Yearning

Courtly love is the unconsummated love of a lowly knight and an unattainable noble lady who shares his feelings but is trapped in a marriage from which she cannot escape. They express their love in languishing sighs, Minnesangs (love songs), secret letters, tears, public rejection and vows of eternal love.

Because of his love for his lady, the knight achieves great things — wins tournaments, goes on crusade, kills dragons, whatever is in his purview to prove his worth and his love. His lady, in the meantime, longs for him but publicly scorns his suit, returns his gifts (some of them) and denies her feelings to any who have noticed their exchange of loving looks. Courtly love is a kind of “higher love” that makes both knight and lady better people which is kind of paradoxical from our vantage point. How can imagined adultery ennoble anyone? We all know what happens when courtly love turns carnal — Camelot falls.

Courtly love still exists. When I started this post, I thought I could speak candidly about its existence in our world today, but I can’t. Suffice it to say, it’s alive and well among extremely romantic people who want the feelings but not the mess of love, or, perhaps, those for whom Camelot has fallen quite enough times, thank you. 🙂

Tanzweise – by Walther von der Vogelweide

‘Lady,’ I said, ‘this garland wear!
For thou wilt wear it gracefully;
And on thy brow ’twill sit so fair, 
And thou wilt dance so light and free;
Had I a thousand gems, on thee,
Fair one! their brilliant light should shine:
Would’st thou such a gift accept from me,–
O doubt me not,– it should be thine.

‘Lady, so beautiful thou art,
That I on thee the wreath bestow,
‘Tis the best gift I can impart;
But whiter, rosier flowers, I know,
Upon the distant plain they’re springing,
Where beauteously their heads they rear,
And birds their sweetest songs are singing:
Come! let us go and pluck them there!’

She took the beauteous wreath I chose,
And, like a child at praises glowing,
Her cheeks blushed crimson as the rose
When by the snow-white lily growing:
But all from those bright eyes eclipse
Received; and then, my toil to pay,
Kind, precious words fell from her lips:
What more than this I shall not say. 

When From The Sod The Flow’Rets Spring” – Walther von der Vogelweide

When from the sod the flow’rets spring,
And smile to meet the sun’s bright ray,
When birds their sweetest carols sing
In all them morning pride of May,
What lovelier than the prospect there?
Can earth boast any thing more fair?
To me it seems an almost heaven,
So beauteous to my eyes that vision bright is given.

But when a lady, chaste and fair,
Noble, and clad in rich attire,
Walks through the throng with gracious air,
As sun that bids the stars retire,–
Then, where are all thy boastings, May?
What hast thou beautiful and gay
Compared with that supreme delight?
We leave thy loveliest flowers, and watch that lady bright.

Wouldst thou believe me,– come and place
Before thee all this pride of May;
Then look but on my lady’s face,
And, which is best and brightest? say:
For me, how soon (if choice were mine)
This would I take, and that resign!
And say, ‘Though sweet thy beauties, May!
I’d rather forfeit all than lose my lady gay.’ 

Walther von Der Vogelweide is, IMO, a great poet. “Unter der Linden” is a beautiful love poem, very sexy and evocative (not quite courtly love). “Alas! Where Have all the Years…” is something we all feel in the later years of life — even now, almost 1000 years later.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/10/07/rdp-monday-elusive/

Ode to a Quixotic Pumpkin

“Give it up, Faith. It’s inevitable. You got a late start.”

“I can’t ‘give it up’. Seriously?”

“OK, but you’re breaking my heart.” I wanted to explain that our elevation is 7500 feet/2200 meters. That the growing season is barely 8 weeks and by starting out in July? But why? Why daunt an undaunted pumpkin? Besides, who knows?

I know not everyone talks to the Australian pumpkin growing in their garden or to pumpkins of any other nationality for that matter. I loved her Quixotic determination not that she really had a choice. Given good soil, the right amount of water and sunshine and a decent seed to begin with, a plant is going to grow. It’s not exactly an act of will.

And every single day Faith grew. For a long while she was a little plant, most occupied with establishing a durable root system. Then she was four feet long, and then six and then eight and then the bachelors began to appear and the drama, “Will she put out girls?”


She did! “Hand fertilize!” said a friend in Australia, familiar with Australian pumpkins. So, each morning (September!) I was out to see if the girl’s had opened and when they were? I helped twice with successful pumpkin sex. Faith kept making hot girls and handsome bachelors up even as recently as a week ago, but my thought was that she should focus on the two pumpkins who were most likely to make it to adulthood. Kind of pumpkin birth control, but there’s a metaphor there.

