Category Archives: Culture

Blyss Reminisces: Puppies and Books, a Retired Librarian After All, Comments

05.01.2015 . 02 Hunter & Jess

I have enjoyed much time recently visiting Jelly’s breeder, N24, who lives in upstate New York  near the Connecticut border.  She lives in a house very much like the one I had before I moved here. She has two older female borzoi who live upstairs, and two puppies who live downstairs in her dog room. One of the females is the mother of the puppies, and the other female is Jelly’s mother. The puppies are still being trained and are too rambunctious to be upstairs all the time. It is a great deal of fun for me to be there, enjoying both the older ones and the puppies. Also, the puppies are now being shown, and they are doing very well in the show ring. I am going to co-own the male puppy with her, and we will share in his expenses, and my name will be on him as a co-owner. His name is Hunter, and I could not be happier about that. By the time Jelly passes on, he will be a middle aged borzoi and I should be able to bring him here to Blyss to live.

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I have spent my down time this summer reading some old American classic novels, most that I have read a long time ago. So far, I have read Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, and now I am reading Main Street by Sinclair Lewis. I wanted to read something by Faulkner, and Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath but I got side tracked.

I see the literary world is in spasms over the controversial sequel to Harper Lee’s jewel, To Kill a Mockingbird, called Go Set a Watchman, where the main character, “Atticus”, is a racist. This is totally illogical, and it is difficult for me to accept she wrote it. However, it does support proof how much time changes us. Even 180 degrees, as in this case. Inexplicable other than sheer senility. We can only wonder how time changes us, who we are and who we are becoming, and hopefully we are not letting ourselves down to ourselves and in the eyes of the world.

Prior, I indulged myself in some contemporary fiction, although finding good writing was difficult.  I started with Amy Tan, one of my absolute favorite writers, and enjoyed and anguished over The Valley of Amazement.  The novel was a slow burn.  By the end, it pains you simply to think about the characters and their lives.  I found another such work, although in a completely different setting, equally incendiary by an obscure Hungarian or Romanian writer, Miklos Banffy who wrote a colossal work known as The Transylvanian Trilogy.  It was on the scope of War and Peace.  Authors like Tolstoy come to mind.

When I am not reading great literature, I read silly tabloids or watch Turner Classic Movies on the cable TV to relax.  There has to be a way to relax somewhere in the universe.

Blyss Challenges: Passing Time, Theology, Becoming Healthier

During the past three days, I found myself among the members and friends of my primary clubs, two being borzoi breed clubs, and one a hound club .  It was all rather wonderful, even if I did have to drive a long way to attend them.

There was one breeder at these venues, N23, who bred the bitch I am hoping to bring home to Blyss soon whose name is Jelly.  I am so pleased and excited about this development.  My contractor is getting closer to completion of the dog-door – mud room project and that will make things move along nicely for my ability to get her.  This being a very long drive, he  has even said he will take  me there free of charge.  I have returned the favor in kind by being how shall I say,  charming.  I have made several home-made dinners  and I know him well enough to know it makes him happy.  Meanwhile, at the eating disorder program, my team has decided to let me come in only three half days, down from five full days.  I am grateful and thrilled, even thought it has meant eating more than I would like and putting on some pounds.

Comments were made by several of the ladies at the parties that I appeared to have gained weight.  However, they also commented that I looked better than I had on previous times they saw me and wished me well.  I thanked them for their gracious  comments of kindness.  I thought about this driving home and felt less happy about it.  Fortunately, my clothes still fit me, although they are tighter than I would like.  For now, I will accept the weight and try to be happy at meal time.  I am especially trying to eat the food on my plate instead of throwing it away in the garbage.   I try to remind myself that food is medicine.

At church this morning, the Minister reminded our Unitarian-Universalist congregation that all humans are inherently good and their inherent goodness influences the perfectibility of others and the world.  It is a theology of “win-win” that I wish more people would embrace.  It is a theology that embraces all humans, believing none are intrinsically bad, welcomes all of human kind, is loving and supportive to all in need of sustenance of any kind.   It is a fascinating concept to incorporate into both a personal road map as well as a theology given the approach of most Judeo-Christian theologies that are based on being forgiven for sins.  I believe it is a theology that is appropriate for me.  For today, for the first time, I am trying to live on the light side of what has been a very dark and bleak life-long depression for me that just now allows me to emerge into the light.  It is a good thing for me to know that my Unitarian-Universalism faith supports my wellness.

Against this backdrop, I talked to many people at the club parties.  It seemed that many people knew about my struggles with food and a recent termination with a significant other.   Both topics had to be discussed to some point with them and it was difficult to do so.  Things between my boyfriend and me became very complicated when my mother wanted to reconcile with my sister, N25, and me in August.  He made demands of me that I could not accept and so it ended.     Then, for some reason, I stopped eating in a normal way.  It was not purposeful or intentional, I just handled the stress in that way.  However, I cannot think badly of my boyfriend who did so much for me during the year we were together, especially when I was so sick.  And so I choose to see his goodness of which there is much in abundance.  He is difficult to be with and to understand.  I know I gave the best of me that I could and my conscience is clear.  I intend to remain his good friend to him and be true to my theology.

 

What I learn and do not learn at Blyss.

I have never learned the ABCs of life, nor the XYZs it seems nor anything useful in between.  I may as well have the label challenged affixed to me.  Where others are able to get through their lives with facile, one marriage, one long lived dog, a few cats and a parakeet, I have had multiple husbands and even dogs.  I have tried not only  different breeds but varying groups and even many, many parakeets from the old, big Woolworths store I remember in downtown Westfield a long time ago.  I suppose if there is a lesson to be learned in the day I miss it.  I have to go back to the very beginning and try again.  But the outcome is always the same, and the day and those that follow seemingly so perfect descend in a negative trajectory and I must learn something new all over again.  Like the Miss Havisham before me, “I know nothing of days of the week, of weeks of the year…..” they all blend together into one congealed mass of time, and that comprises my life, a life lived within the confines of Satis House.

If it is not relevant to the borzoi I do not like to include it in my blog.  However this problem impacts my availability to  write for now in the Blyss Blog Encore, compile the Blogs in Blyss Blog into a book format, and delays the arrival of my new borzoi, “Jelly”.  Instead, I have entered the confines of a rigorous program for people who share an emotional problem I have had for some time, an eating disorder.  It seems that I was not doing food very well either.  Doctors have informed me that I don’t know how to eat,  something so basic but yes, it is true.

It is a tenacious problem.   I know for me it has been, ever lurking in the background, always seductive and irresistible, promising perfect, eternal beauty, youth, and even love.  But since the eating disorder behaviors are always about something else, one has to be willing to  rally the courage to face the darkest demons intent on destroying what your lethal past failed to accomplish.

Please don’t do as I do.  Plan a different, smarter course for your life.   However, to stumble and fall is human and if so call upon your strengths before you journey too far astray from the true path to your bliss.