Since yesterday evening, I’ve been working on a project that is keeping me engaged but not active, considering I still can’t breathe and now I’ve added “can’t talk” to the lexicon of gifts this illness keeps on giving!
As an aside, here’s a well-crafted (hahaha!) self-portrait I did of myself years ago (for another reason). It fits here.
Totally how I’m feeling!
It was while working on the project that I ran across the message from Boaz… which we will get to in a moment. But first, an apology.
I screwed up. Royally. I’m so sorry!!!
Somewhere along the line, my sharing with you got distorted and I created chaos. Not just for me, but for YOU, too.
I plan to at least begin to rectify that today. But first, a short (I hope) explanation. Then, onto my message from Boaz.
When I began my blog five years (+ a few months) ago. I had a vision: Self-help books. It evolved and began to include more personal stories. It felt natural, authentic, and intuitively correct to add them in. Reminds me of one of my fave quotes I found last night:
Stories are medicine. ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés
I reasoned that my readers shared in my human experience and that someone would find solace in knowing they were not alone in a similar situation.
Almost immediately, I was faced with the question of whether I was sharing too much? This came from inside but also outside myself. through the voices of concerned others.
And so, as I have done so many times before, I got scared and began to purge. I have done this with things and people for many years (long before I began writing here). And of course, the practice included my writing.
As I purged, I created holes in the stories. Literally, in the case of this blog, where links I had so carefully included went nowhere because the blog post they referenced was now gone.
I have only now begun to fully appreciate the chaos I caused. That is what I’m apologizing to you for! And I take full responsibility.
I owe myself an apology for not staying true to who I am even when it makes me or others uncomfortable.
With that preamble, I’ve come to the project I’m working on and the message from Boaz.
I have a beautiful leather journal that I’ve been dabbling in for about two years. And by “dabble” I mean I’d write once a month or less, then write ten pages of rambling, unhelpful junk, then nothing again for months. Then I’d rip out imperfect pages to start over. More than once.
So, what I’ve decided to do is make it into an art journal since I can’t seem to come up with actual words I want to say. And, being the ingenious girl I am, I decided to leave the pages I’ve already written on so as not to further ruin what is left of the integrity of the binding. I will use whatever tickles my fancy, from decoupage to painting to whatever the heck I feel like doing to cover up the old stuff. It’s only about 20 pages anyway then onto pristinely blank pages I can write on if I so choose.
I’ve had a whack of torn-out pages of old-old journals stuffed in one of my more recent journals (seems my purges were not exactly complete, eh?) and I went through them last night, in search of quotes or things I might want to add to my new project. I ran across this message from Boaz and before I toss it, I want to share it with you.
Here’s what you need to know: Boaz was a Great Dane and I was 100% in love with him. There is a long story and history attached to having him and it doesn’t really matter to the message so I’ll leave it out except to say that when he died (in the yard, from bloat), I did something unprecedented: I fell to the ground in front of God and everybody and bawled like a baby. It was the first time as an adult I allowed myself to do that since I believed that crying was a sign of weakness. My (then) husband and pre-teen kids didn’t know what to do with me. They’d never seen me like that before.
I have a long history with animals, especially domesticated pets. I loved them all but I’m a much different pet parent now than I was back then. I know many folks who feel exactly the same way. Long gone are the days you toss a cat outside for the day and not worry about their wellbeing. Dogs were a little different and pretty much everyone I knew kept them outdoors all the time. Of course, I lived in California where the weather was mostly warm. Now? I’d never just leave a dog outside all day no matter where I lived!
What about Boaz? He and his partner (another rescue Dane we got as a companion for him named Naomi) lived in the desert with us. It was freaking HOT. They slept in the garage on a mattress (I had that much going on, at least!) but during the day, they were outside all day, mostly under a covered patio, not that it mattered much when it was 100+ outside. My son (who was scared shitless of dogs and hated going out there) was tasked with feeding them. WTH was I thinking? *sigh* But I’m going way too deep.
On this particular day – February 22, 2019 – I was once again lamenting about Boaz (who died in 1993, for goodness’ sake!) when I felt a strong urge to STOP, get a pen, and write. This is what I wrote:
From Boaz: Your negative messages are not coming from me. My life wasn’t as bad as you seem to think. I do not hold on to bad feelings and you shouldn’t either. I am all about love. My memories of you exist in our eyes. I only saw love there. And pain. I wanted to help you but couldn’t. It wasn’t my job. Thank you for rescuing Naomi. She was so wounded. We are together now. She also loves you and knows you weren’t thinking straight when you left for Canada. She forgives you. My death was a wake-up call for you. You held onto your emotions for too long. Don’t worry. I didn’t suffer long. I felt worse for Naomi. She was left behind. Let go, let go, LET GO!! Your life in the desert is LONG over. I love you. I always will.
Now, I will take this page, rip it up, and throw it away. If I need to see Boaz’s words again, I will come back here, where they are cloaked in love instead of self-hatred.
And PS: I will be sharing more from anything else I find that may resonate with you. Because that is who I am. No further apologies are needed. Am I right?
The featured photo is the only picture I have of Boaz. He was a Brindle with huge, soft, floppy ears. ❤️
Haven’t we had each other’s backs for five years and a few months?
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Sheesh, this Jetpack thing is frustrating. So sorry about that. Thanks for letting me know!
There is no way to leave ve perfectly in an imperfect world. As an early teacher of mine was fond of saying, “Anything you do is perfect.”
Heads up: I got this through by clicking on “comment” from the email notification, since in the post itself I got the comment box but none of the personal information blanks which the site kept sending me back to fill out ~ might be a jetpack glitch, might go away soon ~ knowledge is power! 👩❤️👩
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