Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Bigger Than The Sky July 24, 2014

It happens around here more than once a day these days. Mom says to whomever might be listening that she loves him bigger than the sky. Dad smirks, Carter grins and I sigh a big old commitment to happiness when it happens. Music like “On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons Rescuedor “Us Against the World” by Coldplay is most likely playing when it happens, but not necessarily.

Regardless of the soundtrack that accompanies it, it would be challenging to assign a soundtrack to the summer of 2014. What I know for sure is music plays a very important role in dear baby Carter’s development. It’s as simple as that. Because sometimes things that mean the most are (in fact) that simple.

Take this summer, for example. It hasn’t exactly been the warmest or most beautiful summer in Wisconsin by any means. Yet it has, because of the joy that lights the sky around here. Mom is happier than I’ve ever seen her, which means dad is happier than I’ve ever seen him, which means I am one happy canine.

I usually don’t question when a good thing enters my life, but in this case I have. I want to know what is to thank for all of the joy around here lately. While I know a good deal of happiness comes right from dear baby Carter, I know in my heart there is more to it than that. Beauty is all around us this summer, and my life is no exception.

I know it for sure because mom keeps saying something she hasn’t before. I love you bigger than the sky. She says it to Carter and dad and me on a daily basis. And considering how very big the sky is, these words have come to mean an awful lot to me the last couple of months. Because it happens around here more than once a day these days. Mom says to whomever might be listening that she loves him bigger than the sky. And that is why I know hers is a true and mature love.

“Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you,'” suggested German psychologist Erich Fromm. I would have to say I agree. I’m not certain what mom means when she says she love me bigger than the sky, but I am certain of how it makes me feel. I  am needed. And that makes me feel blessed bigger than the sky.


If I Were a Human December 28, 2013

I wonder sometimes what I would be like if I had two legs instead of four. If I walked amongst people as one of their own. If I could carry on a normal conversation instead of relying (almost) entirely on nonverbal communication.

In these thoughts I find I am not so concerned with what I look like (though I’m sure I’d be blonde haired and brown eyed) or what kind of clothes I would wear. I don’t think it would matter to me what kind of car I drove, or how big my house was. Would I? Money Can't Buy Love

I daydreamed today that I was human and won the lottery. And not just the $3 dad occasionally wins and splits with his work friends as part of their weekly lottery pool. I won big time. One billion dollars. What would I do with such winnings?

In my daydream, I bought everything my people ever wanted. That house in a better school district. Those fancy shoes mom is always lusting after. The Shelby Mustang dad dreams about. The honeymoon they never took. I bought it all and there was still plenty leftover to donate to some of my favorite charities (like the humane society and ISF) and invest in something that would produce enough income to allow mom to stay home with the little person. (Dad too, if he wanted).

As I daydreamed, my people were away dreaming a dream of their own. Dad has been on a mission to replace their cars with what he refers to as newer safer ones. Words like reliability and dependability seem to have gained a new level of importance now that the little person is on his or her way any day now. But upon returning home it didn’t take me long to see the disappointment in their faces. This dream can’t come true. Not right now.

And I found myself wondering again what I would be like with two legs instead of four. Would I need the lottery and all the fancy things it could provide? Or would I prefer to earn an honest living as a struggling author who volunteers at the local animal shelter on the weekends?

I’m quite certain there is no right answer. And all of this is made much more complicated by my overall lack of understanding of how the whole money thing even works. I don’t know what I would be like if I were human any more than my people know what it would be like to win the lottery. And tonight as we three musketeers settled in together to watch a movie I realized that’s okay. Because we’re happy this way.

Besides, “greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction,” suggested German psychologist Erich Fromm. It doesn’t matter whether I have two legs or four. I’d much rather live life happy than in endless pursuit. Keep your money, bottomless pit. It’s happiness I choose.