Family Matters/ Pug Particulars

Our pug, Pikachu, has been medically boarded at the vet, then hospitalized at the Hope Center, since last Monday.  Six days of an unfamiliar routine, limited opportunities to go outside, different food (though, being a connoisseur of anything edible and most things inedible, I doubt this is a big stresser), and almost no contact with the human family of five and one pug brother he knows best…it has been a difficult week. His corneal ulcer presented itself on Monday, and since then we have spent countless hours and a shocking amount of funds trying to figure out the best treatment for him, our adorable and hearty pug.  The phrase “just a dog” has no credence here…

Bumps in the road, especially unexpected ones, whether large or small or somewhere in-between, cause me to become both somewhat introspective and decidedly nostalgic. In terms of this blog and my book, I think back to when I was first writing Broken Hallelujah; Pikachu was the company I kept, sleeping on my lap as I typed or running with me in the woods as I thought.  Can one’s dog be a doppleganger?   Probably only one created in the mind of the human who needs one…so, I guess, he was mine:)  When I first conceived of the idea to write this book, it was very different indeed. I had entitled the fledgling manuscript, The Adulterer’s Notebook, and planned to write the entire project in the form of a journal from the perspective of a married woman in her forties.  Initially, the “journal” was going to be a collection of musings (poems, essays, thoughts) on marriage, sexual desire, and life.  The very first poem I wrote for that collection, which would eventually be rethought, reconfigured, and retitled, seems especially appropriate here.  “Desire,” while certainly referencing the sexual energy simmering below the surface of a particular platonic relationship, is also about the curious workings of the world and what I expect is the somewhat universal search for external clues to the crazy shit that stretch the bounds of our everyday comprehension but that we have to live with nonetheless:


All morning                                                                                                                                on the tennis court                                                                                                                    the blue jay,                                                                                                                              the wild yellow finch,                                                                                                             the frantic call                                                                                                                         of the circling crow—                                                                                                         beyond the courts                                                                                                                      a ragged line                                                                                                                             of tall oak and maple—                                                                                                        barely lit torches                                                                                                                 already enlivening                                                                                                                 the sky.  The sharp sun                                                                                                            of first fall                                                                                                                             drains all color                                                                                                                       from our faces                                                                                                                                              as we rally                                                                                                                           across the net.  The game                                                                                               continues and the birds                                                                                                  gather what they need—                                                                                                         my body can barely                                                                                                             assert itself against such a backdrop                                                                                           of change:  teach me                                                                                                             what you know.

I will post an update on Pikachu’s status; good thoughts are, of course, very welcome:)

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