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.
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.