Confession time. Last night I watched part of an Animal Planet show about dogs and started crying. It was unexpected and I was shocked at the feelings it brought out. It happened during the segment on Golden Retrievers. I saw a couple of puppies playing and suddenly I remembered running with the Big Lug and I just felt this giant, gaping hole. He was a mutant Golden, much bigger than the average. Had a massive head and weighed far more but was more loving than a thousand of them.
Maybe it is because we are moving and I remember watching him patrol the house. Maybe it is because he liked to pretend that at more than 100 pounds he could be a lapdog or because my kids rode him like a horse. It shocked me because I don’t cry easily or much at all. I don’t really know.
But I can tell you that last night he visited me in my dreams. We were both young. I was a twenty something year old kid at the park and he was about two. And in that dream we did what we can’t do together any more. We ran. He was always just ahead of me, but never so far that he was out of sight. He was headed towards traffic and I was yelling for him to stop, fearful that he would do something stupid and get hit by a car.
And then a few dogs started barking at me and he was at my side, tail pointed, deep bark warning them to stay away. At the same time I yelled at them too- told him not to worry that I would find a way out of it for us. But mostly I was secure in the knowledge that the big lug had my back because he always did. Who listened better to my stories than he did. He never got tired or them or acted judgmental- he just loved me.
I have been thinking about something Danny wrote and the words I wrote there.
Brevity and I are often at odds so I will try to sum things up as best I can. My last blog post would be similar to this.
“I have lived, loved and laughed more than I have cried and complained. I have friends that I would die for and who die for me.
I am grateful for those who have walked with me on my journey and hope that they have learned from me as I have learned from them.
There will never be enough time for me to see all that I want to see, do all that I want to do and say all that I want to say.
So these few words shall have to suffice. It has been fun.”
I am proud of those words. They have meaning and significance to me. I am proud of them because I do wrestle with brevity and I feel like I captured the essence of the sort of life I want to lead. But I am unsettled. Been thinking about those words and wondering if I am living up to the things I shared there.
The answer is that I don’t feel like I am holding up my end of the bargain. I feel like most of it is true but I spend too much time complaining. Too much time bitching and moaning about the things that make me unhappy. Those who know me best will tell you that I am very hard on myself and that I am being unfair about some of this. Some of the challenges are things outside of my control. They tell me that force of will isn’t enough to change things and that beating myself up isn’t going to make it better. They tell me that I need to let some of that go and just wait for things to pass.
Well that is fine and good but it is not my nature. I am filled with fire that is never extinguished. I don’t just let go of the important things….not easily. It happens but I need to work through it all and eventually a stubborn fool like me comes around. But I need time.
Maybe that is why the Big Lug is on my mind. Maybe he came to visit because he knows things. Maybe he came to remind me that though I may not be that twenty something year old kid anymore I still have all of the potential and opportunity to fulfill that he did. Maybe he came to visit because some promises reach beyond.
There is far more that could be said and will be said but it won’t happen here. Some things aren’t meant for all eyes and ears. Suffice it to say that I am thinking of Orpheus in the underworld and the mistakes that he made. When you find yourself wandering through Moriah you don’t go knocking on strange doors. You keep your eyes open and your head down.
Time for that North Star to show up again. But until that happens I’ll keep walking and remember that the Big Lug still walks with me.