Offering Up

I cannot fathom what it would be like to be tossed into the vastness of a dark, watery hole. I cannot imagine what would go through a person’s mind as they waited to complete their mission, delivering the message to the deity. Ultimately this would end in your death.

Perhaps that’s why some of people used young children as their messengers. The odds of the children understanding death, of realizing what would happen to them, would be less. Of course some of these cultures provided a “relaxant” to the messengers so that the all important plea to the deity could be delivered.

I also cannot fathom what it would be like to know you have given up a loved one to deliver the message and the plea was ignored. Would that mean that the loved one wasn’t worthy? The price paid was not enough for the deity?

Of course I also don’t live in a place where the unexplained things are explained through myth and such. I also do not have to rely on a lot of other people directly for my immediate survival, thus the need to give something for the common good of the rest is not something I have to consider the same way.

It isn’t that we do not give things up, that some of us do not give all that is near and dear to us in order to help others. Some people do this on a regular basis. But it’s different. We don’t gather to toss humans in certain places as a means of sending our messages to the deities. Instead our deities are offered items in different ways, with the great offering mostly being cash. Because obviously every deity needs cash in some way.

Footsteps and Footfalls

She carefully made her way down the well worn path. I wondered if she had considered all the feet that had walked down this path before her or if it was just another path she walked on the tour she gave on a regular basis.

I couldn’t help but wonder about all those feet that had walked down here before me. All the people those feet belonged to had a life, a life that happened before they came down this path. And the path, of course, would lead them to a different future, one they couldn’t possible have dreamed of happening.

She stopped, waiting for us to catch up, underneath a large tree. The tree, she said, was a meeting place. Historically it would have been a place to gather and share.

When we had all gathered around her, she carried on with the story of those people. Of how once they were gathered this last time under the tree, they were placed on a boat to begin a different journey. One which would take them further away from home for good. A one-way journey is how she described it.

They wouldn’t all survive the journey, and they wouldn’t stay gathered up once they got to the new place. Instead they would be distributed as needed with no thought for their own feelings and attachments. And while there would be great trees where they were going, they wouldn’t be places to gather and share in the same way.

And their feet would be traveling down different paths. Possibly hard paths which were beyond imagination and yet were reality.

When I asked her, later on, did she ever consider the history and the people who had walked that path before her, she shook her head. She said it was impossible to imagine, impossible to understand, but she would tell their stories as best she could. But she did not feel any sense of it, she was, after all, just telling a story. A true story of thousands of people over the course of time, but to her, it was still a story because distance and time will always turn a moment into a story so it’s easy to manage.

A Little

Into every life a little rain must fall. I can accept that and in fact I don’t mind a little rain. I wasn’t expecting a deluge to be honest. I mean I’m not skilled at building arks and there are only so many water wings a person can buy to stay afloat.

I knew it rained here. I did my research. What I wasn’t aware of was that “sometimes a little more rain” would mean a deluge of water. I guess you could say it’s my own fault for not asking what “a little more” actually meant.

The four-footed one likes to splash in puddles. She does not, however, like to be too wet all the time. She likes her Terrafirma to be, well, firm with the odd puddles to play in and such. So she’s reluctant to step outside, or if she is out for a bit, she will demand (don’t ask) to be carried. Because wet paws!

Beloved will take a small wagon with him when they go for a walk so that when she’s had enough walking in the water, he can pick her up and put her in the wagon. The wagon inside is dry because it has a small cover, so she will go in, snuggle on some towels and have her human pull her the rest of the way while she stays nice and dry. Or at least starts to dry.

Beloved has decided that the air here is “too heavy” to breathe properly. Thus the humidity and the rain don’t just make you wet, but also make your lungs wet. (I know, but there is no sense in arguing with a man who is positive his inability to breathe is due to the humidity and not the fact that he has convinced himself that he cannot breathe.)

Walking In This World

Walking is good, they say. Walking is easy on the body and a great way to start to get moving. Walking is a simple, inexpensive way to stay active.

The four-footed one is a fan of walking. Especially when she gets to choose the route, the distance and all the rest. The four-footed one ensures that we get out and walk.

