Wednesday, April 26

Dreams of the Black Dog

What's It All About?

Mana in the Void

The Glamour and the Despair

I walk by myself in a muted world. I know this because the dream perspective is through my own eyes and even though I cannot see my body, I see the world jitter slightly as I put one foot in front of the other. It now looks like each step vibrates my sight, but does not affect the road I’m on.

All around me is a flat expanse, soundless, empty of people; filled with blurred rock, bush, mountain, and one or two bare trees. As I gaze straight ahead, I realize that I am stopped. I cannot look behind or even side to side. Other than my forward view, I realize the blur is because much of the wide world is in my peripheral eye sight. As I wonder and worry about this realization, I begin to walk and all around me are telephone poles strung with many levels of wires. Bus benches, blowing paper, gutters, street grates, a water fountain and concrete sidewalks become distinct as if I were watching through a telephoto lens - blurry, sharp, too sharp and gone as I walk past. In my dream, I want to hear noise. I search for birds, cars, bicycles, skateboards, and people and worry that this profound silence means that I am deaf.

I feel myself moving forward, not stepping now, but gliding soundlessly through this soundless world onto a long, straight blacktop highway with a double yellow stripe down the middle. Such roads only exist in the desert, I’m thinking, and in my peripheral sight, there are spiny cactus, sand and rock. The colors have gone from white washed pale, to concrete grey, to dry brownness. The black asphalt points like an arrow to the horizon and that is where my gaze is focused.

Without me noticing a change the black road becomes a brown gravel road littered with rock, weeds and the possibility of crawling creatures. It seems to be swallowed up by the mountain at the horizon and I wonder if a train is coming. As I wonder, I see a black figure far away shimmering in the false mirage of the road. It is still and so am I. Nothing moves. The road and desert surroundings have become flat, motionless paintings, two dimensional and cartoonish. It is at this point I am able to look behind me. I see a mirror image of the road in front, cartoonish and shimmering in the distance. The backward view however, has no mountain, just flat earth and pale sky with the broad stripe of road. As I twist to the side to see the extent of road and horizon, in my peripheral vision, I see the black figure approaching.

 As I turn to get a straight forward view, the figure becomes a black dog. It looks like an all-black, Australian sheep dog, furry around the face with pointed ears and flashing black eyes. I feel a relief and gather myself to greet him, but the black dog snarls a shattering sound in the pervasive silence. He bunches his muscles and runs toward me showing sharp white teeth.

I am shocked, maddened, and as he gets closer, I am infuriated. The betrayal and rage pulses through my now visible body. I stand my ground beating my fists against my thighs readying myself to lunge forward and grab the dog by the neck. The black dog pauses for one final leap onto me and I shout. In my dream mind, I am screaming, “Get out of here.”

“Kathy, Kathy, wake up! You’re roaring. Stop!” my husband’s dark silhouette has risen above the covers. He is lightly tapping my arm. My throat is raw and my chest is heaving as I gasp for breath. I am sorry for waking him and for him waking me. As we settle back into the blankets I know I’ll see the black dog again until I tame him.

(btw... sorry about the commercial up front - you can skip through it. Enjoy 🐶)

Friday, March 3


Little Guy - the Dreamer

Kapono - The Thinker

Caesar & Cornelia - The Muscle

Thank god it's dog Friday! After years of the obsessive/compulsive scrutiny of all things Trump, it's good to focus attention on the truly deserving in this world: dogs.

How can humans claim to be the most highly evolved creatures on the planet when dogs are clearly the tops. Pound for pound, they are superior to humans in strength and endurance. They know what's important in life and relish the pursuit of food, romping, unrestrained peeing & pooping, smelling, tasting, and fitting in. They add to the enjoyment of ordinary life with their tail wagging, growling, frisking and chasing. Humans try to emulate this healthiness, this exuberance for doing things and being with people, but often fail miserably. At least we have the good example of our dog friends to guide us toward a joyous life lived in the moment. 

There is a dog in my neighborhood that is neglected. He is left outside alone, night and day, without a dog house or comforting enclosure. He barks from very early morning to mid-day and I sometimes hear him howling with the wild coyotes that roam our hills - trying in vain to belong or maybe he's crying out for help from his cousin pack animals. No amount of complaining or reasoning convinces his owners to keep their dog inside with them when its dark, rainy, cold, lonely outside. They think dogs like being outside in the snow, sleet and rain. Dogs love thunder and lightning, and want to be breathing lawn furniture ignored 80% of the time. Someone that these neighbors trust will have to help them understand that having a dog is a gift and privilege not an act of charity or a smart move to prevent break-ins.

Fortunately, there is only one family among twenty or thirty that treat their dogs like, erm...dogs. All of the other neighbors treat their dogs like cherished family members complete with quirky personalities and invisible angel wings. 

Monday, January 16

In the Desert of Words and Sand

What's That You Say?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote with friends using author, Natalie Goldberg's Rules of Writing. One of the group gave this prompt: "If you praise a word, it becomes a poem." We had five minutes to do something and my recent trip to Chloride, AZ, a desert-rat community outside of Las Vegas came to mind. 

by me

Earth to Dust
Only dryness allows this.

Dust to Earth
Only moisture makes this.

Mud to Clay
Only water and sun creates this.

Life Well Lived
Only earth, water, sun, and love does this trick.

Very often, I find that Goldberg's rule to "just write" whether it's crap or not is wise. It reminds me of panning for gold, something I did as a small child in Wickenburg, AZ. Lots of shiney and useless stuff and once in while a piece of "fools gold" or a pretty bit of quartz. Rarely did I shake out real gold, but the time or two that I did find it, kept me going.

Sunday, January 15

The Pursuit of Ugliness

It Can't Help Itself

The Destructive Boll Weevil - Killer of Cotton
The weevil is a persistent mindless digger. It is a traveler looking for a soft resting place before it bores into its young host. It feeds. It probes the tender unformed flower bud with its huge snout, gouging scars where other weevils are born. The young plant so healthy, so longing for life, beginning to bloom, and becoming a fully formed beauty is stunted at best. The flower is consumed and killed most often. It becomes fodder for the weevil world. Where once this living being colored the landscape with vivid green, it has become a sickly grey shadow in this overused wasteland, seething with voracious weevil children. The weevil lives to consume and destroy. It can't help itself.

Sunday, December 11

Winter Is Coming

"The long night is coming, and the dead come with it. No clan can stop them, the free folk can’t stop them, the Night’s Watch can’t stop them and all the southern kings can’t stop them. Only together, all of us, and even then it might not be enough but at least we’ll give the f---ers a fight." — Jon Snow from "A Song of Ice and Fire: A Dance With Dragons"