The Company of Animals

Today I stopped at 7-11 for petrol for the car and fuel for me. While the car was filling up, I went inside for a bag of Smartfood popcorn and some chocolate milk (my favorite "fast food" lunch). The man behind the counter was large, jovial, and wearing a hairnet over his bald head.

"3.51," he said, smiling broadly.

I handed him four ones, and as he took them, he reached into the penny dish (this one, like many in convenience stores, sponsored by Newport Cigarettes) and said, "Out of 4.01."

"Thank you," I said. "That's very kind."

"Thoughtful," he countered politely. "If I were kind, I'd reach into my own pocket."

, I thought. There's a difference.

The words we choose matter, but are they as powerful as our actions? Arnie can't actually talk, but I always know what he's thinking, what he needs. Meanwhile, some of the most loquacious people I know say nothing, just fill space with sounds and noises.

Brad and I just celebrated our wedding anniversary by climbing the South Ridge of Mount Superior, an exposed line that overlooks the spot where we got married 4 years ago.

The doing took considerable effort on my part, being a little out of shape and a lot more cautious that I used to be. I'm no fan of exposure, and even though the climbing is easy, it takes time to do it carefully, what with the many loose rocks disguising themselves as hand or foot holds.

I was a little gripped and grumpy when we started, foreseeing all the things that could go wrong. Ever the champion of the positive, Brad usually responds to my fatalistic mutterings by pointing out that I'm being illogical, that my concerns are unfounded. It's a natural response for him; he's a practical man. It's not always a helpful response for me, though, being a mostly impractical woman.

Brad struck supportive-husband gold that night, though. While shuffling across a skinny ledge, he found a clump of goat fur and promptly placed it on his head. As I edged across to his stance, I was freaked out and about to complain, but when I looked up and saw Goatman, all I could do was laugh and laugh and laugh.

"Baaaaa." He commented.

And in the company of animals, that's all that needs to be said.


Coming Down

Today was a yoga day--morning practice followed by discussion and study until mid-afternoon.

It was an excellent class, hard and sweaty--it's July in Utah after all--and the brainwork was engaging, funny, enjoyable.

Still, though, I feel restless now, agitated.

I had a fine day--after yoga school I took the dogs to the lake for an hour--they swam and fetched, I waded and threw. We were the only ones there (that never happens); I felt blessed--actually blessed--to have the clean, cold water to ourselves.

But there it is, the feeling that I've left something unfinished...

But maybe that's just bad programming....We're taught to work hard, taught that work is hard. We're told to put our heads down and plow forward, to not question what we're trading for a paycheck (time, health, youth, glow, passion, humor, love, spirit).

So I guess I feel guilty about not hating my work--guilty that I don't resent how I'm spending my time.

It's absurd. There is absolutely nothing wrong (again, I am so blessed), so I'm concocting an issue to fill the void.

It reminds me of one of my favorite poems, by William Napier:

The last log on the fire
Sends a momentary galaxy
Spiraling into the night.
Of course! Before all where or when,
Hunkered around that singularity,
(nothing but eternity's harmonica)
You had to stir the coals.
Light, delight...at least relief.
If we meet at all it's in these stars,
My awe and ignorance beneath a desert sky,
Your omniscience precluding mystery.
Let us talk of need, of who and what
We've made to fill the void.

Ok, enough.

As I've been typing and thinking, I've been listening to this mantra/song, which has helped me feel more relaxed.

I have to take a step away from all this and realize something: I took a risk in doing all this. I offered a scenario to the universe, and the universe said, "Ok, give it a try." So just as we have to let go when our offerings are turned away or rejected, so do we have to let go when they are accepted.

Attachment on either side of an experience is still attachment...let it go.


The progression of things.

Red Dog wakes me up by biting my hair.


Feed the dogs, give Red his pills.

Run long at Round Valley with the dogs.

Take cookies to a friend who bettered my bike brakes.


Eat scrambled eggs with cheddar for lunch, consider swearing off wheat.

Write, but mostly surf the Internet.

Eat toast. Think again about cutting wheat from diet.

Study yoga books, think about who I'd like to mentor with for credit.

Head to yoga class; Kim is teaching.

Think about Kim's discussion of Ishvarapranidhana, the 5th niyama, that of surrender, of accepting what comes.

Wonder how to reconcile Ishvarapranidhana with one's athletic goals.

Red Dog wakes me up by biting my hair.


Feed the dogs, give Red his pills.

Road run while listening to Sean Kingston on Pandora...my favorite new running station.

Take the dogs to the park for a romp.

Eat yogurt and fruit while thinking again about giving up wheat.

Audit an Intro to Yoga class.

Manicure (I love this $15 indulgence) in Ballet Shoes pink.

Read some yoga texts.

Take the dogs to the lake for an evening swim.

Avoid meth addicts with scary looking dogs.

Eat Chinese food while lessening the leaning tower of unread magazines.

Watch Cashback (awesome) while researching single track for tomorrow's ride.

Feel happy about biking again.