My Dog Died
My dog died.
I, at first, was going to leave it at that. My dog died. A Monday Morning Writing.
Then I was thinking I’d share this book I wrote about her. I wrote it a while ago, like a number of years ago, like 3 years ago. For my grandson back east who I did not see enough when he was just him before his brother was born and I wrote this book about Nava. And then, more recently, a publisher published it. I will write about it more on another Monday day. About my Nava book. For today, this Monday…this Monday is just about my Nava.
My dog died.
This past Wednesday. At exactly (or pretty much exactly) 3:30 in the afternoon. I know this because I was finishing up a call while playing ball—because Nava and I are always playing ball—and waiting for a couple to come over for a mediation. I am helping them end their marriage. They are a beautiful and mindful couple and it is an honor to work with them as they navigate this end that is a new beginning really.
They were due at my home at 3:30. And my dog died. And they arrived. And sat with me and my husband for just a time. And helped move my sweet and beautiful and now gone dog into my home to nestle in her bed that she always loved. They held sweet space while the husband of this couple held up half the weight of my dog.
My dog died.
We were playing ball. And then, for a moment I was kicking at the ball alone and turned to see my dog. Something was wrong and I called her name and she tried to stand and couldn’t. But soon she calmed, and I thought that what it was had passed. And then she passed.
How do I write about my dog now that my dog died?
I thought I would just write that. My dog died. A Monday Morning Writing.
Then I thought I would share all the times, in all these times that I have been writing, all the times that I write about her. That I reference her. That her photograph accompanies my writing as her soul accompanies me.
But, you see, almost every writing that I have written since my dog became my dog has some reference to my dog. Almost every writing includes my dog. How can I share every writing?
And so, instead, I read every writing. I read all my writings. Looking for her. And I found her everywhere. Often Nava writings. Often just pieces of bigger writings that I wrote, not, maybe not, necessarily about Nava. Just that she was there. In my writings. All the time.
Just as she is here. In my heart. All the time.
My dog died. Her heart broke. My heart is broken.
~ Photograph taken at Ventura Dog Ranch on 9.6.2021. Nava would board here when we would go away. She loved this place. And they loved her. ~
~ What makes Nava so extraordinary is her soul. She is my soul dog. Truly. She is. She is my grounding rod. My stability. She is the place I rest my spirit, often as I lay myself on top of her. She is that big. And strong. And she can hold the weight of me, both my body and my heart. Held by her body and her soul. Excerpt from I Love My Dog—12.12.2022 ~
My Grief, It Is Blue
I recently stepped gently into a medicine journey. This was not a deep dive.
I have done a deep dive before. Back in January 2017, I dove into a weekend of ceremony dressed in white with many others, in a canyon in the hills above Santa Barbara. That first night was too deep for me and it took many moments that were mere seconds to say out loud, help me, and then I was surrounded by these beautiful people who took me to a safe space and helped me re-regulate before coming back to my temporary community of medicine travelers. The second night offered me a more respectful balance and I danced in this power of this feminine plant that still, to this day, sings songs I remember. When I remember.
There was a just the right depth of a psychedelics journey that joined me for one amazing night at Burning Man, with my daughter in 2019. Ah, the joy and laughter and art and sand as we adventured to the far reaches of the Playa.
Then there was a deep dive only a few weeks before this most recent one. In that one, the medicine was strong. The energy was masculine. And while this ‘get it done’ masculine motion serves me often, in this time of exploration that my life journey is taking me on, I am finding I need to ground into the feminine, and this medicine, it did not offer what I longed for. I wanted to get out. But out was not real because I was not in anything. Except myself. I was in myself and couldn’t get out. I was scared. The whole time.
Yet this, this fearful journey into the chaos that is my mind, offered me lessons that re-activated for over a week after. The wind was softer against my skin. I could hear my steps against the gravel of my road. I was so tall, then short as I walked outside. My meditations fed me glimpses of moments of nothing. Beautiful nothing where I wanted to stay for a long time.
The newly connected synapses in my brain soon calmed and revisiting the journey stopped. I have the memory, parts of it scares me still. And I find I can no longer tap back into the peace that is the nothingness of just moments in the turmoil that is me.
And now here is this most recent, almost five-hour journey, again with wise grandmother plant wisdom mixed with fungi from the earth to propel me along. The dose was low and the dance was sweet and I felt, in this relationship I had with this medicine magic, that we were in collaboration. A constant dialog of question and answer. Of I need to take a break to are you ready to come back in? And soon, Yes, I am ready to come back in.
I spent a great deal of time, on this journey of hours, lying on the dirt in the corner of the yard of the home of the healing woman that shared her potion with me. I lay on the dirt, my head on my sweater, rolled up to soften a flat concrete stone. The sun on my skin, the earth against my back. I went in and out and in again.
In this container of infinite feminine wisdom, my grief, it is blue. The color surrounded me. Sometimes dark, sometimes more dim but always blue. The tears nestled into a blue haze each time I dropped into my sorrow. And I did. A lot.
I cried. A lot. And fell into love. And where at the beginning there was mostly grief, by the time I lay outside, I saw that my grief was a habit. This did not mean I did not honor the emotion. My grief is a marker.
And also my lover and it is hard to step away. And this wise medicine from the earth, she kept reminding me, honor the grief and come back to the light. Honor the grief and come back to the light.
Till finally, I could land in my sorrow dance and sway for a moment before quietly stepping away, so as not to miss the lesson the medicine wanted to share.
Mother, Wife, Friend, Sister, Daughter, Dancer, Rower, Runner, Dog and Cat lover.