So Faith’s two little daughters grew and grew. Then…

Last week, a mild frost hit the upper leaves. Undaunted, Faith sent up new leaves to take their place, but Jack Frost’s handwriting was on the wall, so to speak. Two nights ago, a real frost hit, and yet…

I might have covered her if my foot hadn’t been so incredibly painful at that juncture, but I was not about to walk in the uneven dog-hole riddled ground that is my yard, besides, Faith is more than 20 feet/6 meters long.

Still, the roots have not yet frozen and yesterday Faith sent up a couple of yearning bachelors. One of the large girls succumbed to frosts but the other, in a more sheltered spot, is persevering. I don’t think Faith will give up until the roots freeze — which will be Thursday when temps are slated to hit 17 F/-8 C.

Nature is the boss of the possible, but Faith is the boss of dreams. Faith says, “Do it anyway,” which is, if you think about it, the only possible choice.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/10/06/rdp-sunday-impossible/

Be True to Your Sport, Even if It’s Lame

At my recent doc visit where I learned that I get to stick needles in my fingers every day I also learned, “Your HDL is fantastic! Your LDL could be a little better, but it doesn’t matter because of your awesome HDL!”

I thought, “I owe it to my Airdyne.”

So now with the messed up foot I thought a couple of days ago, “How am I’m going to exercise?” Then my brain said, “Sweet Cheeks, your sport is riding the Bike to Nowhere. Walking the dogs is just the cherry on the sundae.”

“Good point, brain. It’s true.” At best I walk the dogs 2 leisurely miles every day but when I ride the Airdyne, I ride 10 miles in intervals and sprints.

It’s a lame sport. I’ll admit it freely. When it comes to sports, back in the day, I WAS competitive. I raced 400 meters and 400 meter hurdles. That’s won by an insane explosion of will, energy and thigh muscles. To win, you SPRINT. A lot of people can’t sprint 400 meters, but I figured because I was born and grew up at a high elevation I had a little biological advantage.

In later years my sport was skiing (downhill and Nordic), and then, when I moved away from snow, it was trail running — the closest thing to downhill skiing you can do on dry land without snow, or so it felt to me.

All this has taken a toll and I suppose that’s the price anyone pays for throwing themselves into some physical sport for most of their lives.

What I didn’t think of back then were the other benefits. During my trail running days, I began to get it. At 45, an age when my mom’s BP was already off the charts and she was on cholesterol meds, I was holding steady at 120/80. Genetics ultimately put me on those meds, too, but not until I was 60 and even then at a much lower dose than my mom was taking. Beyond the physical benefits of general fitness and (I wish) weight control (it could be worse) are the psychological benefits. Now I compete with myself to ramp up my performance to ride faster longer. Sometimes when I ride I imagine paintings which I then go and paint — or think about a little more. Often on a ride I have seen my way through a problem with a story or a friendship or gotten a great idea for an adventure with my friends. I listen to music and watch a bike riding video of the route of the Tour de France. It’s beautiful terrain and I have caught myself leaning into sharp curves when I’m “going” fast.

My Bike to Nowhere is from the 1970s. It’s copper colored with racing stripes — a little touch of irony that I love every time I get on it. It’s not a mountain bike (I loved that when I could actually lift my leg over a bike seat) or a steep winding trail or a ski slope but riding it made it possible for me to — without a lot of preparation — head out with my brand new X-country skis last winter and Langlauf with confidence the VERY FIRST TIME in nearly 20 years. That day was at LEAST as happy as any other of the extremely happy days in my life.

My dad and me in 1964 (I’m 12) setting up my first bike ❤ for him to use as a stationary bike so he could retain muscle mass and strength with his MS. You can see some blue paint. I wanted a red bicycle so my dad painted it before giving it to me for my sixth birthday. No training wheels. None of that little pedal-less faux bike kids get now. Things change — it wasn’t that they didn’t care about our safety. I think they had a different kind of confidence in our abilities.

The chart is from an app I use, “Map my Walk.” The red bars are Airdyne rides.

