Monday, November 10, 2008

So Hard

It's so hard to post something here, or anywhere. It's so hard to share bits and pieces of myself and the world around me and the experience of life which is mine. Part of the letting go process seems to involve both a numbness and a "deadness" inside. I still function fine, I talk about him, I smile, laugh, cry, and remember. I remind myself how incredibly blessed I am to have shared the world with a creature as intensely wonderful as him. How blessed I am that for almost 11 years, my life was enriched by the deep attachment he felt for me. Yes, I was deeply attached to him as well, and I still am. What is missing from my life is the experience of his strange yet real attachment for me. Ask anyone who knew me, Duke, and my family - immediate and extended. And they will all tell you that yes, he was absolutely my dog. Through his own choice, his own decision, he latched onto me and devoted himself to me. He liked others very much - partly due to his Retriever genes, and partly because, as my dog, he responded to my own ability to take delight in other people. But it was always very clear that I was his. He claimed me as his own, and allowed no one to come between us. He did all that I asked, always, even when overly excited and needing firmer direction. All he asked in return was to never be seperated from me. And heaven help us if he found himself on the other side of a door from me. (I kept trying to explain to him that if I was in the bathroom I was sure to come back out, as there was no other way out of that room unless you were water.)

So, I'm trying to come to terms with knowing that there have been pets in the past, there will be pets in the future, but there is a very slim chance that there will be another with his unique set of characteristics. I know I will love another dog or two while I'm on the earth, but I doubt I'll find another one who loves me so fervently and so devotedly. And without meaning to sound selfish, that makes me sad. And I'm trying to come to terms with this knowledge, and begin or continue the letting go and acceptance process.

And I really am functioning fine, I'm not debilitated, I'm not being overly-dramatic, I am able to go about my daily business just fine. But there's something about the process of sharing here, in this blog, that makes these thoughts come to the surface. And so while I hope you aren't bored to tears, I do thank you for allowing me the place to try to sort it out and continue to heal.

In a recent post to O/our local Master/slave group, one of the members shared this:


I worry too much
Autumn leaves ask me not to worry.
They suggest trust, rather than worry.
So often in Autumn,
I want to go lean my head against a tree and ask what it feels like to lose so much,
to be so empty, so detached, to take off one's shoes that well,
and then simply to stand and wait for the universe's refilling.
It sounds so simple, so easy.
But it isn't easy. It's hard! But possible.
We Autumn stragglers must try hard not to wear discouragement
as a cloak, because we cannot wear emptiness enough to make us free.
It takes a long time to get as far as even wanting to be empty.
It is the sacrament of letting go that our hearts are hungering for.
And once we discover that we already possess enough grace to let go,
trust begins to form in the center of who we are.
Then we take off our shoes and stand empty and vulnerable,
eager to receive the next gift.
Slowly, the trees celebrate the sacrament of "letting go".
First, they surrender their green, then their orange, yellow and red.
Finally, they let go of their brown.
Shedding their last leaf they stand empty and silent, stripped bare.
Leaning against the sky they begin their vigil of TRUST.
As the last leaf falls, they watch it journey to the ground.
They stand in silence, wearing the color of emptiness,
their branches wondering:
How do you give shade, with so much gone?
And then the sacrament of waiting begins.
The sunset and sunrise watch with tenderness
clothing them with silhouettes that keep HOPE alive.
They help them understand that vulnerability, dependence, need,
emptiness, and readiness to receive,
are giving them a new kind of beauty.
Every morning and every evening, we stand in silence,
celebrating together the sacrament of letting go… of waiting…
Let us pray for one another; for emptying is painful, and the community that we are, demands that we support each other in this Autumn effort.
Autumn leaves ask us not to worry.

And as I read this Sacrament, I began to cry, tears sliding silently down my face, until they ran faster and I sobbed aloud. For deep inside I know this must happen, I must let go, and be still, in order to be refilled. That means I must let go of my fear of never having a companion pet such as Duke again. I must let go of my sense of loneliness and missing him. Yet, while I am empty, it is OK to exist, without giving back too much, without giving good shade for those who pass by. It is my time to be empty and to wait. To let go and to simply be.


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