Life, Death, Dogs. A Rooftop Contemplation

The occasional whisper of tires as a car drives by below, an unintelligible shout, the scattered songs of birds. The only sounds at this hour. Only the crackheads & I seem to be awake. Even the sirens are quiet, sleeping.

It’s 4am & I’m up on the roof of my apartment building with a fresh cup of coffee, a cigarette, & Ruby. The clouds above reflect the city lights giving a faint glow, just enough to see by. A cool breeze plays with my hair, blowing it in my face then away. I wrap my robe a little tighter around me.

I sit on the short wall of my building, look down at the weeds growing in our forbidden & neglected back yard. Near the far right corner calla lily’s bloom, defying the otherwise abandoned and unloved desolation. With their beauty inevitably comes a warm sorrow as I’m reminded of when Striggy brought a gift of bone-white lily’s to my tent in Austin. With love & reverence I placed them on top of the pale blonde box I had picked up earlier that day, already made into an altar surrounded with candles, a picture of Bean propped up against the box that now held the ashes of the most amazing dog & companion I’ve ever known. She was killed by a freight train a few days before, found by friends lying between the tracks, her favorite stuffed toy a few inches from her head. Nearly 13 years later & the tears still fall for her.

I turn back facing the roof top, close my eyes, take in a few deep breaths as I find a strange comfort in this sadness. Now, it’s filled with love and warm memories instead of the anguish I carried inside for years, holding it tight, afraid that if the pain wasn’t there I would somehow be betraying her memory.

I know better now. I understand death better now.

I think of how exquisite this life is, how fortunate I am. Occasionally I still let the weight of it all get to me and forget these things, but not now. Not today.

I open my eyes and catch Ruby briefly chasing her tail. I chuckle silently to myself and somehow love her even more.

I think of the time I spent in Hospice. Months on end so close to giving up, so desperately wanting to stop being strong, and each morning having to somehow find just one reason to keep fighting. One reason to stay alive.

As impossible it seemed to be able to imagine at times, I needed to believe that I would somehow get better.

I had to know, with as little doubt as possible, that there would be mornings like this one to look forward to.

Love & Promises

In a strange way, it’s funny. All wrapped up in writing, becoming again, and playing with a beautiful dog that though I am broke as fuck (.65 to my name) I missed walking down and picking up my pittance check, the illustrious weekend in front of me.
And not a bone in the cupboard to chew on.
I was focusing on work, and forgot to get paid for living.
(I will never understand that. past rent and necessities (phone, internet) I get $300/ month.
Only when you have so little that everything, *everything* is a sacrifice. Trash bags, toilet paper (gots to have a clean ass) good soap, the herbs I still live by, and when I have an extra $10 in my pocket, a toy for Ruby. Honestly, she should come first, but I do occasionally need to crap, and… well, need to make certain its clean, just in case anyone really wants to sniff my ass. (Yeah, it’s happened. No comment.)

But fuck me, I wrote through the small time frame to pick up my check, again the fool.
So here’s to a penniless weekend, again. Fuck this shit. I’m climbing out. In three months, I will host the most amazing event you could ever dream of. Saturday, February 15. The day after Valentines day. I’m Coming BACK

But fuck, this current scrapping shit wears so dreadfully thin. Here’s the rub – if you have felt this, feel it now. The desperation in a single day, the withering of the soul.

So I post this again, for now. Please forgive me.
Saving up for Ruby, but PayPal is immediate, and buys her toys – and some food for me. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/534079/wdgi/451145

A heartfelt thanks to all of you that have found it in your heart to donate – Ruby and I are working on something special for you…

To be a Dog

 

 

I strip naked to crawl into bed. It is an uncommonly warm night in The City, the few weeks of summer in the fall, and I prefer a slight bit of chill at the very least. Ruby has a tendency to snuggle, and by snuggle I mean to attempt to push me off of our bed.  She doesn’t just slowly slide up – she essentially falls down on me and expects me to slide out from under her. It is still my damned bed, to a certain degree. She has learned that when it’s time for me to get in, she gets off. I make myself comfortable, avoiding the edge that I know she will push me to (a head start) and when allowed, she then hops back on to claim her side/middle/the whole damn thing. Her simplicity is just one of the things I love about her. Primal, no bullshit.

