Friday, March 13, 2009

The Meaning of Life

It's (relatively) early on this fine Friday morning in mid March. This day belongs to us (Denny and me) and we've plans to get out of town and walk on an ocean shore, eat lunch somewhere, and enjoy the simple pleasure of living and breathing the air. It has been a long three months for us. The saga of this rough patch began on December 10, '08, our wedding anniversary when we had some plans that were foiled at the last minute. It's not that there haven't been any moments of joy, laughter, and silliness since then but we've certainly not had the chance to head out there (relatively) carefree to simply be together.

I'll probably post a blog about where we went, what we did, and how taking the time for us was "a good". Let's hope so, anyway. I'm still a bit shell shocked and waiting for the next hurdle, challenge, next shoe-to-drop. Edgy. But today, I'm intentionally trying to put all this aside and live a little (like I was dying; see post from yesterday)

As I was catching up on my favorite blogs this morning I found this poem posted on Garrison Keillor's site. I love this poem. Not only have I lived this very experience but I totally get that this is a metaphor for life in some ways. The title of my blog, Ahead of the Wave, speaks to that heightened sense of awareness, the need to stay ahead of the disaster whatever it may be. Unrealistic for the long haul, I know that the subtitle of my blog ("exploring the fine line between steering and surrender") addresses the challenge of reality when that dog unloads the mess. Surrender. And, that's OK. Balance.

Enjoy this poem; it made me laugh but it also was a great big endorsement of my feelings about living. I'm hoping the dog's stomach is feeling just fine today.

The Meaning of Life

There is a moment just before
a dog vomits when its stomach
heaves dry, pumping what's deep
inside the belly to the mouth.
If you are fast you can grab
her by the collar and shove her
out the door, avoid the slimy bile,
hunks of half chewed food
from landing on the floor.
You must be quick, decisive,
controlled, and if you miss
the cue and the dog erupts
en route, you must forgive
her quickly and give yourself
to scrubbing up the mess.

Most of what I have learned
in life leads back to this.

by Nancy Fitzgerald


  1. Hah! I love the poem. I love best the part about forgiving the dog.

  2. Smiling over this poem here.


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