Friday, March 22, 2013

Life with Dogs: A Small Blogging Vacation

You know that feeling you get that you're being picked away at from all sides? That itchy feeling that makes you prickly and unbalanced in response, so that your approach to others becomes touchy or even strident? 

Maybe you don't know that feeling, since we walking bundles of contradictions are each uniquely contradictory, and not everyone processes stress in the same way. For me, that touchy, prickly, defensive feeling is usually a warning bell telling me I've been burning my candle at both ends and depleting my energies--and have lost my composure as a result. It's a bell telling me to slow down a little bit and let my reserves of energy refill.

This is where I find myself as this week ends. As a result, I may take a few days now to recoup and focus, and may limit my blogging time for a while. Easter's approaching, too, and will demand attention, and this year, it's preceded by a birthday I'm trying not to remember. Too many years to celebrate, no cake so grand that it could comprise that many candles.

I've also spent the last several weeks prying into dark nooks and sly crannies of this rickety old house, doing what my mother always called the "deep cleaning" of springtime, and that thankless housework has me frayed and out of sorts. Who knew that one house could hold so many windows and cabinets to clean? Thankfully, I'm down now to two stubborn windows that will require me to break out the vinegar one last time, and then the outside window-washing will begin.

Window-washing is a task I loathe, because there's always that one refractory damned spot that, no matter how much you rub, persists in being there: "Out, out," you say, moving from one side of the glass to the other and hoping to discover where the damned spot resides. But there it stays, despite all rubbing, and you conclude it's embedded in the glass--a reminder that everything we seek to do is inevitably imperfect, sky moored firmly to earth and taking its significance from the ground it frames.

I spent several laborious days recently cleaning the windows of the sunroom--a room that is almost all windows, floor to ceiling. Windows requiring ladder work and kneeling work.

And I had them shining, one pretty sunny day, after which my brother and Steve kindly went outside and began cleaning the outer windows, so that the sun poured in lambent and sweet as golden honey one fine spring afternoon . . . 

Whereupon and in no time at all, three small dogs discovered the bright shining windows, and began leaving doggy signatures all along the newly cleaned lower tiers of the windows--nose prints and nose smudges galore, hither and yon.

And so, as I try to recoup my energy in the coming week, and recover spiritual balance, I'll be doing so in a sunroom in which I admire the beautiful spring sights through trails of puppy kisses and swathes of dog slobber. And surely there's some very important life lesson to be gained from that parable,

If only I can figure out how to fathom it!

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