“You may be a wonderful doodlekit…,” a possibility I had not considered, ever. I was, however, considering what Mark Nepo calls the “never-ending task of deciding to whom we entrust our life: our True or False Self.”
But before I deliberated on “doodlekit”—whatever or whoever that might be—Cooper provided a possibility for my current struggle with my two selves, True or False.
Like any sensible being—canine or otherwise—Cooper is omnipresent to life in the now. In my last post, Trailblazing, I wrote about Cooper being ill and my glimpse of the road to the Rainbow Bridge or my False Self interjecting what may be but not what is.
In this moment in northern Florida, the humidity has dropped to 38% from over 90% and temperatures are high 40s with wind. It’s a cold, dry day, the kind that favors Cooper’s health, and he’s for it.
Dog ramp in tow, out the door we go for our ride. I open the hatch of my Toyota Scion. Cooper waits for me to stretch out the ramp and put it into place before he completely clears the ramp, as if he were a pup again, soaring into the back of the Scion. With wide open grin, he turns and walks down the ramp. He is still Cooper; his dream still is “going bye-bye in the car” as we always have.
We take our usual front seats–I drive–before I can put the key into the ignition, Cooper licks my face for more than a few minutes. Once we settle into driving, Cooper places his paw on my hand, a dog having his day. Being human, I can only think of how hard my False Self works to prevent what may be.
We arrive at Guyte McCord Park for our daily stroll.
Again, I remember my morning’s meditation with Nepo and Carl Jung. In a dream, Jung works ceaselessly to clear a path to nowhere and to no purpose, it seems, until he reaches a cabin in a clearing, whereupon he drops his tools, and enters through its open door. He sees a being kneeling in front of a simple altar. Soon, he realizes he is seeing himself and “…that his life of cutting a path was this being’s dream.” He has cleared the path to his True Self, his soul.
Cooper and I stop to sit awhile in a favorite area. He checks out scent. I stay with my two selves, True or False; I think we’re onto something.
Other than these daily park outings, I am no longer able to travel. This has been true for the last three years, not bad after more than thirty years of living with lupus. Honestly, I’m still discovering what an extraordinary gift my life is but I seem to explore it only within my soul.
My False Self—the one that works so hard at fixing/preventing what may be—recently agreed to extensive family travel plans, relying once again on a way of life that no longer is but may be????
For two months, I thrashed through one form of fear or another over this trip: worry, stress, irritability, stress, sadness, stress—seeking any way it might be, any way except facing my True Self.
Not content with a Cooper leap of faith or a Jungian dream, my False Self screamed, stomped and swore until my online Scrabble partner (everyone should have a Scrabble partner of such equanimity) suggested I consider a drink or two, wondering whether it “would hurt that much?” Oh, out of the Chat wisdom of Scrabble partners….
I met myself not with drink but with an open heart for what is and no longer for what was. It hurt, all, but the air is clear, now.
A cold, canine muzzle nudges the limp leash handle loosely hanging from my fingers. Cooper is ready to go “bye-bye in the car,” as always.
A wonderful doodlekit? Who knows?
Rhythm of ROW80 Sunday Scheduling:
The 30-minute writing stretches have improved the overall quality of the “words I keep.” The exercise provides a way to think through material for blog posts as well as novel scenes.
As Gene Lempp mentioned in his blog today, none of this writing happens without patience. In that spirit, this week I am establishing a writing routine specific to my blog posts. I’m finding that it’s too much of a Sunday-Wednesday “time crunch” to produce quality posts. So, beginning this week, I will have two blog posts in final draft form by each Sunday.
I continue to work on my novel, using Larry Brooks’ Story Engineering and Kristen Lamb’s concept critique. Last Saturday, I submitted an overview of the novel to my concept critique group and received excellent comments. I will work some with scenes and plots points as possible this week. This is the first substantial writing progress I’ve made in the last four years.