Wednesday, November 12, 2008
When I put my face against my dog’s,
I smell dirt and grass and whatever he last rolled in.
When he kisses my lips, a coppery after-taste
remains as a reminder.
It is not so much that I like the pungent outdoor odor
or the sharp metallic taste
as that I love my dog
and those smells and that taste are associated with him,
so that some of the love for the being
is transferred onto the attributes.
Then, each smell, each taste, apart from the being,
is attached to a memory of a face pressed against mine—
It may hit me miles away.
A cool fall breeze reminding me of the scent
of my dog returning indoors from wrestling
with a pile of orange leaves.
This is what I felt when I drank Guinness after you—
in tasting what your mouth savored,
I tasted you.
When I drink Guinness,
it is because I want
to kiss you.
In your always present absence
it is my dog who kisses my face.
But just for a second, I imagine
there is a smell of spiced leather
and a taste
mornings that come too early
movies on the french revolution
lazy lunch hours
the feeling of being at home
with foreign entities, with old friends
breathe out, breathe out....
i can't help but smile.
With today's onslaught of inclement weather. With today's uprooting of the familiar, the comfortable, the secure. With a heart both sure and unsure, relieved and hesitant. With all of these factors fluctuating about in my head and heart and mind: What a great reminder today's dependent co-arising was and is.
Cold weather season, allergic-asthma time of year, plus more anxiety than usual. This practice takes work: to exhale worry (over things I can't control) & inhale calm.
Last night I went with my dad and bro to a college football game in Dekalb, Illinois, and it was so outside the realm of usual weeknight goings-on (and so cold) that I took time to notice to my breath [breath pictured].
Deep breaths take work. Trying not to return to my default settings takes work! In any case, the breaths looked nice floating out over Huskie Stadium.
Also breathing easier last night: the Central Michigan football team, having beat Northern Illinois 33-30 in overtime.