Category Archives: Suburban Landscapes

Remembering Bob and Opal at Blyss

This month, March, is the tenth anniversary of my husband, Bob’s, death.  I find myself recalling him a great deal, what we were doing when we learned he was sick, and how little time we had left together, of  how he was robbed.  He had another great love in his life, greater than his for me, that being his two sons.  They were just entering adult life when he died.  He did not see them grow into young men, get married, and have children of their own.  I think he would have truly enjoyed that.  I believe he would have found the thrilling bliss in that that I found with the borzoi, although he did love his borzoi, too.  For me, I learned I never really knew what love was, never having had it growing up as a child.

My childhood was an ordeal of survival behind enemy lines, with parents ruling the house like they were Gestapo agents, imprisoning their children, ruling them with what can only be described as a rule book that grew thicker with every passing day.

Their favorite adages were: Spare the rod, spoil the child; and, You should only kiss your children when they are asleep.  They did not notice that their three children were growing up despising them and being totally self destructive.  They were too busy being angry all the time, with one another, and their offspring.    Somehow, sadly, we survived.

I understand Bob had a happy childhood, with laid back and easy going parents.  He, and all his siblings, always appeared to have smiles on their faces.  My siblings and I were profoundly emotionally disturbed, and did not wear smiles well.  We looked rather ghoulish with smiles on our faces, so we practiced looking in mirrors trying to look intelligent or serious instead.  It seems particularly sad that  I, who am so damaged, am left alive while Bob had to die ten years ago.  I feel so sorry for him that he had to miss so much happy, quality, family time.    I know how precious it is, but I had to learn about it from borzoi.

Borzoi taught me about love, human love.  I thought I loved Bob when I married him, but I had been made too damaged by my mother to be able to love anyone again.  It was fun and easy to love the borzoi.  When I look back at my old photographs with them, I don’t recognize myself.  I look so healthy, and am always beaming in a huge smile I cannot diminish.  In January, 2005, we  bought Opal.  I became manic with joy.  Eighteen months later she died, and I crashed into a devastating depression and have never been the same again.  I cannot forget what I lost when she died, my greatest loss, my heart itself, my joy that only she brought me.   I have read accounts like this by  other people sometimes on FB, not often, because usually people have multiple borzoi and the others help the owner get over the loss.  However, sometimes, a kennel will have one of those very extraordinary borzoi that transcends who and what it is, and when the owner writes about it, I recognize and understand what has happened to them.

Somehow, I am learning to love and smile, because I have grown from that place.  In the process, I have learned that Opal made a difference in my life, by enabling me, after almost 15 years, me to experience love and joy again.  I do not mourn her, I celebrate her, every day.  I was the luckiest person in the world to have had her.  I believe we will be reunited upon my death.  Opal is my definition of heaven.  Someday, when she comes up to me and looks up, and then hit me with her paw, like she used to, then, she will never be far away again.

I would like to think it is getting better at Blyss with Kensey

Today, I awoke slowly.  Over the weekend, it was time to turn the clocks ahead so we are in “Daylight Savings Time”, that gives us more sunlight in the afternoon and evening.  That gives me time to give my dog a second or third walk in the late afternoon or after dinner.  It is usually the warmer time of year, so I am out more, working in my garden or talking to the passers by, or my neighbors.  My home, and home town, are particularly conducive to this.  All I have to do is get up and live and I find myself enjoying the idyllic surroundings with which I am blessed.

I have been more blessed in past times because I had lived with several borzoi, as many as five or six at a time.  That is a memory bourgeoning with bliss running over, especially when our litter was born. Then my last husband, Bob, was alive.   Bob, who was taken from me almost violently, was ravaged by pancreatic cancer at the age of 56, ten years ago this week in 2021.  I came across some photos this weekend during happy times, in particular, the time of our wedding in 2000.  We looked so happy.  I declared myself  a “Millenium Bride”! looked so amazingly beautiful and young.  I do not look that way anymore.  The last twenty years have been cruel.  I have had cancer twice, and lived through the ravages of two nervous breakdowns.  Sadly, I recovered and did well on my own after Bob was gone, and missed him terribly, knowing we would have been happy together again, but it was too late.  Following his passing, I have just endured ten years of bitter loneliness as I have dated one loser, liar, basket case cripple after another, looking for love.  I am a woman who craves human love, never having had it as a child.

