the porch against night-time marauders. All was well.

On Sunday a friend whose old dog had recently died came by to visit, and her instant rapport with the calmer than usual Jack Russell Terrier gave me hope that a good home would be provided, and I wouldn’t be spending the rest of my days being super mom to three dogs and an increasingly prickly cat. I was becoming a little ragged. She told me she needed twenty-four hours to decide. That afternoon I left the dogs for several hours to make Christmas wreaths with my siblings for the cemetary, and after that a family party. On returning, I found three nervous and clamoring  dogs and several “accidents” in my studio.

Monday morning I woke to the tapping sound that meant little Bobby was more than ready to go out. Yes, I’d begun to call him Bobby now and then. My grandmother called my father Bobby when I was growing up – an endearment that made me realize that my barely approachable artist father had once been a little boy with a loving mother. Bobby somehow suited the little dog, and he was responding to the name. Bobby learned to walk on the leash very well by himself, but it wasn’t easy with all three dogs attached to my arm. I was often pulled this way and that – not to mention frequent entanglements. This picture was taken at Gulf Islands National Seashore, and a woman we met who was walking her aged Golden Retriever told me I had a good heart. A good heart? Well… More likely a foolish heart, growing more emmeshed by the minute. The mind and body were having very different reactions. Try panic attacks, and increasing concern at not hearing from my friend who was almost sure to adopt the little dog. Arriving home, I found a message informing me that she just couldn’t do it. Dear God…

By Tuesday morning, I was having a meltdown – and praying desparately for HELP. I was due to go Christmas shopping with my sister, while the dogs were all going to doggy daycare at the vets. Bobby was getting his shots. Music and Star were settled first, then I brought in the little dog, walking beautifully on his leash. Exclamations met his appearance; a woman with two puppies and two children were sitting with an older man in overalls – a wooden cross on his ample chest. At their response, I blurted out the story of finding the beautiful little creature running loose with no leash and being unable to locate owners or find him a home. The woman simply turned to the man and said “Take him, Richard.” Richard was slower to surrender to this sudden appeal to his manly heart, yet soon the little dog was pressed against that same heart, his chin was receiving a doggie kiss with pleasure. I lingered there, discussing this and that, but it was clear that this was the answer I had been praying for. So I hugged the large and tenderhearted man and was hugged in turn; we were in agreement.

All day I was exhilerated and energized, enjoying my time with my sister – shopping for books and eating lunch unencumbered. It was only in the evening when I entered the studio to play with Music and Star that I suddenly felt the absence of the little dog – the small blythe angel whose love had so softened my heart. Then I sank to the floor and wept with such abandon that all play ceased and my own familiar and furry angels came to comfort me. Music nudged me and gazed into my spilling eyes, while Star licked the tears from my cheeks until I had to smile if somewhat tremulously. Oh dogs… Oh love… Oh little dog… Goodbye…

Music and Star

November 24, 2010

Yesterday I complained to my dear friend, Kendall, about my dogs. I told her that they absorbed my day with their various needs and demands. I lamented the fact that I never take walks without both dogs attached to my arm. In fact, only when I go to Paris. All of this sounded pretty ridiculous when I said it out loud, but she had sympathy for her silly old friend, having recently adopted a darling and totally absorbing poodle named Lambie (she has her own blog). These days we do tend to speak of our dogs: the problems and the joys of parenting dogs pour forth and are made more acceptable and less ridiculous by sharing. We continue to mirror one another and remind one another that we are as human as we are spiritual in nature, and it’s OK – even quite wonderful to love our dogs. This  post is – in part – inspired by our recent exchanges. I feel moved to express my gratitude for my canine companions.