“October’s Bright Blue Weather”

O suns and skies and clouds of June, 
And flowers of June together, 
Ye cannot rival for one hour 
October’s bright blue weather;

When loud the bumblebee makes haste, 
Belated, thriftless vagrant, 
And goldenrod is dying fast, 
And lanes with grapes are fragrant;

When gentians roll their fingers tight 
To save them for the morning, 
And chestnuts fall from satin burrs 
Without a sound of warning;

When on the ground red apples lie 
In piles like jewels shining, 
And redder still on old stone walls 
Are leaves of woodbine twining;

When all the lovely wayside things 
Their white-winged seeds are sowing, 
And in the fields still green and fair, 
Late aftermaths are growing;

When springs run low, and on the brooks, 
In idle golden freighting, 
Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush 
Of woods, for winter waiting;

When comrades seek sweet country haunts, 
By twos and twos together, 
And count like misers, hour by hour, 
October’s bright blue weather.

O sun and skies and flowers of June, 
Count all your boasts together, 
Love loveth best of all the year 
October’s bright blue weather. 
Helen Hunt Jackson

Watch PBS/Masterpiece and Give them $5! Here’s Why…

“Have you read Justine?” asked Peter, my boyfriend, in 1979.

“The Marquis de Sade?” I ask, wide-eyed

“God no. Laurence Durrell. It’s about writing, becoming a writer. And, it’s very beautiful. It’s the first book of the Alexandrian Quartet.”

The next time I was in the bookstore near the pizza place down there on Speer Blvd. with my friend Anne, I found Justine and bought it. It went with me to visit my grandmother in Oregon, my first solo trip on a jet or any other plane, for that matter.

It is an amazing novel. At the time I read it (age 27) it seemed to be mostly about unrequited love and yes, writing. The most memorable line (and I won’t quote it exactly) happens between the protagonist and a character he’s talking with in a bar. The other character (impossible for me to remember at this point) “Wrestling with an insoluble problem grows a writer up.”

That (true) statement has echoed through the vacuous chambers of my mind for forty years. Anyhoo…

At At the time I was reading Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn) and it was cool to learn that Miller and Durrell had been good friends. (Photo below — Henry Miller is the guy in the glasses…)

Four years ago a friend of mine in Montana alerted me to a new series on PBS, so, knowing she and I are pretty similar beasts, I trusted her and signed up for PBS Passport and commenced watching The Durrells in Corfu . I was intrigued maybe especially, and naturally, by the Laurence (Larry) character seen through his brother’s eyes.

These past few days, amidst the political weirdness, my hurt foot and I have spent the last few evenings semi-binge watching the final season. We — well I as the foot has not always been hurt — have enjoyed the entire four years of this PBS/Masterpiece program based on the books written by Laurence Durrell’s naturalist brother, Gerald. It’s a visually beautiful show, set in the mid-1930s, about a very eccentric (real) British family led by a mom with the grace to allow her kids to be who they are. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. I watched it from the PBS/Masterpiece site, but it is also available on Amazon with one of their subscription deals. Even if you have to pay, it’s worth it. Here’s a little preview to whet your appetite.

The four books in the Alexandrian Quartet are Justine, Balthazar, Mountolive and Clea. If you research them on, say, Goodreads or some place you might learn more about them than I, in my late 20s, was able to fathom. Ultimately, my favorite was the final novel, Clea.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/10/05/rdp-saturday-amidst/

Hazards of Hiking on Flat Trails

I have been certifiably insane, and I’ve written about it here. But, insanity happens to all of us — we suffer the insanity of anger, the insanity of infatuation, the insanity of greed, the insanity of lust — the list of possible insanities is very long, comprising the 7 Deadlies.

I think behind today’s prompt is Offal (Our Fearless Leader) and the question of whether he is insane or not. Lots of people think so and that he’s suffering from senile dementia (if he is suffering from dementia, not as much as we’re suffering from his senile dementia). I think what they are doing is relating to Offal — “I would only act like that if I were insane.” I think many people think this way because they are NOT evil and can’t directly relate to it. When they see him stand in front of the White House and yell to reporters that China should investigate the Bidens they see a crazy old man in the throes of dementia.

That isn’t what I see. I see a man who has built his whole life toward the position he holds now and who, caught red-handed with a crime (and he knows it’s a crime or he would not have buried so many phone calls in a super-secret vault) decides to brazen it out and use it to inflame his base some of whom do believe that Offal has the right to solicit the help of foreign powers to investigate the criminal behavior of Americans.

Offal knows perfectly that his base will rally around his “take” on events, his spin that the purpose of an impeachment proceeding is to overturn a lawful election.