Today, I am no longer able to keep borzoi, I am just too frail from  having lost so much weight during my illnesses.   I am still active, however, in my clubs, I participate in Meet the Breeds when it is in NY City, and I am an active member of the Borzoi Club of America. However, I have ventured into the world of Silken Windhounds and I am currently living with the irresistible “Kensie”, from the Wind ‘n Satin Kennel of Mary Childs in Ohio.  A more precious creature with a princess attitude cannot be found.  She is loved and adored by all who meet her.  She knew instantly I was her person and what her job was.  She is a jewel of a dog, so much like a borzoi in every way, just half the size.  I will admit, she does not have the “drama” of a borzoi, but in every way, she is  just perfect.  I was profoundly depressed when she came.  My maintenance medications were all increased, and with her presence in the home, and the structure caring for another living creature creates in your life, I began to feel better quickly.  The same thing that would have made me happy as a child makes me happy as an elderly woman today.

Least we not forget, The Horses; from Facebook

Regardless of the depth and breadth of materials it holds, I find so much that is good on Facebook.  For me to note it, and then to wish to save it, and/or post it on my Blog means that I have been very moved by a particular piece of writing and it has made an impact on me.   I don’t know how all these disparate items appear in my feed, sometimes forwarded by a Friend, or just appearing out of the blue, but I receive the most astounding pieces of writing about life, the world, and our place in it.  Unquestionably, this one that I received today, stands among the best.  I feel compelled to share it with my Facebook friends and my Blog readers.  It follows:

Seven is the number of years I served my owner, trotting, walking, loping, quiet and gentle.  I carry her children, husband, friends and neighbors.  I have plenty of hay, horse friends, and time to myself.  Green pastures, blue skies, I am at peace.

Six is the number of months I carry on in pain after falling. I do it for her, anything for her.  She is impatient with me.  I try hard to keep up but the pain slows me down.  Every step hurts.  No one wants to ride me.  A new horse arrives to carry on in my place.  I do not know this word, “useless”.

Five is the number of hours I stand in the small pen at the auction.  I hurt.  I do not know these horses; I do not know these people.  I am far from my pasture.  I search for comfort, switching weight off my painful leg, the people notice.  I do not know the word, “lame”.

Four is the number of times my value is calculated by my weight.  I don’t understand their words but I can read their eyes.  Hard stares.  I try to be invisible, but they see me.  I do not know this word, “slaughter”.

Three is the number of sniffs I take of your face through the pen before deciding you are kind and safe.  I like your eyes.  They are soft.  I like your hands.  They are gentle.  Please don’t leave me here.  I try to pick up my feet for you.  It hurts.  I try hard.  I rest my muzzle in your hand.

Two is the number of minutes it takes for me to pass through another pen.  I am scared.  I am trapped.  I am alone, people are shouting.  It hurts to walk.  A man is talking; his voice echoes all around me, there are so many people watching the hard stares.  Suddenly it’s over.          

One is the number of hours it takes before I walk onto the trailer.  I am alone.  I am scared.  It is moving. The door opens, I hold my breath, and brace at the light.  It’s you!  I stand still and breathe slow.  Kind hands, soft words, I’m not afraid now.

Two is the number of x-rays the vet takes while I stand quietly for you, anything for you.  Many days have passed.  I have energy now, my pain is less.  I like my new pasture, I like my new stall, I like my new hay.  I don’t know why we have a vet but I stand still for his visits.  So many visits.  I do not know the word, ‘rehabilitation”.

Three is the number of months before the pain is all the way gone.  I am relaxed with you, we start to ride together.  I am afraid the pain will come back, butt you are gentle, so I try.  I try hard for you, anything for you.

Four is the number of weeks I learn a new way of riding.  Another person rides me every day.  I’m becoming strong.  I understand my lessons..  I am proud to work, I feel you are happy with me, visiting me, and learning together.  I do not know this word , “training”.

Five is the number of years I work hard for you.  We travel to shows, we work cows, we ride with friends.  We do hundreds and hundreds of miles together.  You trust me and I trust you.  I give you everything I have, everything for you, anything for you.  I memorize your rhythm, your looks, your moods.  I know when to be wild and when to be still.  We are a team.