Music is a red and white cocker spaniel with a perfectly round dot on top of his head. I call this an angel’s kiss, which might go far toward explaining his rather angelic demeanor, at least when he’s in a peaceful mood. Relaxed and drowsy on my bed – or when riding beside me in the car – his gaze can be so over-flowing with love that I have to respond in kind. Any negative energy in the vicinity is banished immediately by Music’s love-eyes. Of course, even an angel of a dog has a devilish side, or should I say stubborn side. When his nose is in gear and he sniffs out the odorous presence of racoon, fox, or who knows what other tantalizing scent, he becomes a dog possessed – takes off like a streak, forgetting any intention to stay close to the one he loves above all else. My voice – calling sweetly at first, then louder and increasingly commanding – has no effect. His ears are closed the minute his nostrils flare. My frustration and anger mount as Music disappears further into the woods, and only when he is stopped by the briars does he come to his (higher) senses, becoming submissive enough to be rescued. I am the rescuer, also the briar remover, the tick drowner, and the one who hoses the stinking mud from his beautiful coat. I am also extremely angry until those eyes are turned on me once again: those beseeching – I love you, no matter what – eyes. Music also sings: a loud lament that tells me he needs – immediately and desparately – to be let in off the porch. He also sings when I leave the house without him. The singing seems to be brought on by separation anxiety, but it could be simply a talent for singing the blues. Music is twelve-years-old. I have been graced by his inimicable presence for nearly as long.

Star is a happy little cocker/beagle mix, brought home because Music needed a friend – or so I surmised. For the first week of her presence in our home, I thought of her as a foolish mistake. I am pretty sure Music felt the same way, and we came pretty close to giving her away to the Wisconsin Christmas tree man. I couldn’t do it. Puppy Star was cute and round and endlessly affectionate – generous with wet sloppy kisses  and eager to leap into the nearest lap and stay for a while. She is still all these things, though ten years later – at thirty-two pounds, her lap-leapings can make a startling and weighty impression. Star is a hungry dog – all of the time and for anything, edible or questionably so. My love for this little dog tells me that she has an appetite for life. My horror at her occasional partaking of cat poop tells me she is an indiscriminate eater with a few nasty habits. Her beagle side requires frequent baths and liberal applications of deoderizing spray. Despite her extra weight, my Star can run like the wind. She can also dance, when in the mood. She and I only dance together in private. This is usually when Music is happily ensconced on the porch watching out for racoons.

Music and Star are really quite wonderful companions, and they can be enormously patient when I am in creative mode, which is most mornings after our longest walk of the day. Around one or two o’clock we are all more than ready for an outing in the car. The park we head for used to be called Magnolia Park. Now it’s officially named the Gulf Islands National Seashore Park. Oh dear… Anyway this is one of our favorite outings. I take along my protein smoothie, put on music or an audiobook, and go with the flow. When we arrive we meander around beneath oak trees that survived a hard hit by Katrina. This walk is not about getting anywhere. I am more patient with their need to sniff and mark – and to greet enthusiastically everyone we meet. It’s a good place for losing yourself in the moment. Dogs are good at this, and my two remind me again and again and again. Bless them…

A Passionate sky

January 13, 2010

Winter sunshine is a strong bright presence in my room. It spills relentlessly through a high up window, causing my eyes to squint at this screen, and heating up my left side. I am not exactly comfortable with the intensity of its message. I feel quiet inside, my mind rather lazy, reluctant even to seek words. So I fall back on nature, the dependable source when the inner life would seem to fall silent. I take note of the natural world, its eager and effortless expression, I admire its mindless explosion of light and warmth on bitter cold days.

Yesterday, walking out in the cold late afternoon with my dogs, I was blessed by a winter sunset. The  sky was a deep rose color. A passionate sky! I stood still and basked in its beauty, as the little dogs raced directly into its fiery glow. For them it was all one: the gravel road opening up before them, the starkly graceful trees to sniff and poop beneath, the glorious few moments of freedom from four walls and their pre-occupied human companion.  They epitomized the scene I gazed upon. Their message to me was: wake up and live; don’t miss this chance to be the passionate abandon you stand in awe of. Yet I walked on slowly, mourning the now fading sky, while they moved on to roam the shadowy underbrush, equally delighted by night’s approach — and the tantalizing scent of fox and raccoon. It was time to call them back, to remind them of the pleasures of being tame: Shelter from the freeze that was on its way, and plenty of food at regular hours, affection and cozy companionship, dependable love. That last is their special gift to me: dependable love — and a passionate response to life. At least I know it when I see it.