She tests me. She pushes, I push harder, and very shortly after we both find sleep, my arm outside of the covers caressing her, in adoration listening to her breathe, feeling her puppy belly rise and fall, the occasional sigh. If only she could know I would do anything for her. I think that she’s learning this.

When we walk around the neighborhood there are many loud noises, many people, many things that she is still unsure of which cause pause for her. “It’s okay, Rube.” She looks at me, her leash goes slack as she walks next to my leg until we pass, then she’s off to exploring again in her zig-zag roundabout way, from one side of the sidewalk to the other, exploring everything. I walk behind her in more or less a straight line, but we both get everywhere we are going, just the same.

Though I love all animals, there is an exquisite pureness, faith, and loyalty in dogs that can’t be refused. In their innocence they trust that we know best, even when we don’t. When they look at us and their eyes shine in a big goofy smile, we realize that life really is beautiful, and even in our lowest times, there is hope.

They don’t care if we come home late, they are always thrilled to see us. When we drink a bit too much they don’t judge. When we pass gas, “HEY! New smell! WOOHOO! They don’t care what we look like, are excited about everything, don’t mind the garbage on the streets in the slightest. With Ruby I have free reign to behave like a complete fool without any concern about what other people think, though that has never been much difficulty for me. They don’t care what we act like, how much money we make, even if they live in a tiny apartment that they consider home. And have a bed that they can take over. All it requires is love and caring.

“A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.” ~ Jack London

Yes, I will do anything for her. It is the very least for what she gives me.

This is something I read quite a while ago, in between Bean and Ruby, and it stays with me.

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, “I know why.”

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me.  I’d never heard a more comforting explanation.  He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?”

The six-year-old continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

I know my time with Ruby is shorter than I would prefer.  It was with Bean, with Bear, even with Happy, the Sheep Dog who I was raised with who almost ripped my cheek off when I was a very young child… but it is never long enough, and I can’t ever do enough for them.

http://igg.me/p/534079/x/451145

 

 

 

 

To Live for Those Who Give Life

And just like that, something clicked. Or… perhaps it wasn’t instantaneous in becoming, only how quickly it happened. I’ve been working for this day in meditation and reading, but only listening to my conscious mind instead of my heart and subconscious knowledge.

Every year for seven years, before the anniversary of the closest friend and companion I have ever had getting killed, a being that was so incredibly full of light and love that she taught me more every day, I went to the store, got enough alcohol to let me escape in sorrow and feel every ounce of pain for a few days, and drank.

It is the anniversary of my beautiful dog, Bean, getting killed by a freight train, and being found on the tracks.

Something changed this year though. I had been drinking more and more as the years progressed, with the exception of the couple of years I spent in hospitals, and lately it had been getting much worse. Not every day, but whenever I had a little bit of money to spare – or just had money whether I could spare it or not, quite often I would drink, and drink to excess.

This year started out no differently. Early on the 25th, I went to the store, got a bottle of the cheapest whiskey, and began in abandoned earnest.

When I awoke on the 27th, the anniversary of her death, I, as usual, poured myself a large tumbler of whiskey to begin the day… but I couldn’t bring myself to begin. It sat on my night stand,, nearly full, for hours. Finally, later that evening, I looked at the photo you see above, placed my hand in the wax-dripped wooden box that her ashes, some of her teeth and jaw bone and some dried white lilies are in, and took a small shot – then poured the rest into the bottle where it still sits in my cupboard.

I tried drinking more a couple days after, but the same result – a shot, but no more. Believe me, I tried!

I have been slowly killing myself with alcohol, drinking more and more as time passed, but – now I have a new pup, Ruby, and I cannot do this to myself, or her.  Or, to my friends.