Six is the number of minutes I try to hide the pain after a fall, but you see through me.  I stand for the vet, still as a stone.  The pain leaves but I sense your sadness.  I remember a word from before when I had pain, “useless”, but you never say that word.  You no longer ride me but I see you every day for carrots and treats and long walks.  I relax again.  You will not abandon me.  I do not know this word, “retired”.

Seven is the number of breaths I take in your arms.  I has been many years, we have grown old and wise and slow together.  I lay down like so many times before but could not rise.  You came right away.  I tried for you, but I could not stand.  You say, its okay, sink down next to me, I breathe slowly.  You are very close, holding my head, weeping. 

I feel your sadness so I put my muzzle in your hand one last time to comfort you, anything for you.  I breathe out.  Green pastures, blue skys, I am at peace.  I know this word, “loved”.

 Author Unknown.

Facebook

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How sad it is today that society has such a diminished use for horses over the last one hundred years that owning them has become a sport, or an expensive pleasurer hobby, or a breed farm for the horses to be sold for profit, with great emphasis on the economic worth of the animal that needs to offset the ever growing expense of owning it.  Although we are grateful for the advances in veterinary medicine that allow them to treat and relieve previously untreatable pain conditions successfully, thereby keeping their economic value viable, it comes at a high cost to the horse owner, an expense that they may not be able to afford.  Then, there is the kill pen slaughter.  In today’s story, one lucky horse found his Guardian Angel, a lovely lady who saw him broken down and thought she had a chance to heal him and could see the potentially good horse he could become for her.  She took that leap of faith; she did the right thing by purchasing, and transporting him, then by vetting him, then by “rehabilitating” him so he could live pain free.  In return, he worked his heart out for her, as in “anything for her”.  The story makes some serious assumptions, like the lady having the time and resources to rehab this horse and retrain him, with success.  She then had a great horse to ride and love, and she was loved back in return.  She had a huge heart for her horse and always did the right thing.  I cannot help but be very critical of society for failing to do the right thing regarding our domesticated animals most of the time.  Whether it is puppy mills, or breaking or breaking down horses, abusing donkeys, slaughtering donkeys for their hides and milk, seeing young thoroughbred break down on the track, I wonder, where will this end?  With horses no longer needed for work, will they go away like so many other animals that no longer walk this earth?  In the canine world, one may think there will always be dogs, and there are many, yet many breeds have been lost over the last 100 years, especially in Terriers and Sporting Dogs.  Once the breed is gone, it really cannot be brought back, as some breeds claim to have done, as with the Irish Wolfhound, by recreating it using similar dogs to  create a resemblance.  It is better not to lose the breed at all than have to reconstruct it.  Likewise, it is better not to break down a young horse than have to rehab it.  People do not think that way, they are abusive and selfish, thinking only of what they want to do with the animal in the present, and throwing it away when they are through with it.

The roots of mankind’s responsibility for animals is in the Bible.  Yet, we have done a sickening  job of failing them.  There are no shortage of tears I weep for the canines and equines who depend on mankind for their wellbeing.  God sees and knows everything  and has no inhibition to unleash karma for betraying the trust of animals in the hands of humans who betray it.   When I pray, I pray for the abused, abandoned, and dying animals before I pray for myself or others.  Animals do not have a safety net and need the prayers more.  Perhaps most of mankind has forgotten the animals, but God and I have not.

Blyss Poetry….. a rarer than rare artform but still here

My world as I knew it for some time now was shattered by some traumatic news from a friend, no, a man I believed in.   The end result was him asking me not to contact him anymore.   No explanation was given, just that.

I had so much I wanted to say, yet that option was denied.  I was in enormous emotional pain.  I guess I brought it upon myself, I just don’t know how.  I have no one else to blame.  Unable to write to him, yet having so much to say, I remembered he is a Facebook “Friend”, still!  I posted messages to him and about him and for him on my public page, knowing he would read them.  They are my poems,  so I am saving them here.

Although many other Facebook Friends  reacted with concern,  the gentleman remained silent.  Perhaps he was never a  friend.  I can’t seem to keep my love life from crashing and burning around me.  My only loyal loves have been with my dogs since 2002, especially my borzoi, and also my Black Lab, and now my Silken, Kenzie.  And that makes me glad, they are so much more worthy of my love than  they ever were.

