(a memory and a moment)

I had a flash back today... to a dog I used to live with.

By some magic, I was given an abandoned home ten years ago. The house had cracked in half and the roof had caved in in two places. When it rained, the edges of the windows wept down a stucco staircase and a waterfall poured water in to the living room of the house.

There was a beautiful porch in the backyard of the home and the second story had a massive balcony that was covered in tar and those little grey granules of roof stuff. The house lived on a hill- its back wall washed away by the flood we had in 2016. The mountain chose that spot on Earth to destroy what held the home up when it sent a river through the houses yard. When I would sit on the balcony of the porch I could see lights forever. I could see lightening storms coming from miles and miles away.

I had a cast iron skillet, some camping cups, a cast iron pan, a couch and all my art work and tools in the house with me. Upstairs... a TV in one room and a bed and night stand in the other. The basement was surely haunted so I never went down there. The light fixtures, every fixture, had been torn out-stolen-when the house sat empty before I landed.

The dog lived there when I was "given" the house. She was its custodian and had cut a trench into the yard over days and days of running circles in a panic of loneliness.

I loved her as best I could while I was there until the house and everything it represented finally cracked completely in half. I had to leave and never look back. I couldn't take any of my things with me. I couldn't take her with me. So I left her back in the care of the house's owner... Blindly hoping the house wouldn't take her with it. Days and days later, I went back to find the yard covered in piles of rubble. She crawled toward me from one of the piles. Her belly was inflated while her skeleton worked hard to bulge from through her skin. I wasn't strong enough to help her pass on. I was terrified. Utterly terrified. I jumped back over the fence and left her there to die alone.

After that, I swore I would find a way to be stronger the next time I had to look death in the eye and welcome it... Or tell it to go away. Last week, I had to help a dying man walk to his bed.

Calista and I have talked about when things go back to the dirt and I've worked to meditate on our next lives and the relative insignificance of our own lives in the grandest schemes of the universe. What a challenge it is to face an ending even, when faith is there, to distinguish dreams from reality when the echoes sound around us.


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