Subtleties such as that in the language of the Constitution are lost on a lot of us, even people like me who are absurdly literate and biased AGAINST Offal. Hoping to get some light on this myself, I did research yesterday. Among the things I learned was this:

Alexander Hamilton warned specifically about a foreign power’s ability to cultivate a president or another top official. In Federalist Paper Number 68, published in 1788, Hamilton wrote:These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistry of the Union?

The Founders Would Have Impeached, etc.


Impressive as this is, The Federalist Papers are NOT the Constitution, so I went a little deeper (thanks to this article it wasn’t difficult). The founders were most worried, naturally, about the President of the new nation being a pawn of Great Britain.

So, do I think Offal is insane? Not at all. I think he’s something that most of us cannot readily imagine being ourselves which makes him LOOK insane to us. He is evil, ruthless, power-hungry, cynical and narcissistic.

In OTHER news, I’m now sure my foot injury is a sprain. Two days of rest, ice, compression and elevation have almost totally relieved the pain, but I’m not pushing it. I learned a lesson. AND it’s occurred to me WHY my old hiking boots had/have such stiff and heavy souls (yes, I wrote that on purpose). It’s to protect my feet from the trail itself. Since “the trail itself” injured me, I am rethinking this whole thing. Just because the trail where I was injured is mostly flat and “easy” doesn’t mean it is without hazards.

Most of the time I wear approach shoes which are a kind of hybrid between hiking shoes and climbing shoes. They are designed to allow the foot to FEEL the rock. Well, I sure felt the rock. SO my hope is Monday to head out in my heavy hiking boots and see what happens. If nothing else, my feet cannot MOVE inside of them and my foot will be held in place.

I’ll also try not to write about politics tomorrow but who knows what will happen today… 🙂

Something interesting to read.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/10/04/rdp-friday-insanity/

Chairman Trump

I woke up to this in my Facebook chat this morning, “I’ve just had a thought. How similar the current offal political strategy to appeal to vulnerable, uneducated, xenophobic people is to that used in that country you visited.”

The country I “visited” is China. The text message is from a reader of As a Baby Duck Listens to Thunder, which is a memoir about the year I spent as a Foreign Expert in English in the PRC in 1982/83, just a few years after Mao’s death and the arrest of the Gang of Four. As I was writing that book I saw over and over the similarities between the residue of Maoist China and the US as some of the people in this nation would have it.

I’m always stunned when someone says Offal (Our Fearless Leader) is stupid. He’s not. Nor is he insane. He’s just power-hungry and ruthless. WAY more dangerous than stupid or insane. I’m convinced he knows exactly what he’s doing and that he began long ago with The Apprentice. To build a personality cult one first has to be a “Personality” (which is different from having one). He’s continued campaigning throughout his term in “office” because whipping up a crowd, being irreverent, cruel, and funny in a sinister “WE are cool, THEY aren’t” way is how to reach followers. He’s not a leader, he has never been a leader and it’s unnecessary that he be one. I’m not even convinced he’s “run” by Putin or anyone else.

The whole time this has been going on I’ve been stunned by the similarity between Offal and Chairman Mao. The difference is that Mao started out with an actual enemy (the Japanese who had invaded China) and Offal really has no enemy and has had to demonize Democrats in order to form “sides.” Mao was able to, finally, seize power because of the corrupt and fragmented nature of politics and the ineffectiveness of the “opposition” party — the Kuomintang — in China. Mao appealed to the peasants who had never, in the thousands of years of Chinese history, had a chance in hell of an education, a safe life, or even enough food. Still, once the Japanese were defeated, Mao had to manufacture enemies. Over the years of his “reign” hundreds of thousands of Chinese died as “enemies of the state,” intellectuals, those who had been educated abroad, shop-keepers — any group Mao was able to label.

Mao’s idea of revolution was (and this is his metaphor) a jar containing silt, sand, gravel, pebbles and water. The only way to maintain his version of “order” was to keep the jar shaken so that the various materials could never settle into layers. The shaken jar was the constant struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie.

Offal has managed to keep this nation in constant upheaval since he took office.

China’s history and the history of the United States have few real points of comparison that I can see. The Chinese peasants who rallied behind Mao were TRUE victims whereas the blind followers of Offal have never lived in conditions remotely similar to those of the Chinese peasant. What Offal is able to do is make his followers feel that they are victims of the evil Democrat machine and sinister immigrants who are coming to take what they have.