In the ten years I have been a widow, I have been surprising how many  men have been turned off by me having dogs.  True, I had multiple, very large dogs, and men can’t handle that kind of competition.  And, I will always put my dogs before any  man, and my passion for them, the borzoi breed in particular, dog shows, breeding, the whole thing, before any man.  My life revolves around my passion for dogs, my borzoi, and now my Silken Windhound, Kensie.  It is how I deal with my pain.  It is a lot for a man to compete with.  Where I succeed with dogs, I fail with men.  My poems, unedited words from my soul, follow.

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So easy to love

So hard to lose

Come back.

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Today is a wintry cold day in March

Soon it will be spring again to bring me joy

And maybe hearts will heal.

But for now, only lonely,

A heart dies slowly in place

One day at a time.

 

Finding wisdom on Facebook for Blyss

I am frequently amazed by the truly great pieces of writing that end up in my Facebook feed.  It is as if the writer were sitting there in the room with me and looking deep into my very heart and knows exactly how I feel and expresses it with perfect clarity.  So it is with the writing of  Stephanie Bennett-Henry, especially one particular post, that I will share on my own blog, here that she posted on August 2,2015:

“I want the weirdos, the clumsy, fumbling, awkward ones  who call themselves a big mess.  That’s where it’s at.  Give me the one whose eyes are colored with shades of madness.  Throw me in a room with the loners, the ones who never found their place.  Sit me down at the table with the dreamers, the ones who feel with their eyes and see with their hearts.  Surround me with the extraordinary souls who inhale passion through their fingertips and exhale creativity from masterpieces in their bones.  I want to dance with the ones who will break their own hearts because they only know how to love too hard or not at all.  Build a path with the pieces of the broken ones.  I will follow the trail and carry each piece back to its owner, showing them the stained glass pieces of their beautiful, broken magnificence.”

Stephanie Bennett-Henry. Copyrighted.

So yes, there is dignity and loss in defeat.  There must be, be some positive dimension for humans since it is so ubiquitous and it does not kill us, it just keeps coming.  Is this a realistic interpretation of the human condition, flailing around, coming up short, losing everything, “dying” even, when you are still very much alive?  I am a master at surviving deaths.  I have had several reincarnations: surviving my childhood, surviving my first and second marriages, and coping with the tragedies that befell my kennel.  First, a puppy died unexpectedly.  I had forgotten puppies died, as I was so focused on breeding them and on their subsequent arrivals!   After, the puppies from my only litter were sent far away by my co-breeder, the one I got to keep was very sickly his first two years of life and was not emotionally sound.  This was challenging and I was focused on these events more than it was warranted until the punishing hand of God delivered its final blow: taking my darling husband, prematurely young, from cancer.  The only mercy to the story was it was swift.

My dreams of an adult life, happily married with a child and a houseful of dogs, Llewellyn English Setters come to mind since I did not know what borzoi were then,  a show kennel and horses in a pasture,  and never at a loss for love, was a bitter delusion that I never stopped pursuing long after it was feasible.  I pursue it still, and I am a very old woman.

And there lays my psychosis.  It is what places me in the room with the eyes colored with shades of madness, thrown in a room with loners who never found their place, who feel with their eyes  see with their hearts.  And yes, I have wanted to “dance” with the ones I knew would break my heart because they, too were flawed and could not love, so like my parents before them.  My life is lived on a path of broken stones and every step is painful.  But I see no magnificent stained glass portrait of myself to hang in the window to catch the sun and celebrate my life.  I am in a very dark place. The pieces of my life lie on the ground like broken stones, and an urn will hold my ashes in a mausoleum when I die.

Blyss Kennels on the phone and on Zoom

It is the first Sunday in 2021 and here I sit  home alone.  I am alone because my boyfriend has left early to go home to visit his son and grandchildren whom he did not see over Christmas.   However, I had something nice to look forward to, a Zoom meeting of the Borzoi Club of Greater New York.  It was lead by the President  Elisabeth Szymanski, who did a superb job.  The Club plans to hold Specialty shows in May and September.  Coming up soon is another Zoom meeting of the Central NJ Hound Club Association, also planning upcoming shows.  And what about the Borzoi Club of America’s National Specialty Show in May, 2021, in Wilmington, OH?  But will they happen, I ask?  Will we all get our vaccines to adequately create herd immunity and make it safe to mingle in public places?  So many questions.  So few answers.

