No Rules

September 22, 2012

This is not a normal business. It is a friendship.

I was contacted by Shay on Wednesday evening. We’ve met at previous Friends of Filly gatherings and I like her a lot.
She was attending a wedding this weekend and was hoping to come over and pick out a special dress. I love it when I receive a request for a private appointment and savor the chance to meet one on one with a “customer”, talk about her life and clothing needs, and help her find just the right thing. Unfortunately, in this case, I was not in town to welcome her in. I am in California. In most cases this would be the end of the story. But oh no. I really wanted her to look and feel good at the wedding and so I asked my friend Kenya for a favor. I knew Kenya would be at my house working on converting the garage into a studio. I asked her to go into my storage and pull out a couple of dress options. When Shay came over later that day the dresses were waiting for her in the mailbox on the porch. I encouraged Shay to go around the side of the house and in through the backdoor to try everything on. I love the image of her alone in the house with her selections.
Obviously it all worked out perfectly. Look at her! I feel so proud to be able to offer an unusual dress in an unusual way. Here’s to being different.

Do

September 21, 2012

I’ve been thinking… about what I want to do with this life. And how I can be less cautious, how I can be more trusting. I would hate to not try. I wouldn’t want to know I had something else to say but kept quiet, either out of fear or complacency. I want to know what it feels like to let er rip. What will that look like? Will I cut my hair into a pompadour and wear a black suit? Will I let my eyebrows grow to their natural thick selves and paste them down in a feathery pattern? Will I make work that is impractical but unforgettable? Will I leave this earth having tried everything?
Yes. That’s what I will do.

Page Break

September 17, 2012

I know you don’t want to visit this blog. I don’t either. It is a sad spot. And none of us should seek sadness if we have a choice.
And so I am writing now in order to put a step in front of Bello’s death. Here’s a new photo, to soften your landing.

This is a strange time. I am living at my Dad and Bonnie’s house. But Bonnie is not really here. She suffered a mysterious injury to her shoulder on the first of this month. She woke up with incredible pain, apparently a muscle spasm. And it won’t stop. She is now bed-ridden and has been for the last nine days. We don’t see her. She lives in bed and doesn’t come downstairs except to be shuttle to yet another expert. We call up to her and engage in broken, hard to understand conversations when she is awake, which is not often.
So many things can go wrong with the body. A zillion things! Or a gazillion as my Dad prefers to say. He and I hike in the morning and count our blessings.
What else, besides the morning hike, am I doing with my days? They go by. I am not bored nor lonely nor in need of a project. I roll along.
At night I write to Bello and cry. I look at pictures of possible future dogs and cry. I fall asleep on my back with my hands crossed over my chest and wake in the same position. Another morning, another step forward.

This is what an opening in one’s life feels like.

Understanding

September 5, 2012

I know why my friend has been having those dreams, night after night. Today I received his ashes.
Toward the end of Bello’s life I had begun planning where to bury his remains. I had decided to lay him to rest alongside Soupy in the Santa Cruz mountains. I imagined having a ceremony with Josh on that day. Now I realize that that idea was totally self-serving and represented a personal desire for connection with Josh. I know now, I know see, that Bello wants to stay with me. And he has been trying to show me this by playing buddy vignettes for a friend that would certainly tell me all about it. We have always been together, why would we part now?
It feels so good to be with him again, even in this capacity. I will take him back to Portland and mix his ashes with soil in a large ceramic pot, so that I can take him with me if I ever decide to move. I will plant a flowering tree and each time it blooms I will be reminded of his perfection.

I will be surprised if she dreams about him again.

Update: she dreamt about soccer.

Dream Dog

September 4, 2012

I believe that spirits visit us in our dreams.
When I was a teenager my parents gave me a German Shepherd puppy instead of a car for my 16th bday. How prophetic. When that dog died, many years later, and I twisted with pain from the loss, Josh had a dream. She came to him and stood next to him. They looked at each other. And then she turned into a butterfly and flew out the window. This soothed my heart because she had suffered from hip dysplasia and itchy skin and later, cancer. She was now free of it all and able to fly. His dream freed me as well.
The night Bello died we shared a dream. I could feel his left shoulder against my right. His heat and brownness so close. Together we looked out of a single set of eyes. Our body was human but we ran really fast and jumped over logs. We raced together all night long, finally and fully merged.
My dearest friend, from Santa Cruz, from childhood, from a previous life I’m sure, has been dreaming about Bello and me. I asked her to please, oh please, send me the stories. I treasure them. They are like finding water in the desert. I thought I would share them with you…

You two..walking along the river in Santa Cruz and your hair was short and you were wearing train conductor overalls and Bello was younger and more brown and he had a red ribbon for a collar and I was riding my bike and yelled hello…
Another of you and Bello walking along a rode of pebbles and it looked like the way to the old quarry in Davenport that we used to dive in with Ethan and Zach and I knew you were going there for a picnic but I was in a car with Alyssa and we didn’t go…
Another where you were wearing a version of the light brown dress that I just bought from you at the friends of Filly sale, thin strapped, tighter upper bodice… you were wearing a version that had a peach upper bodice and flowered lower skirt but I was wearing the regular light brown one. You
were giving a speech about coffee and how it wouldn’t stain your dresses and you were giving the speech with Bello on a long piece of rock that was jutting out of the Harbor Jetty in Santa Cruz. Then you wound up spilling coffee on my dress and Bello laughed and we switched dresses.
You with long hair, wearing an old-fashioned Victorian-type dress, eating chocolate at a desk, your Dad yelled to you (I was watching TV) and asked if Bello and you and I wanted hazelnuts in our oatmeal… you said no. But you wanted cranberries!!!
Then mainly blurred visions of Bello laying on top of you and we were in a group of people talking about strange things that are relative to our lives but somehow distorted.
I know Natalie also appeared in one and she was eating celery and wearing light jeans and a ripped sweater.

Just amazing to me that you and Bello keep reappearing…makes me so sad and at the same time so happy that such a love existed and will continue..he’s always with you and literally, you are always walking with him!

Unanswerable

September 2, 2012

What becomes of me without you as my guide? You, my rudder.
I am terribly weightless. And heavy as a turd.

No one else depends on me.

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