Monday, September 17, 2007


Some friends and I were chatting tonight. They were amazed that have begun to blog. It seemed like they felt that it was risky, something about the visibility of it was disturbing to them.

I guess I sort of am amazed that I have a blog as well. I would say that I am a fairly private person, that I listen more than I talk, that I help more than am helped. I started this thing as a ways to claim and explore the definition of myself as an artist. I imagined all sorts of sort of esoteric explorations into the creative/artistic process, dazzling in scope. It wasn't going to be personal. I didn't plan on the need to be sharing the exploring of my grieving process.

It has been very comforting to do so. It would have been very difficult to share over and over with the loving people in my life the sorrow and the details. This blog has allowed me to share in a much more intimate way than I would have been able to face to face.

I knew that my dog was going to die soon. I knew that she had lasted much longer than her breed was supposed to. I knew that she was growing increasingly uncomfortable as she was deaf, blind, and her hips were very unsteady. But she still dominated the other dogs and frisked when I brought her in to have canned dog food breakfasts. But I didn't really understand that she would actually no longer be there. It still seems very unreal. I expect to see her at the fence when I get home. I chatter at the dogs when they come in for supper and the silly names I made up for her fall naturally out of my mouth. I still step carefully out of bed in the middle of the night making sure I don't step on her.

I have reflected recently on the nuances of grief. The grief of loosing my mother, my horse, my best friend, and now my dog. Each one fresh and deep, each loss different. Some of the actions are the same, but the inner landscape is different. Words are not there for the difference, it's more like a color or taste sensation.

It tears me up to bring our 2 remaining dogs in at night. They both come in and look around for Emma. It's getting to be a less through check as time passes, but they still check every room. I haven't yet picked up her bed.

I have been spending as much time as possible with my mare. I did take some pictures of her today. Now I have to get the cable, phone, computer and my jiggery-pokery-fu together and post them.

Maybe when I get them posted I can write about her and what I have been learning or at least what I have been doing.

I guess all in all, I am not experiencing this blog as a risk. It is more of a sharing back to the folks who's blogs I have been reading and enjoying. I hope also to get back to digging into the process of claiming and exploring what it is to be an artist. And to a very large extent, it's a way of claiming and exploring who I have become after the brain injuries and after the grief.


Mer said...

After Dashiell died I used to expect to see him run the fence line when I left and came home. My truck made this noise when I put it in park that sounded so much like his bark, faint and far away. Our pups weave their lives into all of our senses so deeply that "dog" is so inadequate a word to convey all of that love and connection. In Boulder County, the legal term for a dog owner is a "dog guardian" -- but I think we all know who the guardians are.

"Lost" is a strange word, too. We know exactly where they are, but their gone-ness from us hurts so much. Emma's gifts to you -- which you passed on to your friends -- are not lost or gone, though; the glucosamine formula you found for her joints is keeping Bo spry through our morning walks; I told a colleague about it and it has fixed his husky's limp. When Cassie ages and encounters some of the same girl-terrier problems Emma had, I will know how to help her.

As far as writing/blogging goes, I think the best always comes from deeply felt things we haven't quite figured out yet. The road we're on isn't a passive object that we act on; it has its own ideas on what the journey's going to be about. That's the risky thing about writing, even if nobody sees it.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but think of the current 'Candorville' strip:

Yeah, I've had a lot of people express some surprise at the things I've posted on my blog, at UTI, on dKos and elsewhere. But for me this isn't new - I've known for a long time that the most powerful writing comes from deep inside, from the personal things that you feel intensely. I've slowly learned to use that and not be afraid of revealing those aspects of myself in order to say something I think is valuable. Did it with my online newsletter for several years before I closed my business. Then did it with the newspaper column I wrote. Then went a little further with posting on dKos under a handle. Then about a year ago became one of the regulars at Unscrewing the Inscrutable, writing under my own name. And so when I set up my own blog, it was a natural step further into it.

I'm glad you're being bold in this way - the honesty and openness of it is the friend I remember.

Jim Downey

Spike said...

Hugs! Thanks to both of you for your insight and love!

It's good to know your eyes are on my journey.