But here in the United States there are fabulously wealthy, very successful people and their wives who have been interviewed on television who believe our vaccine should be given to people who live in other places first, meaning, on other continents.  They have no sympathy for what happens to those of us living in the United States.  These are individuals who were able to amass great fortunes here, in a country with their talents in the fields of technology and computer science were valued, and were able to market their products  around the world.  Yet, they have no concern or appreciation for the country who made their educational or professional opportunities available for them to garner their success.  It was not a coincidence their spectacular success occurred here where it did.  Yet, they feel no need to appreciate or give credit to their own country for their success in any way, and they look down upon it and its ordinary citizens with a repulsed disdain.  They lost my respect and admiration long ago.    I regard those kind of opinions that are hurtful to Americans to be traitorous.

Other thoughts that have entered my realm of consciousness concern the ongoing saga of my health, the various parts of my body that do not work properly, causing me discomfort and concern.  There are two big doctor appointments with specialists on my calendar already for January 2021.  This, added to the travails of the world, can truly break me down into despair.  Somehow, I am eating better and gaining needed weight.  I am reaching out more to friends by writing, emailing or calling.  Let my messages be what they are, welcome news or poor intrusions, so be it, whatever.  At least I care enough to reach out and perhaps touch the tip of another’s finger with that of my own to let some soul know they are not alone.  We have viruses and neoplasms floating around us and in us but we must live on regardless of the horrors we are asked to endure.  I have seen death, and watched people die sitting at their bedside.  It is not pretty.  Medicine as a profession is still helpless  many a time when you might expect it to succeed.  Give me strength the next time I must encounter it, even if it is that of someone I love, one of my dogs, or for myself.

For the New Year, may I be blessed with tranquility and the comfort of silence and peace.  May my thoughts be serene and my love rewarded in kind.  I love my Silken Windhound, Kensey, and my boyfriend of ten months, with whom I am still happy.   Life has a way of going on from unhappiness and trauma, and I am in some place away from all of that now.  I wish the same for all who take the time to stop and read this Blog.

Home with Tresor & Jelly
Mikhailya with me at Delalware Bay

A voice in cyberspace resonates at Blyss

Once again in a most unexpected way it is  words from a stranger on Facebook that someone shared to my feed that has caused me to take pause and reevaluate my psychological  outlook and my interpretation of the most painful events of my life that have transpired starting in childhood, culminating with the death of my last borzoi in 2019.  It was a long run on tragedies and I have been beaten down by them, almost to nothing,  Yet am very physically strong and resilient  beyond anything one should expect to be able to do.   Yet here I am still standing if not shattered and shaken to my core.   How sad it is to have had to live through these tribulations, most of which were unnecessary.  I was not alone in my misery, it was due to profound parental dysfunctionality resulting in our suffocation, and all of my siblings endured the pain with me, none coming out any better for the experience.  It threw us into odd directions as adults, along tangents that  could never intersect, leaving us lonely and alone forever.  In my untouchable wretchedness, God, and my husband, Bob, gave me my borzoi.  The year was 2003.  By January 2005,   the jewel of the kennel,  my most  beloved Opal (Raybo Opalesque of Byss) arrived.  I never saw, nor have ever seen, such an exquisite creature,   Nor had I ever loved anything more than I did her, canine or human.   She was the daughter I never had.  My great love was reciprocated in kind and then some.  But perfect bliss was not to be for I am me, and by 19 months she had passed away from an obscure, rare congenital  disease.  Breeding is not a straight line.  The event took place fourteen and a half years ago but it is like fourteen minutes.  I ruminate, I cry, I grieve, I write, I speak of her and of my never failing love and the loss I suffered by losing her.  I know it is wrong but I could not help how I felt.  Fourteen  years of grief wrestled me down and I am drowning.  I have almost died of grief related issues by becoming anorexic and having cancer twice in seven years.  Opal wasted and so have I.  I have longed to be where she is.  Life is not livable for me without her.  I needed her spirit to keep me going but it is gone, and has been gone a long time now.

