Oliver and I are relaxing together at the dog park. He likes to observe the others–dogs, kids, adults, and cars passing by. At six and a half, Oliver is more standoffish, less apt to play, though he still enjoys some catch. He’s in bad need of a haircut, and so am I, but we’re not worrying about that right now.
Both of my parents are gone now, and I am in the midst of going through my parents’ possessions–what to keep, what to donate, what to give to friends. It is a sad and wistful task that makes me wonder about my need for books, paintings, sculptures, plants, and other physical objects to be around me–and about my difficulty with partings of all kinds.
So today I took a break from all that to spend time with my favorite uplifting canine, Oliver. We sat together at Detmold Park by the East River in midtown Manhattan–playing some catch, warming in the sun, and admiring the shirred, gleaming water.
A woman nearby was doing some form of meditation that was unfamiliar to me; it involved taking certain stances and holding them for prolonged periods of time. She didn’t smile or invite eye contact but her efforts inspired me to do a little tai chi, just the first third of the Yang short form 3 times. It’s always a mixed bag for me to do tai chi en plein air. I like the air but I don’t want to be seen. I guess it makes me feel ostentatious and/or self-conscious, but I carried on and ended up feeling better for doing it.
I am free from my former day job now, so there’s no excuse for me not to be writing and reading a lot! Now is the time.
Oliver herds me along with his beauty, his energy, and his enthusiasm.
This has been the winter that will not end.
Saturday, I did a little basking with the dog outside until the wind started to whip things up. Today, O and I were back to walking our desultory way through the 30-degree air in our coats to the dog park, our illusions dashed by the persistent squirrel-fur hues of the urban out-of-doors.
As a child, I knew that the colors and substances of New York City parks were impoverished. The tan and gray cement sandboxes and pools, the sprinklers and the hydrants flooding tar beaches, the institutional green see-saws, the grim monkey bars.
With the dirty snow walls still there in White Plains and some parts of Manhattan (and I’m sure Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens, too), I’ve got my heart set on spring.
I am looking forward to longs walks with Oliver outside and returning to the cabin in the Catskills.
The city has the dazed looked of someone after a rough surgery. Glad to still be here but not sure what to do.
I just spent 30 minutes combing Oliver’s tangled soft hair. It soothed him (even though he squirmed at points), and it soothed me.
Dog love is as deep as human love, I’m finding out.