Happy Thanksgiving my lovelies. I miss all of you who live in my heart. You know who you are. One day, when the road is clear, we will share a hug and swap some love. I look forward to it.
Also for the holiday, look at what my pen-pal sent. His mom had a hard time giving it away…
So my brother John says I was a whole lot cooler — more laid back — when I was younger. Well, that may have something to do with the kind of, um, recreation I was into when I was in college but I also think that I’ve had to get a hell of a lot harder. I’ve been sweet and sensitive my whole life and it’s gotten me a lot of sorrow. So, I’ve done what my father has always suggested: I’ve thickened my skin. I thought this was a good thing? My family wants me to be the quick-to-cry kid I always was but also the tough-as-nails baller I am today. Help me figure out that middle ground because apparently it’s elusive…
So I had about a million political things to post — thoughts and links — but I’m cutting them out and saving them for next week because I’m tired. I just want to make my fixin’s for tomorrow, drive out to Dumfries and enjoy my family, hang with Ash Saturday, maybe watch UGA beat Tech, and forget about the ugliness that comes with games of popularity and ethical negotiation. I swear to God if I meet a man that demands I do this on the weekends — EVERY week — I will marry him. But also because of this. Very astute observations here.
It’s more just that you can’t see the face, the other human being, on the other side of an internet nastygram, and that encourages all sorts of asocial behavior. Human beings have built-in empathy receptors keyed to the faces of other human beings. We lay off each other, in real life, because we don’t like to see each other hurt. We don’t like the sight of tears.
The internet doesn’t have anything like that. There is no brake pedal in an internet dispute, as there would be in a real-life one. In real life, seeing someone mortified and hurt would make us stop pretty darned quickly.
So, I like the non-political threads for that aspect– because, in a way, you get to see someone’s humanity. Maybe empathy is just one shared recipe away.
Okay, other non-political things. I swear: I’ve just moved 10 links to another saved draft. Because we all need a break…
Dance. I can move like this. I just need to find a class that will let me…
Cool! I use my mittens that double as fingerless hobo gloves but these are intriguing…
I think I found my Christmas charity.
How I feel every time I go to the sports bar up the street and work on my laptop. Because sports bars are not conducive to coloring. (h/t George)
Aaron Rodgers is hot. That’s all I’m saying.
Thank you Zac.
So, so, so beautiful. The music/number relationship actually excites me. I know that’s weird…
Finally, not sure why but I woke up with song in my head. At least Popper turned his cynicism into something beautiful. I need to learn that skill. This is for all you folks traveling to see your loved ones. Because it does.
Speaking of beautiful, a friend of mine pointed me to Fiona Apple’s FB page (because I’m a ridiculous fan) and check out what the lady posted the other day. I cried a good one. Miss you Stella.
It’s 6pm on Friday,and I’m writing to a few thousand friends I have not met yet.
I am writing to ask them to change our plans and meet a little while later.
Here’s the thing.
I have a dog Janet, and she’s been ill for almost two years now,
as a tumor has been idling in her chest, growing ever so slowly. She’s almost 14 years old now.I got her when she was 4 months old. I was 21 then ,an adult officially – and she was my child.
She is a pitbull, and was found in Echo Park, with a rope around her neck, and bites all over her ears and face.
She was the one the dogfighters use to puff up the confidence of the contenders.
She’s almost 14 and I’ve never seen her start a fight ,or bite, or even growl, so I can understand why they chose her for that awful role. She’s a pacifist.
Janet has been the most consistent relationship of my adult life, and that is just a fact.
We’ve lived in numerous houses, and jumped a few make shift families, but it’s always really been the two of us.
She slept in bed with me, her head on the pillow, and she accepted my hysterical, tearful face into her chest, with her paws around me, every time I was heartbroken, or spirit-broken, or just lost, and as years went by, she let me take the role of her child, as I fell asleep, with her chin resting above my head.
She was under the piano when I wrote songs, barked any time I tried to record anything, and she was in the studio with me all the time we recorded the last album.
The last time I came back from tour, she was spry as ever, and she’s used to me being gone for a few weeks every 6 or 7 years.
She has Addison’s Disease, which makes it dangerous for her to travel since she needs regular injections of Cortisol, because she reacts to stress and to excitement without the physiological tools which keep most of us from literally panicking to death.
Despite all of this, she’s effortlessly joyful and playful, and only stopped acting like a puppy about 3 years ago.
She’s my best friend and my mother and my daughter, my benefactor, and she’s the one who taught me what love is.
I can’t come to South America. Not now.
When I got back from the last leg of the US tour, there was a big, big difference.
She doesn’t even want to go for walks anymore.
I know that she’s not sad about aging or dying. Animals have a survival instinct, but a sense of mortality and vanity, they do not. That’s why they are so much more present than people.
But I know that she is coming close to point where she will stop being a dog, and instead, be part of everything. She’ll be in the wind, and in the soil, and the snow, and in me, wherever I go.
I just can’t leave her now, please understand.
If I go away again, I’m afraid she’ll die and I won’t have the honor of singing her to sleep, of escorting her out.
Sometimes it takes me 20 minutes to pick which socks to wear to bed.
But this decision is instant.
These are the choices we make, which define us.
I will not be the woman who puts her career ahead of love and friendship.
I am the woman who stays home and bakes Tilapia for my dearest, oldest friend.
And helps her be comfortable, and comforted, and safe, and important.
Many of us these days, we dread the death of a loved one. It is the ugly truth of Life, that keeps us feeling terrified and alone.
I wish we could also appreciate the time that lies right beside the end of time.
I know that I will feel the most overwhelming knowledge of her, and of her life and of my love for her, in the last moments.
I need to do my damnedest to be there for that.
Because it will be the most beautiful, the most intense, the most enriching experience of life I’ve ever known.
When she dies.
So I am staying home, and I am listening to her snore and wheeze, and reveling in the swampiest, most awful breath that ever emanated from an angel.
And I am asking for your blessing.
I’ll be seeing you.
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