However, today presented me with something that perhaps made me see it another way, and perhaps made me realize  I was wrong.  Opal is the best thing I ever had, and the best thing that ever happened to me.  It was put this way by a writer,   Elizabeth Ammons, from Lessonslearnedinlife.com.    She writes as follows, and it appeared in my Facebook feed on December 2, 2020:

“You can shed tears because they are gone, or you can smile because they lived.

You can close your eyes and pray they will come back, or you can open your eyes and see all that they left for you.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see them, or you can be full of the love you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday, or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember only that they are gone, or you can cherish their memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind and feel empty, or you can do what they would want.

Smile…. Open your heart…. Love…. And go on.”

These are words I need to read, study and hear.  My grief of 14 years diminishes Opal.  I should celebrate her.  Her memoir,  and that of all my borzoi, should bring me joy, not make me wish for my death.  Yes, she is gone, as are they, but in time we will be together again as if no time had separated us.  I must have more faith in destiny.  My ugly childhood is over.  My borzoi loved me unconditionally and gave me back my happiness, or perhaps gave me a measure of happiness I never had.  I hope my story touches others who grieve and cannot be comforted, or others who know the hell of a childhood devoid of love.

 

 

A romantic update at Blyss

As I moved along last month, in spite of my desire not to, in order to put myself out of my predictable, future misery, I perceived in the far distance a white flag of peace.  It could almost have been missed it was so remote and brief.  Could it be I see the words in a text message after a month of deafening silence, apologizing and wishing to return to my love?  Yes, the very same lover who melted down and disappeared when  I needed him and his love and strength the most…..   But that was then and this is now…..  Could I forgive him, he asked…..  I replied there was nothing to forgive, please come back.

It would not be what many would have done, but I cannot be lead around like a cow in a herd.  I take the risks, the unwise endeavors, the degrading gestures, show my tears, bear my breasts.  It does not matter if it is a borzoi or a lover.  Love is love for me.  Once I love, it will not end pretty.  Love charges me a huge fee but in spite of being willing to pay the price I often lose my investment.

But today, he has returned, transformed as if by magic, to the lover he was before he was seized by his own rage and exited the scene, not even knowing why or where he was going.   His journey took him back to me.  I love him unconditionally, like my borzoi, and took him back.  He is my Adorable One, my Little Rock Star, since we spend so much time watching YouTube videos and he knows so much about 1960s British invasion rock music and the derivative bands it spawned, not to mention his guitar collection.  I admit I have an encyclopedic knowledge of the subject myself, although my knowledge of classical music and opera equals it.   We focus on our love and watch the music videos and rock documentaries of the musicians, amazing how  many there are, and just escape our pain for the laughter hat comes from silly things.   Someday, one of us will die first, and will leave the other shattered and heartbroken.  Until then, we are blissfully in love.  We are happy to share our joy with Kensie, although I know how much we are missing by not having a pair of borzoi to watch over things here.  He does not get it though, and I  believe it would be, how shall I say, “Too, too much…..”.  Fortunately, Kensie does a wonderful job behaving just like a borzoi, and that is a very nice, endearing quality of hers.

For a year that commenced in a very bad way, a year that saw COVID-10 descend upon the Human Race and kill hundreds of thousands of people, well over 220,000 Americans, I can look back on it and see stars against the black background.

At Blyss, at home, everywhere: walking to death.

I feel like  how a dog from the past must have felt trying to enter England, in a long, seemingly endless quarantine.  But no, I am a human being in the USA and I never left home.  I just cannot go out anywhere safely.  To be safe, I must stay home and be alone.  However, walking around town is allowed if safe social distancing of six feet is maintained.  Still, that does not satisfy my never ending gnawing need for intimacy.  With so much time on my hands and because I am so good at procrastinating leaving my lawn not mowed and my flower beds not weeded, I have decided to write on my blog at Blysskennels.us tonight.  I have been procrastinating writing on my Blog, too, showing how bad I have really been and how low my spirits have sunk.

Walking to Death

April 7, 2020

I am told it is a remedy, but tell me,

What is it that I see on my walks that makes for improvement?

It began in mid March and now it is early April.  Hateful spring.