I cannot die before I meet my birth mother, who I searched for essentially all of my life and finally found and contacted, almost exactly a year ago.

I honestly don’t know what transformed inside of me, but what happened doesn’t matter.

Things are changing for the better, and I like it. I feel alive again. I feel like me again, and I feel good. Now, it’s time to take Ruby out for a walk.

On that note, a reminder. In order to give Ruby (my rescue pup) the life she deserves until I get my feet all the way on the ground, I have started a campaign to help be the father I promised I would be, and give her the life she deserves.

Please take a moment to look at this – more things from this post might be answered, and there are wonderful photos and video of Ruby.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-a-rescue-puppy-live-the-life-she-deserves/x/451145

If you can, please help by contributing in any way you are able, and thank you!

This is still happening, and we need it.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ruby-needs-your-help-and-mine-i-do-this-for-her/x/451145

You can do direct help through Paypal, if you don’t want to read about hos beautiful a pup Ruby is. kSea@culturefluxmagazine.com is my paypal addy.

Ruby in her favorite place, after playing in the park.

Ruby in her favorite place, after playing in the park.

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as simple as…

9:30am. Up earlier than usual, I decide to do something to make the best of the day, get off to an early start. I pick up the book that was six hours earlier put down, and again I am lost in the beauty of words. It’s a lovely vacation, short as it may be, to travel through someone else’s mind and to see the world through their eyes. It’s a good way to open your own.

I’m out of coffee and milk, so eat a couple handfuls of dry cereal and make some Swiss Miss hot chocolate that was bought on special a few weeks back, in one of the rare times I had money and even more rare that I wanted hot chocolate. It comes with little marshmallows in the mix but I’m not quite certain why, as when the stirring is done and the powder is dissolved, so are the marshmallows. It’s a swindle, a deception. Only if you carefully pick the marshmallows out one by one and add them at the end can they last for any time at all, and perhaps someday I might do that just to see how long they last, but not now.

I must finish cleaning, packing everything, everything into plastic bags. The upstairs apartment has been found to have bedbugs, so all the apartments that surround him must get sprayed as well to cut off these little terrors at the pass. Gone are the days of the innocent rhyme my parents told me as a small child after finally getting me into bed. Now bedbugs are a nightmare as real as day. I’ve been fortunate enough only to hear horrid stories about them, but now they are here. I’ve been needing to clean and organize anyway, been meaning to, but didn’t want to be forced into it. Still, I’m not surprised that I am. I put the intention out there and am just being helped along by the Universe to accomplish my goal. There is no good or bad, just help and action.

I should know better by now. We create the world around us. Nothing happens by chance and there is no coincidence. It’s as simple as that.

Into this world the child is born anew. That’s the joke. We are all looking for a savior but there are hundreds born every second, free from prejudice, free from opinion, free from hatred. What do you want to be when you grow up? We create the child, instill in it our fears, our hatred, our ignorance. Not always the parents but most widespread the world around them, and they are always walking the fine line between freedom or belonging. Peace or war. Will you fight or will you succumb and be accepted?

This is what I was taught.

There is a choice, and it doesn’t need to be one or the other. There is no right, no wrong. There is only what was ingrained in us before our first breath; the awareness of love.

Most of life is the quest for this knowledge again, yet we search for it in so many places where it will never be found. We search for it outside of ourselves. We have forgotten where it originates from, and all we need to do is be quiet, and listen to the singing of the wind again. It will lead us to the time when our own hearts began beating.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I’m going to truly begin this day; take Ruby to the park, watch her play with the joie de vivre that puppies own – and listen to the wind on this beautiful, chilly grey morning.

