rituals (& holidays & friends & blog posts)

it started off innocently enough.  a blog about culture & art & things i like.  over the years it’s evolved & now interspersed with all that art-y stuff are memories & obsessions & things i like (oops, i’ve said that twice now, but i do like writing about things i like — 3 times, but who’s counting?  seems it’s me.)  i’m not like some people i know who blog as regularly as a swiss watch keeps time (let’s say daily & i admit to some jealousy of their habits,) but i’m me & i write & post photos as it suits me.

every morning for the past 10 years, i’ve gotten up at 5:15 a.m. (almost always, even without the alarm.)  i pour a cup of coffee & check on m., who recently has taken to falling asleep on the couch in the den when he can’t sleep, with the t.v. on quietly in the background & joey curled up at his feet on guard duty.  soft snoring (yeah, right!) an accompaniment to the weather report on channel _.

after a few sips of coffee & quick check-ins with all of my social media outlets, i gather up billy & joey & take them for their morning walk.  the morning walk habit is one of the great pleasures of my life.  sometimes the sun is coming up & other times it is still dark outside (as i’ve noted in this blog on occasion); today the sun was up & there was the blue pacific ocean with its layer of cotton candy sunrise sky laying on top of it, a gift of beauty if ever there were one.

the dogs show great patience with me at this time of day–if i have the camera with all i have to say is ‘wait’ & they do & i snap a photo of ocean or the sun or the palm trees that dot our hilltop aerie, brushes painting the sky.

this morning, not unlike any other morning (except its freaking cold, low 40s! i know, i know, but it’s cold for us,) there was a brilliant sun greeting the dogs & i as we made our way up the driveway to the street.   & as you can see the sun sparkled & shimmered as it got caught in the fronds of the mexican palm trees; the sky, an indescribable blue (but i’ll try: cerulean, teal, delft, aquamarine, seafoam — that’s usually used to describe the color green, but i’ll make an exception in this case — the blue of a vein laying just under the skin of the back of your hand.)

growing up there were rituals (& holidays) as well, but none that so clearly defined the day as the walks i have taken with the dogs these past 10 years.  we (my mother & i) usually ended up at my uncle’s house (her half-brother) or we drove all the way to gillette to have thanksgiving with my grand-parents (her mother & step-father); rarely did the event take place in our home.    sometimes my mother would revolt & insist that we stay home & if family wanted to join us they could, but that happened maybe once & it’s not because my mother couldn’t cook (she could & well, i might add,) but because we didn’t have much (except each other) & if the expense of hosting could be shouldered by those more fortunate than we (except we had more love in our house, you could tell even if you were my cousin.)

day must end (that rotating earth thing always gets in the way) & another dog walk inevitably occurs after the sun has departed our world & is busy illuminating points west (but east, you know.)  these evening walks take a more circuitous route than the morning one, in that we traverse the full circle of our neighborhood.  my feeling, actually my understanding (from what i hear) is that the dogs look forward to & prefer this longer meander around & around, there are new palm trees (see above) that gather at night as if there were a regularly scheduled meeting (p.a., palms anonymous…) to hash out their feelings & work through their issues.

& on this walk, this more leisurely stroll, i too have the opportunity to reflect on the day, the past, the future & consider my options, or the roadblocks (my own & those of others) & talk with the dogs (they are such decent listeners, truly, deeply listening, listening that i only hope to achieve in my own life) & somehow their acquiescence to my voice, my problems, & my joy make this walk the one that (well, i’d like to say has the most meaning for me, but then i think of the morning walk in much the same way, instead, let’s declare it a draw, shall we?)

& if i think of one thing (any thing, really,) then i may think of you as well.  for that is how the mind works, all those synapses connecting disparate parts of our lives & thoughts & deeds & at night, at night there is the chance that a connection with you (each of you, friends now or future friends,) will strengthen & grow & light my way.


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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.

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