Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart
and try to love the questions themselves …
Don’t search for the answers,
which could not be given to you now,
because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is, to live everything.
Live the questions now.
Perhaps then, someday far in the future,
you will gradually, without even noticing it,
live your way into the answer.
Rainer Maria Rilke
To put the world right in order,
we must first put the nation in order;
To put the nation in order,
we must first put the family in order;
To put the family in order,
we must first cultivate our personal life;
We must first set our hearts right.
Let there be no compulsion in religion.
Truth stands out clear from error:
whoever rejects Evil and believes in God
hath grasped the most trustworthy handhold, that never breaks.
God is the Protector of those who have faith;
From the depth of darkness He will lead them forth into light.
The only time I ever heard my dog, Sheena, howling was when I played this song on the stereo. It was a few years ago, and mid-way through the song, I heard what I thought was the singer hitting an off-key note. Then I woke up. This was Donny Hathaway! Never hit an off-note in his life. I realized my dog was singing along with the “woo-hooo” part in the middle. Her head was all tilted back, eyes closed, howling so loud and clear. Like she was reminiscing in her mind! I’m posting this song as part of my ongoing tribute to her, and to continue to give thanks for her recovery. Glory!
Continuing on with my tribute to my crazy old dog, Sheena, who’s still recovering from a serious illness, I promised to explain her rather lengthy name, Sheena Shadow Chicago Chicken Williams. Well, Sheena is obvious; she’s clearly Queen of the Jungle. Shadow – because she’d constantly “tail” me (sorry) anywhere I’d go, day or night. Chicago – because she has big shoulders, like the city. Chicken – because it’s her favorite food, and something of an obsession. Williams, of course, because she’s part of the family. So glad to have my furry friend back on all four feet again!
I achieved Rubenesque status
by eating reubens,
living life fully, indulging to the hilt.
Fondly, I remember fondue.
The bakery, sacred to me.
I approach pie with what one
can only regard as piety.
Thank You for this ample frame,
which allowed me to
nurse a child, embrace a lover,
envelop friends with warmth,
carry the weight of the world on my shoulders.
Thank You for this, shall we say, “Largess,”
which makes even a wooden chair comfortable,
since I carry my own cushion on my person.
Thank You for the tincture of time and the wisdom of years,
which makes me appreciate my fullness—fully.
Now, pass the pasta.
Sheena Shadow Chicago Chicken Williams
Less than a week ago, my dog Sheena was suffering from a mysterious ailment that left her walking sideways, disoriented, unable to eat on her own. I sat with her as she breathed heavily, looking at me with confused eyes. “What’s happening to me, Ma?” she seemed to ask. I carried her outside when she had to go to the bathroom, holding my nose as I held up her back end. I fed her ice chips when she reached a point where she wasn’t eating, and sat with her one day, trying not to let her see me cry. The vet had just called and said there was nothing else we could do. “We may have to make some hard choices soon.”
Praying till my fingers were blue, I aimed high. Miracle, please. I know Sheena’s fourteen, with arthritis, cataracts, and a tumor on her running leg. I’m not gonna lie and say I won’t ask for another miracle. Come this time next week, I’m sure I’ll be knockin on Heaven’s door again. Just let us have this girl for awhile longer.
As the days wore on, she started to regain her balance, a very little bit at a time. She didn’t fall as often, and then two days ago, started to eat out of her bowl again. Yesterday, she finally climbed back up onto the couch all by herself. Sitting at my feet right now as I work, she’s actually sleep-running again.
I’ve said before and it still holds true, people. Miracles accrue, one prayer at a time. And God is good, all the time!
PS Tomorrow’s post will explain her unusual name!