Sunday, March 18, 2007

500 Miles

On Monday last, Belle left for her two-week evaluation with Lori. Molly and I left home to do some evaluating of our own - college evaluations. It's time to figure out where the next step in Molly's educational journey will be. We've been to Iowa State, Madison, Evanston and Champaign in less than a week. St. Louis is next week-end. At least with that trip we will get to see two colleges in one city. Then Molly must make her decision.

There has been a lot of time for thinking as the miles passed beneath the wheels. Or in the interludes between visits spent at local coffee shops or bookstores where we stopped to kill time until the next appointment. I read a book review in USA Today and shocked myself with not only remembering the book's title and subject but by purchasing the book at the first available opportunity. I couldn't know the depth of the grief and joy and memories this book would reveal. Or how hard it would be to put it down despite the tears that flowed as each passage tore at yet another badly healed scab that I thought I had covered so nicely with my own internal version of Disney heroine band-aids.

The theme of the book is very simple - that the dogs in our lives bring out the best that is human in us - but in the stories and method in which the author chooses to emphasize this theme there is so much more, a duality of purpose that at times I can't fathom entirely, but know that I will spend much time trying to do just that. As if understanding will or can stick on and help heal in a way my virtual band-aids can't.

The book? Dog Years by Mark Doty. It is a wonderful, first-person account of the love the author shared with his partner and their retrievers, Arden and Beau. But I warn you - you will simultaneously want to be alone when you read it and be with others with whom you can share the stories. To be able to read aloud the magnificent words woven together with such magic that though technically prose is truly poetry.

1 comment:

carrot said...

Go Belle! I'm sure she will do great.