22
Jan
14

joey-o-e-o-e-o, joey (i’m calling you)

the subtle click  of the hall closet shutting would wake him from the soundest of sleeps (the deep slumber of dogs), this connoisseur of walks. he could hear the rattle of the leash over the sound of a hans zimmer score, even before you said, “walkies”, he’d be awake and at your side, ready to head to to to to to there or over there, but here first, then there, let’s just go he’d tug tight on the leash as if there were not enough time to do everything that could be done on this one walk around the block.

joey

we’d stop and i’d bend down to pat his head and feel his silky ears–ears that expressed all of his moods; eager, happy, joey.

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“where’s joey?” one of us would say and we’d search the house, calling his name and find his legs sticking out from underneath the bed, dead to the world (figuratively at the time.)

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he was patient with us, in the way dogs are with their humans, accepting our tics and odd habits (why don’t they smell more things?), as long as a walk was involved, even in the rain, the heat, the winds, it was always forward, never looking back. (except now, when looking back is all we’ve got.)

joey

he failed obedience school, although he did learn to heel and to sit when requested, even if it made no sense to him at the time. he howled at other dogs we’d meet, scaring some, inciting others, making friends with a few and enemies of several–their scent a memory he never forgot even after he was blind and couldn’t see them pass across the street. if we were downwind and he caught their scent, he’d growl under his breath “i’ll get you yet, you rascal,” and tug tighter on the lead.

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billy loved him. billy taught him the importance of being petted and held tight and how the love of your humans makes the world a better place. they were an odd pair, but brothers at heart, a harsh word never passed between them; they shared their beds, their treats, their meals, they even rode quietly in the back seat of the car together, and they’d sit patiently next to each other whenever we’d stop to speak with a neighbor, noses and ears alert to any danger.

joey laid down today, january 22, 2014, and did not get up. we held him as he left us for a walk with other dogs we’ve known and hopefully some humans, too. he was fourteen years old and we loved him very much.

15
Dec
13

the end (maybe)

five years ago on the 24th of december i began this blog. since then i’ve written/photographed/drawn 844 (now 845) posts which comes out to about one every other day.

initially, i thought the blog would be about art and collecting and in some ways that has been true throughout its life. i’ve taken some sharp corners in this time; managing to write a fairly complete memoir of my first 30 years along the way as well as discussions about more topical subjects, the nature of friendship, life in a digital world, and yes, collecting and art, frankly whatever struck my fancy (i’m still a fan of the random “first paragraph” posts.)

over the past week since the last post i’ve given some thought to the energy required to maintain this blog and have discovered that i’ve run dry. so a thank you is in order to those of you who’ve followed along, i appreciate your comments and visits and views. i’m not sure it’s the absolute end, but i do know it’s time to slow down; i’ve got a manuscript to wrangle into shape and lots of other things to do…like gardening and reading and drawing and collecting, but this time around, i’ll share less and look more.

the archive is deep: there are hundreds of thousands of words, thousands of photographs, and several hundred drawings; poke around, who knows what you may find.

07
Dec
13

getty center, 6 (seems like dog years, doesn’t it?)

“don’t get old,” i said to him.

DSC08114he just looked at me with those dark, soulful eyes

DSC08125and licked my hand.

DSC08126which is, i imagine, the best promise he can make at this point in time.

DSC08132in the meantime, i’ll hold him on my lap and stroke his silky, warm head.

06
Dec
13

getty center, 5 (angles)

as you may surmise, i’ve been on a toot about the getty center all week long. (and this is not the final post on the subject.)

DSC08108and rightfully so. i like to think of a visit to the center as a grand social experiment. (it’s a successful one, btw.)

DSC08121my companions were weren’t surprised when strangers approached me to ask about visiting the museum. (or did i interject myself into stranger’s lives? it’s a habit, what can i say?)

DSC08122my mother could talk to anyone about anything and talked to strangers all the time. i guess you could say, “he’s his mother’s son,” for no  matter what corner i turn, i will find someone i don’t know, but after a few minutes and careful probing (“he’s a mind-reader!) i will know more. that’s my angle.

05
Dec
13

getty center, 4 (gift baskets)

hummingbird #1: ooh, look at this one!

DSC08100hummingbird #2: i just give up during the holidays.

DSC08101hummingbird #1: omg, this one!

DSC08102hummingbird #2: from my lips to my hips. i am going to regret this.

DSC08103hummingbird #1: more, please!

DSC08106hummingbird #2: you know, harry, you’re going to hate yourself in the morning.

04
Dec
13

getty center, 3 (this is the part where i lagged behind my companions because i was dumb-struck by the pleasure of the gardens and every which way i turned presented a vista of unrivaled beauty)

the garden has two sides, both of which have an ‘english’ feel to them, a little wilder, a little less ‘french’ (see the azalea maze), plants rub up against each other and even in the winter months there are little surprises–delicate blooms at your feet and above your head.

DSC08097all you have to do is slow down, take a moment to enjoy the panorama, and breath. don’t forget to breath.

DSC08098as you can see, when you take a breath, the most exquisite of blossoms comes into view.

DSC08099(yes, you’re right, i’m going to drag this whole getty thing out for a few more days…) [ellipsises were free today]

03
Dec
13

getty center, 2 (walk and talk)

robert irwin, the artist who designed the getty center gardens, planned a walk down to the azalea pool that, in its broad arcs scythes across the downhill plain in ever widening strokes. the gravel path crosses a stream (a “water feature” that would be the envy of any neighborhood, even brentwood) that cascades down an ever diminishing rocky cavalcade–from large boulders at the top to a mosaic of narrow rectangular rough tiles and then rushes into the pool that supports the azalea maze.

DSC08093it is a path that begs to be walked and talked, whether with your companions or with strangers. the towering arbors blooming with bougainvillea are a counterpoint to the abrupt angles of the center clad in its travertine stone.

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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Befrazzled. The air-conditioner is out and it is sticky hot in here.

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