Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

A (Sun)day In The Life October 6, 2013

There is simply no excuse for me. I have no good reason for not attending the Out of the Darkness Paws for Prevention walk as promised today. Granted, it would have been tough to do without my driver (aka mom) deciding to go. Which she didn’t.

Instead I was incredibly lazy. Let’s be honest – my days are generally fairly laid back. But today I felt particularly lazy as my people hustled and bustled all over the house. The windows were open to let the beautiful fall air in and dad worked on something stinky in the baby’s room. That paint stuff is for the dogs. I don’t like it.

So I stayed close to mom in the kitchen. Boy, she was busy in there today. First, it smelled spicy with what I heard her call chili. Then the meaty goodness mixed with a sweetness she called apple pumpkin soup. (There was bacon involved with this because I scored a few nibbles when dad wasn’t looking). Finally, jambalaya joined the mix. It was definitely better than the paint smell, but I was basically hungry all day long thanks to the delicious odors wafting through the air.

Outside was busy too. The hum of leaf blowers was prominent throughout the day as this is the price my people and their neighbors pay for the beautiful trees that line the street. And then I got a visit from two little boys from down the street. I tried to hug them, but I don’t think they cared too much for that. They were focused on collecting orders for Christmas wreaths. In early October.

Here I was appreciating the fabulousness of all things fall and apparently we are fast-tracking to Christmas already. I didn’t expect mom to buy one because the season is so far away. But she has been in the habit of surprising me lately, and today she did not disappoint.

So we are all set for Christmas now, at least as it pertains to the wreath for the front door. And at first I felt kind of irritated about it. What about Halloween? And Thanksgiving (which might just be my favorite people holiday)? Then I remembered that thing I like to find in all situations. The silver lining.

December may seem far away. But it’s not. Which means all of the joy of the holidays is not far away. While I am a believer in living in the joy of the season year-round, Christmas is a time when joy abounds all around me. It’s one thing to believe something on the inside. It’s another thing to be completely enveloped with it on the outside.

I didn’t have to go to the Paws for Prevention walk today to know that. To know the importance of sharing my joy from the ground up with whomever will take it. I do feel badly about breaking my promise to attend the important event. But I know I was where I was supposed to be today. Soaking it all in. Life. From the ground up. It looks pretty good to me.

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Artist in Residence July 3, 2013

It might not be the most conventional perspective, but I’m not the most conventional dog. I see it in the intricacies of snowflakes. And in a well-constructed poem. And in an unforgettable moment. And in the flowers in the backyard. Art is everywhere I look. But my ground-level perspective on art doesn’t stop there. I do also have an appreciation for things that are more frequently categorized as art by the greater population. Thank you Artist In the Sky

My sense of humor draws me to the masterpieces of American artist C.M. Coolidge, who is best known for his paintings of dogs playing poker. Obviously I see these paintings are a metaphor for our canine brilliance in the art of causing trouble. We love with all our heart, but we are indeed masters of mischief.

My philosophical side draws me to the work of French sculptor Auguste Rodin, creator of The Thinker. The interpretation is one that makes its viewer ponder what on Earth the man could be thinking so hard about. Me? I wonder what on Earth he isn’t thinking about. We are so blessed to be granted with brains with which to solves life’s most simple and incredibly complex problems. The Thinker is a brilliant embodiment of my existential beliefs that what we think influences everything about who we are.

Finally, it is the dreamer in me that can’t look away from Vincent Van Gough’s Starry Night. It hangs in my forever home and whenever I catch myself staring at it I can almost picture it coming to life. Sometimes I swear I see a shooting star journeying across that beautiful blue sky.

I appreciate each of these artistic landmarks, as they are representative of what is thought of by many as art. But  I appreciate the undiscovered artwork by those striving to make a name for themselves. “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life,” suggested Irish poet Oscar Wilde. So I appreciate the artists who don’t even know how brilliant they are yet. The artists who see art everywhere like I do, even if it’s not the most conventional. The Artist in the Sky. These are the true heroes of art who have made permanent residence in my heart.

 

Dreaming Out Loud April 25, 2013

I’ve noticed a trend in popular music of today involving a reverie for the younger years in life. Every song tells a story of its writer, who was inspired by any variation of emotional situations. The Lumineers tell us to keep our heads up and remember when we were young in “Stubborn Love.” Fun. suggests we are young “so let’s set the world on fire, we can burn brighter than the sun.” Lyrics like these bring to poetry to life.

Looking UpEvery now and then it happens to me too. I’ll be going about my day sleeping in my doggie bed, monitoring the neighborhood from my perch in the bay window, or playing with my forever people and BAM! Poetry comes to life before me. I blame author and poet Susan G. Wooldridge for this (dare I say) habit of mine. It’s no secret I’m a lover of words, but I’m also a believer in the theory that sometimes it takes a little crazy to create a unique masterpiece.

So today, I embraced my inner “crazy” by opening to a random page of Wooldridge’s “Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words,” and vowing to write a blog post about the words that followed.

“When I saw my son, Daniel, shaking our new lilac bush the spring he was three, I managed to keep myself from shrieking ‘Stop it, you’re going to kill the bush!’ Instead I asked him what he was doing,” Wooldridge writes. “‘I’m stirring the sky, Mama,’ he told me. I only asked that he stir it gently. How can you tell a child to stop stirring the sky?”

I’ve said before that little people are wise beyond their years. They are also poets. They are honest. They love unconditionally. They are wise. I’ve learned many important lessons from the little people in my life, but one of the most meaningful is their perspective on the world. Like me, they see joy from the ground up. Unlike most adults, who look down on life…in more ways than one.

Wooldridge suggests a solution to this that aligns very well with the popular lyrics of the Lumineers and Fun. “Seek out children. Jot down what they say,” Wooldridge writes. “We can find poems just by listening, being a scribe and catching the words.”

Poetry is life dreaming out loud. Let’s dream in verse…let’s look up.