What no one told us is that the four-footed one’s idea of walking does not match ours. She will happily walk beside us until she sees a bird. Or a squirrel. Or a lizard. Or a moth. Or a dragonfly. Or well, anything really. Once she sees these items walking is no longer on her mind.

Not in the least. We must give chase so that we might pounce on the item of our desire. When we are moved distracted away from the item, we will return to walking at a normal pace until something else comes along that must be investigate.

Today on our walk there was something completely new for us. A man was removing mortar from low brick wall. He had some new bricks to put in place of the broken and crumbled ones. And the four-footed one was very curious. Very curious indeed. The minute she found something new happening within her line of sight, we had to run towards it. And then when we were close, we had to slowly approach the new person and the new scents.

And when she had enough, okay so the poor man actually got back to work, we had to run away. Because the noise told us it wasn’t safe. And then why not run home and share the excitement with Beloved?

Somehow I don’t believe the type of walking they were talking about is the same type of walking that the four-footed one believes in.

Enough Is Enough

I used to have a professor who would tell me that my work was never enough. He thought he was challenging me to rise above, to do better work or reach beyond my current level of comfort. What he was doing was creating a lot of self doubt about my level of work.

I would spend endless hours trying to reach his expectations of enough, and of course every assignment, every assessment, the feedback was the same. Towards the middle of the semester, after spending countless hours comparing myself to my classmates and not seeing where I was coming up short, I booked a meeting with him to discuss this concept of “enough”.

It was in this meeting that he told me this is how he dealt with students who “showed promise” and could “shake things up” or “set academia on a different path”. I guess I was supposed to be flattered by all of this. I wasn’t. I mean if he was showing me this while I was working on my undergrad, what could I expect if I carried on and moved further ahead?

Often times we hear things like why we aren’t reaching the target someone has set for us. We aren’t strong enough, slim enough, healthy enough, outgoing enough, smart enough, talented enough, for our employers or people in our lives. In some cases, it is done as a means to help you be inspired to be more. In other cases, it’s just said for the sake of being said.

Well you know what? Only you know what you really to give and take in life. Only you know how much is enough for you. You may want to be a great swimmer, but have no desire to earn a gold medal. You get to decide what great is for you and guess what? That’s enough.

It is time that we start taking back enough, and the concept of what is good enough from external influences in our lives when it is no longer doing us any good and instead causing doubt, fear and worry. Because you are good enough.

They Said

They said she had beautiful hair, long and wavy. They said her face was captivatingly beautiful. One sight of either her hair or her face and many a man had been hooked into finding her again.

They said many a good man had followed her to their own watery depths while she laughed mockingly as they drowned. And then she’d simply swim off seeking her next victim.

Beloved had decided he needed to chase down the stories of her existence, just as many had done before him and some would do after he was finished chasing it. It isn’t as if he believes in mermaids or mermen to be honest. He was fascinated with the fact that these stories carried on, long after they had been proven to not exist.

So we three (Beloved, the dog and I) found ourselves in a boat, heading to waters where a recent sighting had taken place. The captain of the boat easily navigated to the “exact spot” which really was something I’d sooner investigate. I mean how could he tell the “exact spot” when the water looked all the same. Especially since we were out in the middle of nothing, no land near to see. I decided, while Beloved was setting up various pieces of equipment, it had to be with GPS coordinates.

As Beloved was occupied, the captain told me that here the mermaids always turned out to be a certain type of fish. The hair was fins or water spray. Her beautiful face? He said no one could describe it. He believed that people “saw’ the face long after the fish was gone and instead what the person was seeing was the shimmering of scales on the underside of a fish. But he wasn’t going to argue if Beloved wanted to chase this story a bit, it was money in the captain’s pocket.

When the day was done, Beloved had had some fun, I got to listen to some interesting ideas from the captain and the four-footed one? While she got spoiled with attention and treats. Mermaids? No. A lonely older gentleman, glad to get out on the water one more time and very happy to have a small dog on his boat!

Sharks, Alligators And The Dog

I read somewhere that if you put a shark on it’s back, it will drift into a catatonic state, almost a form of sleep. I’ve also heard that alligators will do the same thing if placed on their back.

Perhaps somewhere along her linage, the four-footed one’s ancestors had a bit of shark or alligator mixed in. I know, you are laughing because she is a dog after all. But hear me out.

