“For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.”
― T.S. Eliot
I thought that quote a bit more cheerful than Pink Floyd’s “Shorter of breath and one day closer to death” concept, even if it is more accurate. 2014 was a very odd year and 2015 looks like it will be interesting, too. This was my first year as a foster parent for two dogs, the first, The Puppy Wrex, I really wanted to keep. Burke, the second foster, was nearly as bad when I had to give him up. There really wasn’t much of a chance Tyger was going to be adopted out. I wanted her before we met.
There’s a difference between have dogs as pets and rescuing dogs. I make my second “Tutu Run” for BARC this year, even though one of my knees didn’t want to run. We raised a bunch of money and it was well worth the pain. It appears now that this may evolve into a yearly thing. As long as the money come in dignity will have to be put on hold. The people I have met whose passion is rescuing dogs has been a humbling event. There are those who do more, give more, and never ask for anything in return for their efforts other than good homes for good dogs.
I got my second tattoo in 2014 and I will get my next one sometime soon. There are two types of people and two types of people only; those who understand ink and those who do not. Those who understand do not need an explanation and those who do not understand can’t hear it. But to me it is a form of self-expression that is likely older than writing. It’s as permanent as your skin. It’s as unique as your own body. This may be a little judgmental but I think the ink deniers either have nothing to say or they are afraid to say it out loud for the world to hear. For my part, there aren’t many who see my body and those who do will understand what is there long before they see it. One thing I do hear is the compliant as to what it will all look like when I’m seventy. I will give less of a fuck what people think about my body at seventy than I do now, I suspect, but call me in sixteen years and we’ll talk. I’ll show you my new ink.
It’s nearly two years to the day I was in a minor wreck. It was a scary thing not knowing if I was hurt or seriously injured. It gave me a greater appreciation of being in good health that I have not forgotten. I would be at the gym right now if it was open. But I am still getting up much earlier than the sun or for that matter, most people.
2014 saw me get my first laptop, and for the first time since 1992, I don’t own a desktop computer. I doubt I will ever own another. There was once a coffee shop in downtown Valdosta and I would go there at lunch and write furiously for an hour. It was a manic sort of writing and not much good came of it but it was a catharsis of sorts. I filled up many a page of a small note pad but after I got home most of it was illegible. Now with a laptop I can write anywhere at any time at all. It’s a liberating feeling to take it with me wherever I might be. Whereas there was this irritating wait in between things happening now I can just pull the laptop out and work on a good sentence.
Writing is public also means I get to transcribe conversations I overhear. People, once they get engrossed in what they’re talking about with someone else, tend to forget that there are other people, some of them only a meter away, who can hear every word. Mostly, none of it is interesting but sometimes people will get into darker moments of their lives never realizing that they’ll become a piece of a story or part of a plot in something I write. For all the distractions, Starbucks is my favorite place to write. They’ve started blocking the electrical outlets as subtle reminders we laptop people are not to set up shop there, but it is still a lot of fun.
I miss my desktop because it was a cool looking computer. But just like everyone told me, once I started using a laptop I would never again want to use anything that tied me down to one location. I thought writing on a laptop might be too, ummm, something, but writing is the same no matter what the medium.
All in all, 2014 was a hell of a lot better than 2013. Lucas’ cancer has not returned. It appears that I am going to get to keep my Loki Mutt, if he can keep his face out of the mouth of snakes. I picked up Tyger, the first fourth dog, and Sam is still trying to break the record for longest living Firesmith Mutt. Lilith is no longer the only female in the pack and having two female dogs is not the problem I was told it would be. So far.
2015 starts out with a day off, writing, turning the compost pile, and maybe some running if I go into town where there’s a track. I foresee more writing, another tattoo or two, more compost turning, more exercise, and maybe even my first trip out of country if I am lucky. Pink Floyd was correct of course, for we are all shorter of breath and we are all one day closer to death. This is true until we are dead for living itself is a terminal illness. But the new year looks no worse than the old one and perhaps if this is the year that find me gone at the end, it will still be one of the best.