I think it’s human nature to want to find a villain, someone to blame. It’s a lot easier than looking straight at your problems and trying to find a way to solve them, or taking responsibility when we ourselves have done something. This is not to say we have a perfect system — I don’t think so — but things being proffered by the Democrats, such as universal health care, would improve the lives of Offal’s base. The thing about a personality cult is that reality is less important than maintaining the illusion. Scratching the surface of a follower, we find infatuation and identification with the “hero.”

Oh, wait, that’s pretty much a description of my romantic relationships… 🙂

Apologies to Andy Warhol but I think he’d have done this, too, were he here to do it.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/10/03/rdp-thursday-scratch/

“Thank you, Lord, for thinkin’ ’bout me. I’m alive and doin’ fine.”

We were just kids, didn’t know our asses from our elbows, and were all about to take the big step into the big world where things were not ordered and interpreted by the deacons of First Baptist Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Some of us were excited for the BIG ADVENTURE of the REAL world which, in the late 60’s and early 70’s was a pretty flash place rife with sex and drugs and rock’n’roll. We were a close knit bunch, most of us honor students, and I had the supreme honor of being elected President of the BYF (Baptist Youth Fellowship). Unfortunately, I made some miscalculations about the motives of the church leaders and ended up being thrown out of my youth group but still “allowed” to attend church. Pretty damned white of them, don’t you think? You can read about that event here. My long ago post about an unctuous deacon at my church It’s a good story.

Many of the church leaders felt that “shunning” and “ejecting” me was unfair and attempted to bring me back into the fold. After all, I had a demonstrably fucked up family, dad rushing toward death from MS, mom on drugs and booze and a little brother who was headed for the dark side. There was every possibility that I could be saved from perdition. I clearly had a good heart, a good soul, knew my Bible, had made some big contributions to the church and the youth group from which I’d been ejected, and Jesus didn’t want to lose the members of his flock.

The local Baptist summer camp — Black Forest Baptist Assembly — needed counsellors and one of my “allies” talked my mom into letting me be a counselor for a week at a kid’s camp. I wasn’t really aware of it at the time, but I needed to be away from my mom. My mom, on the other hand, needed me at home to help with my dad. The Pastor came, talked to my mom about it and I got to go. I was 18, just out of high school, had suffered my first serious broken heart, was about to start college. It was 1970.

That week counseling a group of Jr. High girls at Black Forest Baptist Assembly in a primitive camp was absolutely wonderful fantastic life-altering and redemptive. I had never had a summer camp experience. I had never slept in a tent. I’d spent a lot of time in woods and hills, but had never had the chance to share that with anyone. The Pastor who ran that camp was great. He loved the outdoors, was generous-hearted, funny and the kids loved him. A few weeks afterward, I started college.

The next summer I was invited back. It seemed that in spite of my questionable allegiance to Baptist tenets, I was a gifted summer camp counselor. My mom was persuaded to let me spend most of the summer as a CIT, Counselor in Training, which meant that I would counsel a few camps, work in the kitchen preparing meals for the primitive camps, and share a cabin with a friend. I’d also have a chance to lead arts and crafts if any of the camp leaders wanted it.

I had my second run-in with “unctuous deacons” that summer.

The same Pastor who had been so great the year before ran one of the camps in which I would be working and he specifically asked if I would be counseling that summer. I didn’t know that in the intervening year, he’d become “born again” at a revival meeting. He’d experienced a visitation of the “spirit” and had spoken in tongues. His orientation to the camp experience had changed completely. Rather than games of “steal the bacon,” nature hikes, campfire songs and s’mores, the kids were rounded up and made to sit for HOURS in the ONE enclosure in the primitive camp while the pastor pushed toward a “charismatic” experience with the Lord. It was awful. The kids were junior high kids, not all from a church, some just there because it was truly the best camping experience in the area (usually).

Finally, one rainy evening, after dinner, as a thunderstorm broke all around us, a group of kids and I ran away to take a hike. As the storm ended, we climbed a ridge. The sun was dropping behind the mountains, hitting the mammatus clouds with golden light. The same light reflected on water droplets all around us. It was a shimmering, glimmering, light-filled, brand new world of sublime beauty.

“We should have communion,” said one of the kids.

“We don’t have any bread or juice,” said another kid.

“I’ll go down to the main camp and get some.”

“OK,” I said, equally enchanted by the beauty of the moment from this high place, the rapidly changing light and the authentic fellowship of a dozen kids (including me) on a hard hike. He ran down the hill, raided the kitchen, stole a pack of Chips Ahoy cookies and a bottle of fruit drink.

