“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you,
then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, & your eyes drop out & you get loose in the joints & very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
—Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
one knows not what sweet mystery about this sea,
whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath.
seems so often that conversation is complicated.
even with the best of intentions there is confusion & miscommunication.
sound. words. symbols. chatter.
the most important thing in communication
is hearing what isn’t said.
the wind brushes against my body & i am aware.
the wind brings the smell of water, the ivy, the trees, the dirt.
in it i can hear the birds, the leaves, the dogs barking in the distance.
it is cool. it is forceful. it is soft.
it is not petty or false.
if you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.
trees go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going & coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, & through space heaven knows how fast and far!
Land and water are not really separate things,
but they are separate words, & we perceive through words.
—David Rains Wallace, The Untamed Garden and Other Personal Essays
Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.
—Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad
in my dream the sea releases a flock of birds from the foam of the wave—
so much is possible in nature—
little distinction between reality & fantasy
animals bring sincerity to our lives.
we learn from them & learn about ourselves with them.
we can imagine our best selves through them.
that connection is a gift—it is honest.
“Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions,
grateful & loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to.”
—Alfred A. Montapert
“Dogs are my favorite people.”
—Richard Dean Anderson
When there are dogs & music, people have a good time.
from an assignment for the AKC Gazette about a rescue who befriends a foster child.