If you put her on her back and rub her chest, she drifts off into an almost sleep state. You can take her from snarling beast to gentle dog in moments just by doing this. And she has teeth. Sharks and alligators have teeth.

She loves to hunt in the water, provided that she’s hunting for anything she’s not supposed to have. She can splash and growl and frankly I don’t want to get anywhere near her when she’s finally getting her food on the floor (you may lose a finger or two).

Okay so it’s a bit of a stretch, but honestly if you get her on her back (thankfully she’s the size of a shoebox so it’s easy to pick her up and get her onto her back), give her a stuffed squeaky toy to protect your hands from her teeth, you can rub her chest and have her drift off to sleep.

Frequently she will stay sleeping long after you stop rubbing her chest, but sometimes the minute you stop, she flips herself over and carries on playing as if nothing happened.

A Perfect Nap

The perfect place to grab a nap is some place soft and comfortable. It cannot be too soft that you sink down into the space too much, but it should be soft enough to cradle you gently. It should be just the right amount of comfortable that it is inviting, but not too inviting so that you never leave it.

The perfect place to grab a nap is some place with just the right amount of sunshine. You don’t want to find a space that is too bright as you may close your eyes, but not be able to fall asleep. It also shouldn’t be too dark because you are seeking a nap, not a long sleep.

The perfect place to grab a nap is some place that you feel safe. Safe enough to relax and drift off to sleep. Safe enough that you can freely sleep and not care about what happens beyond.

The perfect place to grab a nap depends on the type of day and mood. At least that seems to be how the four-footed one views things. Early in the morning she will find a patch of sunshine to nap in, before the sun is too warm or too bright. When she can, she prefers to nap on her favorite people, or at least near them.

Not Alone Yet

Have you ever been sitting there, just enjoying yourself, minding your own business and been startled to discover you aren’t alone? It can be unsettling or unnerving. You may find yourself angry that you weren’t alone. Maybe you are upset you didn’t realize you weren’t alone.

Today while sitting outside with the four-footed one, I had one of those moments of discovery. Where I thought we were alone, just the two of us, listening to the fountain, it turned out we had someone watching us. For how long I do not know.

Okay maybe it wasn’t a someone so much as a some thing. It turns out we were sharing our space with a dragon. A large dragon, well okay a dragonfly, seemed to be watching our every move. It just sat there silently, observing. How I did not hear it arrive is beyond me given that the creature was bigger than the size of my hand. Surely those wings would make noise.

And now that I knew I was being watched, now that I knew we were in fact not alone, I couldn’t stop staring in the direction of this dragonfly. Perhaps they have special powers that prevent them from being noisy. Maybe they can breathe small puffs of fire. Who knows when they grow to the size larger than my hand.

And the more I watched the creature, the more I felt like we had maybe invaded the space. So we drifted back into the house the two of us. And watched the dragonfly through the window, until someone got hungry and had to be fed. When I came back to look, the dragonfly had vanished, almost as if it had never even been there.

Screaming Ice Cream

The problem with ice cream is that it’s cold. I know, it’s right there in the name, after all. But some times you want something cool, but you’d prefer not to freeze your brain or teeth.

The problem with ice cream is that it melts in the heat. It doesn’t wait for you to eat it. Instead it starts to melt while you try to lick your ice cream cone neatly. It melts down the side, drips on your hand, lands on your shoe. Sometimes you have a puddle forming all around your cone as you try to remain uncovered in melted ice cream.

The problem with ice cream is that if you decide it would be better to eat it in a bowl, it puddles and becomes hard to pick up with a spoon.

The problem with ice cream is you eat it to cool off and then need to drink copious amounts to avoid being too thirsty.

The problem with ice cream is that it is readily available no matter what time of year, including blizzards. And some folks will purchase said ice cream in the dead of winter because they like it that much.

The problem with ice cream is that Beloved went and bought some. He ate some and put the rest in the freezer. Then he had some more, but he got distracted and didn’t finish eating it. So it melted in the bowl. The four-footed one tried everything she could manage to get that bowl, but alas it was just a bit too far out of reach. Until an arm knocked it on the floor.

The problem with ice cream is that I do not eat it and yet I had to clean the mess up as Beloved held onto the four-footed one so that she wouldn’t get in it.