“The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.” ~ Robert Frost
“I’ve enjoyed every age I’ve been, and each has had its own individual merit. Every laugh line, every scar, is a badge I wear to show I’ve been present, the inner rings of my personal tree trunk that I display proudly for all to see. Nowadays, I don’t want a “perfect” face and body; I want to wear the life I’ve lived.” ~ Pat Benatar
“More and more, he heard his spine playing stick games through his skin, singing old dusty words, the words of all his years.” ~ Sherman Alexie
Coyotes in the distance. Other than the quiet thrum of household stuff this was the first sound to greet me this morning. I listened, smiling, and then it happened. Right outside the garden fence . . . there’s no way of measuring but my guess is the sound was no more than 200 feet away. A lone coyote, answering the smooth sounds from his or her pack, let loose with a loud, shrill, wavering, proclamation. Then another just north of the house, not as close, but still close. Then another howled, wolf-like. Then they all started singing as a pack, widely spread out, and as mystical as it gets in the animal kingdom. This is one of those sounds. It goes like music to the heart, then straight on into the soul, and the spirit resonates a hearty ‘all is well’. You hear something like this and you suddenly get a prime opportunity to instantly understand why coyotes are considered to be gods, Trickster or not. The neighborhood dogs answered, pale in comparison, sounding out their intimidation, answering but not at all challenging. No one in their right mind would challenge this. I simply loved this gift from Nature. All is well. Yesterday I got to learn something special about my new friend, Troi. She’s named after the psychic Ship’s Counselor on Star Trek Next Gen; one of my favor TV series ever. The man I was chatting with also told me her “Taos social name” but he said it in Spanish”. I must have looked confused because I know very little Spanish, maybe enough to conduct a retail transaction with one of the many Mexicans here. But remember this is not Mexico. This is a Spanish realm. Not Hispanic, as such. This is Spanish territory, and, even longer in time, the home of the Pueblo tribes. Most folks speak English. And fairly often you get to savor a touch from the old world. But back to my new friend. She’s a standard poodle of a special breed that was bred for something to do with water; a German breed. This young pup looks to be about 40-50 pounds of puppy, with tightly curled fur. The Taos social name the man spoke, in English, translates as Cinnamon Girl, because the dog’s fur is just that color. I remember one night, one of the last Taos Solar Fest concerts, held in Kit Carson Park. There is a noise curfew here. Tone it down at 10 PM folks. We need to get some sleep. The final act in the concert was Los Lobos. When they broke into the final song of their brilliant set I felt a rush of good-chills: Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girls. We were head back to the car to beat the crowd, but the music was so loud it was right there with us all the way. It was magic, sheer magic. Magic happens. Anyway . . . the man was telling me about his dog, after I returned to my post behind the counter at the cash register, after having given Troi a dog biscuit, a gesture which was returned with a joyous high five from the beast. The man explained: Troi is a certified therapy dog. She goes once a week to somewhere where special needs children read stories to her, and when they finish the stories Troi gives them a high five. How cool is that?!
I’m coming close to my 63rd birthday, which is next week. I meant to write about aging this morning, but my prose was commandeered by a poodle and a rock band. Go figure. It should be a good workday today. I’m working alongside my friend, a beautiful 18 year old woman. We get along great, and she gives good hugs. I’ll have a two hour lunch break, during which I drive up to the north end of El Prado for a psychotherapy sessions. These sessions are valuable tools in working to find a purpose for the mental health challenges I face in this life: bipolar disorder type 2, and PTSD. And as a way to unravel the knost tied earlier in life. This is good.
Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.