Thursday, March 3, 2011

Woods, Writers, and Woof!


If I ever won the lottery I would spend more time training Lucas just to see what I could teach him. That’s an odd thing for someone to write, that they would spend more time with a dog if they were rich, but that and writing, I think, is just about all I really require to be happy. Dogs and writers are the two classes of people I am never unhappy to be around at all. Mostly I think it’s because if you have more than one dog they form a pack and interact with one another, and give you some time to write. Writers are going to write, and if they don’t they’ll talk about writing, and that’s sometimes nearly as good as writing.
            I love to listen to a writer talk about their current project and you can hear it when the conversation is getting good to the writer, when it’s reaching appoint where you’re being quiet enough, or asking the right questions, or if you’re pointing out something that is going to help a lot, and you see that person begin to dive down deep into it like kissing someone who has been waiting all night for it. An idea forms like smoke around them and suddenly they suck in all in and breathe deeply of it, taking everything they can, holding in it, holding it, holding, then they exhale stoned as hell from their own Muse and if you’ve been there you know that look and when you see it in someone you like or care about it’s as close to an orgasm as you’ll ever get and it not have anything at all to do with sex. It’s an intellectual intimacy that isn’t matched by anything else I know. And it isn’t nearly as good, as good writing.
            You know, Lucas has never shown the least bit of problems from the time he spent as a stray. When I found him he was hungry as hell, had one hell of a skin rash, was covered with fleas, but he got over it and quick. He’s one of those Dogs Of Destiny who truly and really believe there is something special about himself. The old social order that existed in the house before he got there disappeared as soon as he got his paws under him good enough to stand and fight for it. I think he’s Pibbled. Mostly he’s Weimaraner and that is very easy to tell, but there is something else in there, and if it isn’t Pit I have no idea what it is. Pits are hard loving creatures who lavish affection on their family, and Lucas is just that way. They’re full bore all out anything worth doing is worth doing at top speed and that is The Loki Mutt. He’s fearless and he will do anything I ask of him, no questions asked. I can tell him to stay and walk off, and Lucas will stay. I can put food in front of him and tell him to stay and he won’t touch it. Drool may form in looooong streams, but Lucas has a sense of discipline in him you do not find in all breeds. This is an animal with some size, no small amount of strength, and a heart three times as large as you’d hope to find in a dog you spend time with. I have no idea what rubbish you’ve heard about Pits but let me tell you one thing I know to be a fact; everything I ever wanted in a dog can be found in the beating heart of Lucas, and everything I see in him tell me there’s a Pit in there with that Weimaraner look.
            Writers are as hard to love as Pits and for all the wrong reasons, also. We tend to drink more, socialize less, and isolate ourselves, okay, everything you have heard about writers is likely true, nevermind. But you have to love the idea of a class of human beings who have taken language to places no one else could, or they would be writers too. We have as much choice as to who we are as Lucas has with what breed he might be. Some of us, like Lucas, just take it for granted this is how we are supposed to be, and we roll around on the ground with it, and love it for what it is. There is some puppy in every writer that sense that life is new and special and love is something that is worth living for and worth dying for and worth everything if you can only get written out before it kills you. When I get home Lucas takes off and makes a circuit of the back acre at full speed, hammer down, ears back, mouth open and grinning at the speed. It is no less a miracle to see it in a writer, when that person discovers something that sets the Muse off at a billion times the speed of a Loki Mutt and equal the strength of his love.
             I would not change very much at all if I won some sort of lottery or if I sold a novel for a lot of money. I would still want woods, and room for dogs, and writers. I would still write a lot, very much as I do now, in these odds times between other things, and between other writings. Good Dog I love this. I love the sound of the keyboard and the sight of the letters turning into words and the thoughts forming and the pause for that word, yes, the perfect word that fits into a space like a custom made brick already neatly mortared. Brick was that word I paused for here, and look at it over there so tailored for that place in a thought like that was what I started out to say twenty minutes ago when I started this.

Woods, Writers, and Dogs. Damn, life is good.

Take Care,
Mike

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