reminded of why I live, why I Write…

  • Hello friend, it´s been a while again huj? I have been pretty busy here getting myself into shit and then trying to figure out how to get myself out of it afterwhile. It is such a – I don´t know – would you like to chat with me some time? I feel like, in a way you´ve been trascendental? something meaningful?… in my life, but then, that was me projecting something only you could so well represent, and you saved me and you drove me crazy too… I know I did scare you… it makes me smile, laugh? Yah… you were something special in my madness… I love that picture, it gives me something, I feel something, I feel as if you were telling me something, and I was happy to hear it for I have been sitting here, and then I just take a look again and I feel you are telling me you know how I feel… and that you are here in a very sublime way… I need you right now – I know this sounds all crazy, I am sorry, I am so pasionate and expresive, Have you gotten married? It´s beautiful what your eyes are saying… it´s like you found something, as if you have become who you wanted to be. Generally that happens when people find their beloved. Your picture also tells me you are so sane, zen? I am like the turtles and so are you, because you are honest and not afraid to take it all out and give it away… that´s what makes you the king of my world, although I don´t know you, but I have read your lines and your eyes say you have a pretty strong character, determination, like a warrior with a sword, and you can move in all directions and travel through all different galaxies and still keep that precious heart in its place, going through changes…

    I will be here from now on for a while again… hope to hear from you soon, my friend. Love.

  • KSea Flux

    When I call, you’re always there, aren’t you?
    For the past few days I’ve been thinking about you, about the beautiful words you wrote to me, for me, what seems like lifetimes ago. Do you remember them?

    “I do admire you… I do not know how you do to live the life you live. You remind me of the replicates in the Blade Runner Film. So wild and beautiful like poetry lost in time… like tears in the rain…

    Do birds ever come to you?

    I will be praying for you these days… for you, my friend, to get home soon. I am so very glad life is good to you because you are so good, way over too many stupidities of this world. And, I might be wrong, of course, for I perceive your nature must bring this need to pull it all the way. Not being a slave at any risk… it’s a pretty good damn meaning and purpose. I believe in you, you are an inspiration to life itself…

    I feel you have been giving way too much, and you are so intense, could be dangerous like love… you seem from here like a wild tender beautiful authentic being, more than human. I want to pray for you to find what you are looking for, what you really need….

    There is something of me in you; still we might be completely opposites… You are, brother, creator of fantasies, worlds, and million thousand ways to fly. I watch you fly mesmerized; still I wish something wires you to the land… I don’t know why, sometimes I wish I could become that wire to connect you with your land, or at least, send it to you in some magical way…

    The higher you fly, the further away, the deeper this wish buries in me… like a dream, it cuts. It’s not easy to say this kind of things, to describe this kind of experience without some fear…

    I hope you’ll understand… I hope you do receive a kiss and a hug with these words which aren’t enough, I know, but it’s all I got now…

    Blessings,

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ”

    It *was* lifetimes ago – two, actually, as I came incredibly close to dying twice since then, and each time I pulled through was called a ‘miracle’ by the doctors tending me. It’s difficult to believe them these days.
    – but even when I was my worst off, I still remembered who I was, am, and who I want to be… there are still more things that I need to do in this lifetime, I just need to figure out what the hell they *are*!
    In time, in time…

    No, not married, no one “special” in my life except for my pup, and though I love her it’s strictly platonic. Not that I would mind someone, but unfortunately I have the kind of thinking that is making it difficult to find someone – someone who would dare to want me, and that *I* would want as well, of course. I truly wish that my eyes were telling the truth – but the fact is that right now I’m simply trying to remember who I *was*, so that I can move on to who I can be. These days I’m finding myself confused more often than not as to how to go about this — time to venture inside again, time to look to the words and hope that they direct me.
    It’s disquieting what almost two years in a hospice & hospital can do to a person; everything on schedule, sleeping as much as possible just to make the lackluster days go away faster… after a while you almost want to die, simply for a new experience, a new road, the final adventure – it took more than most people realize just to hang on to a bit of my wandering spirit among the suffocating walls.

    They clipped my wings, but feathers grow back.

    My heart to yours, Dharma. As always, it fills my soul to hear from you.

    Love.