Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

Looking up

Economy, job hunt, Politics, Walking the dog

Now that my world has shrunk to walking the dog and looking for jobs, things look a little different.

For awhile there, I was even dreaming about dogs, which is pleasant enough. Lots of running around and joy in being a dog. But dogs, if you've noticed, don't look up to the sky much. Someone who has hunting dogs will rush to say it ain't so, but for the most part, dogs have their eyes on the present and on the ground. They look straight ahead, sometimes. Not up.

But today, like yesterday, seems different. The sky is blue and clean-looking, and if you look up, your heart will lift, too.

Walking off the usual trail, Idgy and I stopped so she could investigate some deep smell of deer in the flattened grass. While she was cataloging all the scent components, I looked up. A hawk, no prey in sight yet, was wheeling higher and higher, her steady circles growing wider.

It was one of those aha moments. Time for a change. Not just a change: a transformation.

Job hunting has been dead flat, news of financial markets frightening, the increasing misfocused anger of campaign crowds heart-wrenching. It's hard to keep your spirits up where they need to be if you are a hunter. You have to believe in your quarry and in your skills to find it. But watching the hawk I realized that I've been going about it wrong. Head down, doggish, focusing narrower and narrower, looking for the scent where I am and where there is no scent but my own.

Here's what I read in the hawk spirals:

Look up. The sky is not falling. Leaves and the market are, but not the sky.

Go higher to look wider and farther. Look to what's ahead as well as what's behind. The two are connected but they are in different places. Be calm and steady and alert. Open your eyes and your heart in a new way.

Keep the loyalty and joy of dog-nature. But don't stay at the graveside broken-hearted when the familiar is lost. Grow a cooler, clearer side. Nose, heart, wings, mind, eyes.

Look up.

Sometimes people ask why we write blogs. I do it to try to figure things out for myself. And I hope sometimes, someone else is working on the same things I am.


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