There on that hill we shared a spiritual experience in Nature’s holy light. Instead of Kumbaya or some other hymn-like thing we joined hands and sang a pop song…

“And then?” you might be wondering… Well the Pastor complained to the camp director who then called me in and asked me what happened. I explained it all, expecting to be ejected and shunned yet again but no.

“I agree with you, Martha. That’s what camp is for. Enjoying the beauty and blessings of nature, God’s gift to us. I don’t approve of this charismatic stuff. It’s not for everyone, and certainly not for children. As you know, a lot of our campers are not Baptist or maybe any faith. Browbeating them into believing something is wrong. I’ll talk to him.”

The upshot was that I worked two more camps that summer, and met the boy who might have been the great love of my life (last time I saw him was 2004). Then a day came when my mom showed up out of no where and said, “You have to come home. I can’t take care of your dad myself. We have to take him to a nursing home.”

But I had that sunset and it lit my heart forever.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/10/02/rdp-wednesday-unctuous/

A story on this subject you might enjoy is Langston Hughe’s “Salvation.”

What a Walk Means to a Dog

My injured foot has slowly been getting better. I have not, cannot and will not stay off of it completely nor will I see a doctor. I don’t know why. I guess I’m just sick of shit going wrong. Dr. Google (and previous experience) tell me that there no “cure” other than time, RICE and supportive shoes. It’s OK. It has three months + to get back to normal. I’ve been walking the dogs less frequently and less far and choosing trails carefully. Sidewalks are the most painful places, so I’m not walking around the hood. The golf course would be best, but guys are still playing golf. That leaves the wildlife areas, but Shriver/Wright is better than the Rio Grande Wildlife area because the trail is softer and there are far fewer rocks..

The poor dogs had gone without a walk for three days, so once I had done a ton of chores, I leashed Bear and Teddy, and we went out there. We were relegated to the Rio Grande Wildlife Area by dog owners parked at Shriver/Wright.

My foot is still hurt and walking on that rocky trail was difficult, requiring that I pay good attention to where I placed my foot. Teddy was a pain in the ass, continually walking behind me and nearly tripping me. I lost it and started giving him the what for — I never do that, but there I was. Pain makes people not themselves, and I definitely had a hurt foot. But afterwards, I was really sorry and embarrassed. We turned around at 1/2 mile and within 10 steps I’d re-injured my foot. “Karma,” I thought.

“I’m sorry Teddy.”

Teddy didn’t care and he’d stopped walking behind me.

I thought about what I’d read about Australian shepherds, “These dogs are tough. Think about it. They get kicked in the face by cattle.” I felt a little better.

We walked. Slowly, slowly, slowly, slowly. The dogs were good, and I was philosophical — the best I was going to get and it was pretty OK.

Back at home, my dogs — who have been a little insecure and, in Teddy’s case, aloof, since the two nights at the kennel — were back to their old affectionate selves and I thought about that. When I walk my dogs, that’s when the real bonding occurs between all of us. It’s not the food bowl. It’s not being petted, trained, given cookies or played with. It’s the hunt. This is the actual reason I have had so many dogs and love them so much. The hunt is the biggest thing in my life, too, the best part of any given day and the redemption of many a bad day. When my mom accused me of having dogs as “child surrogates” I said, “No. We’re friends. They like to do what I like to do.”

All of us basically hang around all day waiting for the moment when we can go hunting. My new plan is to take a couple days off and then walk them each on alternating days and take my cane. 🙂

Quotidian Update 81.2.iiv

Ambient water vapor is a very rare thing out here in the Back of Beyond. Daytime humidity normally registers in the single digits. But, in the winter we have freezing fog, usually in the more humid hours of the night and pretty often we get to wake up to an enchanted world. Those mornings also bring ice crystals in the air, shimmering rainbows, suspended for fleeting moments as they drift down to the snow, tiny spectra on the ground.

The four seasons are equally split, and real winter is probably 3 months away. I haven’t broken the news to Bear, but considering that I have a broken foot, it’s a good thing for me.

Otherwise — Bear missed me while I was up at points north and has been near me every minute since they came home. Lori, the woman who owns the kennel, put my dogs in the kennel next to the grooming area. There’s a window that opens onto that kennel so Lori could pet them, and I’m sure they got LOTS of attention. Teddy seems a little hesitant and downcast, like, “You left me!” As someone abandoned him not all that long ago, I understand. He has to learn that I might leave him with Lori at the kennel, but I will come back.

My dogs suffering in captivity 😀

Vapor