I sip the last of the Bulleit whiskey while reclining on a couch that I am being paid to occupy. Before leaving on vacation, my friends generously instructed me to finish all “perishable” items – including the whiskey and the eggs – before their return. On the couch, I sit next to a incredibly sweet but still-not-quite-amazing-enough-for-me-to-want-my-own dog. This is a surprising statement coming from a resident of Bend, Oregon. I am a part of a hometown that proudly boasts one of the highest number of dogs per capita in the United States. I feel slightly guilty admitting that I want a dog as much as I want an unexpected pregnancy – although I am sure that there is an amazing amount of room in both situations for love and surprise – but I figure I better start out with the truth with you. This is my first blog, and I need to be honest. Not just for you, but for me too.
I intended to begin this blog discussing where my own life has fallen parallel to the connections that we make across continents and across time – our personal voyages of discovery that join moments of truth and beauty, while we surrender to heart-uprisings or unexpected down-stirrings, within the boundless extents of historical humanity and changing geographical horizons. But, I hope, there will be time for that later.
Now, instead of sharing these examples of my own journey (if you are Bachelor fan, you must drink at the mention of this word), I must admit how surprisingly happy I am to be “HOME.” I usually never want to be home. I need to be walking into hopeless deserts or breathing into blue oceans, I need to be pushing my own boundaries into unexpected landscapes to feel like the “person I want to be.”
But, right now, I sip this sweet beagle’s ration of bourbon, and she sleeps next to me on the couch in tail-curling comfort. We listen to Ryan Adams and “Dirty Dancing” on vinyl as the needle catches on crackling dust.
This dog trusts me. Maybe not like Baby trusted Patrick Swayze when his smooth arms lifted her innocent curls up to near-heaven, but this beagle actually trusts me. She knows that I will not duct tape her twitching paws together, and that I will not sharpie a cattail on her Central Oregon white-ish underbelly. She knows that I will feed her in the mornings, and take her out to the lakes in the afternoon.
She is precisely where I need to be right now. Trusting. Trusting that this is the exact spot, on this couch, where we need to exist. Trusting that right now, it is perfect.