No one knows when it will end.  It could be a very long time from now.

Although it remains cold and windy from winter,

I see there are splashes of color now: yellows and pinks, from flowering bushes and trees,

Breaking through.  I contemplate them.  They bring a hope or sorts

Having seen only grey, dark branches for so long that appeared to be dead.

It was an illusion, I thought, that this was a death of the flora, on the shrubs, on the flowering trees, and especially on the mountain.

Do I see a tiny splash of green there?  I am not sure…..

I know it will be there soon,

And then there will be the miracle of  tiny white Dogwood blossoms scattered among the green

Where they were once abundant…before their own virus came for them.

We live in the day of viruses, and all we can do is walk to death.

Walk them off, walk them away,

Walk them until we tire, walk them until we die.

Walk them with our children, walk them with our dogs,

Walk them with our friends, with our fathers, with our mothers and with our lovers.

How can there be so many places to walk to and so many places to walk from,

And learn so many people’s stories along the way that don’t do anyone any good

For each and every one has one, a story that is

And not about the virus that always lurks behind us now taking souls away.

 

Another day: Blyss Kennels values for “New World for the USA”

Here we are now, in new days for our country and the world.  It’s  been about three weeks now, and it still feels all wrong.  Many people have a point and are right, even though they have opposing view points.  Many people have died, many unfairly.  Any life lost to violence is a sorrow and pains me deeply.  Life is to be cherished and celebrated.  Every person is a members of the human family, and one person’s joy is all of our joy, as another person’s sorrow is all of our sorrow. Living together in harmony, sparing the use of defamation and striving for consensus is how  people should come together to resolve differences.  The current American President fails to accomplish these skills that could “unite” the multitudinous masses that comprise America and  disparate points of view, thereby only deepening the divisiveness growing dangerously wide in America.  Even Generals and great military men of our day are apologizing for showing unity with their Commander in Chief, which he accomplished.  He wanted a photo op of himself holding a bible – it was upside down by the way – in front of St. John’s National Cathedral where he does not worship – which he got.  It had the effect of boomeranging on him, making him look evil.  Where does this stop, I ask you?

If you are me, it stops in gardens, working in them, on them, or  simply admiring them.  It also includes  surrounding yourself with a pack of really huge and gorgeous dogs, like, did I say borzoi?  So, in January, I bought a Silken Windhound, although I really wanted another pair of borzoi.  It is she, Kensie, who makes visits to formal gardens or fields of wildflowers, or in expansive meadows, or taking long walk together on winding roads that were once forests on the side of a  mountain  and probably should have stayed that way, even though I have lived here on four of those separate roads over the past 70 years.  I also cheat by thinking I make new friends by getting into impromptu conversations with people who complement Kensie on these walks because of her exquisite and unusual beauty.  I did not plan to get another dog after my last borzoi, Jelly, died last May.

Today, suffering permeates into the invisible fiber of society, unable to be seen.  And, it is just not “there” to be observed by voyeuristic people who want to watch others suffer because it energizes them. The voyeurs will suffer, too.  No one will be truly energized by this suffering because it is 100% toxic.  Like the COV-19 virus, it is in our DNA now and it will take no prisoners.  No one is  free of it.  Moreover, as  the current, elected President fails to represent his people, Americans, nature hates a vacuum, and a charismatic leader will emerge to correct that mistake.  I tremble.

I conclude we need our animals,  wild flower meadows, and our gardens more than ever today!  However,  there was a time when grand words were written and sung by those of  my generation, and they may speak to us today.  Let me share a ballad written in honor of a true peace music festival, written by a Canadian song writer of the highest caliber, Joni  Mitchell and sung by her closest friends, David Crosby, Steven Stills, Graham Nash, and Niel Young, also a Canadian.

Woodstock.

… We are stardust, we are golden

We are fifty year old carbon

And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.

Maybe it is the time of year

Maybe it is the time of man

I don’t know who I am but life is for learning.

We are stardust, we are golden

We are fifty year old carbon

And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.

By the time we got to Woodstock we were half a million strong

Everywhere there was song and celebration

And I thought I saw the bombers turning shot gun in the sky

And they were turning into butterflies about our nation.

… We are stardust, we are golden

We are fifty year old carbon

And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.

Joni Mitchell.