Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Making a Splash January 19, 2014

I know it’s necessary. I sure wish it wasn’t. The dreaded bath. I have a love/hate relationship with this most simple and basic necessity. Namely, I hate getting wet. Please remember this is coming from your resident doggie optimist who makes it a point to find the silver lining in all things. It’s not like me to complain. But misery loves company and I found some today in Baby Carter.

Making the Best of ItIt wasn’t his first bath since being home, but it was by far the most tumultuous. I have heard my fair share of screeching cries (most of which pierce right through my little doggie heart) in his almost three weeks with us, but today he hit a whole new range of emotional distress. From which I have gathered that he too hates baths. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this, since he has not been quiet about his hatred of being naked. Yet I couldn’t help but wonder why we are this way.

That’s when it occurred to me. I like the attention that accompanies the ritual of it all. It happens during the bath. It happens after the bath. Sometimes it continues for a few days as I apparently smell so nice in all that perfumed shampoo they use on me. I’ve never been one to turn down attention.

I wish I could somehow communicate my thoughts on the matter to Carter to ease his pain a little. Instead I found myself thinking about the water that makes all of the turmoil possible. The cleansing, cleaning, refreshing (even I can admit there is something nice about being clean) water.

Therein I found it. The silver lining. Because I know it’s necessary. And even though I hate it, now I have a reason to love it. Because attention is only as good as what we do with it. I would much rather have my splashes mean something than have them simply get others wet. Even the smallest little pebble can make ripples in the water. And no ripple is too small to evoke positive change.

 

Dive Right In September 18, 2013

Water. I know it’s necessary for living. And for staying clean. But I just can’t understand why anyone (human or canine) would choose to spend any given amount of time immersed in water. My mom likes swimming in it, and I know there are certain breeds of dogs who love retrieving things from it, but the concept is one that just doesn’t make any sense to me.   In the Deep End

I can’t say I have a good reason for my opinion. It’s not like I ever had a bad experience that now haunts me or anything like that. I just don’t like it. But I do think there is something to be learned from the practice of swimming so maybe it’s not all bad. I got to thinking about this tonight after mom got home very much later than usual from that place called work. Apparently she spent the day at meetings listening to various people talk about all things interesting that relate to her job. Some speakers were more poignant than others, she told dad, which made for a long day. (She’s telling me! I hate when she gets home so late…talk about a long day!)

From what I’ve heard, public speaking is one of those things more people dislike than like. Kind of like dogs and water. As I thought about it, something unites these two seemingly unrelated opinions: fear. One of my very least favorite emotions. It’s right up on my list of disliked emotions with timid, anxious and shy. No one I know would use these words to describe me, but that wasn’t always the case.

Fear is debilitating. It commands our attention and directs our actions. And I say this as one who used to live in fear of a variety of things. I feared no one would ever love me. I feared the man with the leather belt. I feared and it consumed me. But I can say with confidence it consumes me no longer. My optimism has brought me to a place in life where I make it a goal to bring fears to purpose. And sometimes the only way to do this is to dive right in. Head first, or heart first, depending on how you look at it.

“Courage is a peculiar kind of fear,” suggests British politician Charles Kennedy. Water may not be my favorite thing in the world. And I think public speaking is one of the most common fears people have. But something can be learned from the concept of diving in as a means of facing our fears. It takes courage to bring our fears to purpose in life. Dive on in – the water is warm.

 

 

 

A Deconstructed Ocean May 2, 2013

One person’s nonsense is another person’s art. I realized that today as I powered through the puddles in my backyard in a mad dash to catch the group of rabbits who seemed to be throwing some sort of pool party. Silly rabbits, I thought to myself, I’m going to get you! But as they scattered to their hiding places in the corners of the yard I felt the slightest bit of guilt for breaking up their fun.

I don’t usually have feelings of remorse in situations like this, so it definitely took me by surprise. We’ve all been like those rabbits at some point or another, I realized as I sloshed back through the lake that seemed to appear in the backyard in a matter of minutes. (The sky is not crying today. It’s bawling.)

Playing With WordsI remember a time when water turned me into a thoughtless nincompoop too. Not too long after my forever parents adopted me, they took me aboard something I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around. One minute we were enjoying a beautiful car ride, and the next minute there we were, the three of us, on what they called a boat. I couldn’t believe my little doggie eyes. The water was dazzling. The sunlight sparkled off each and every little peak in the water in the most breathtakingly fabulous way. I had to get closer – I had to feel the magic! Once, twice, three times, I jumped off the boat into the water for no other reason than that I was mesmerized by its beauty.

In retrospect, that probably wasn’t the best plan of action as that was my one and only experience on the boat with them. I also better understand now why the two people I love most in the whole world yelled at me like they did that day. I’m not the best swimmer (I can’t manage to keep my backside from sliding down behind me), and they were both fearing the worst.

Gratefully, the worst is far from what happened. Instead, I took with me the image of all those beautiful diamonds glittering on the water. The lake in the backyard looks nothing like my ocean memory, but a metaphor came to life in my heart today as I considered the fun those rabbits were having before I crashed the party.

Words are like water to me. I haven’t always liked how they make me feel, but I need them to survive. They can bring the worst, but they can sparkle in such a mesmerizing way it takes my breath away. And they’re so darned fun to play with (which must be why those rabbits were throwing that silly pool party in the puddles). I did an experiment today that brought poetry to life with the most interesting combination of articles, adjectives and nouns. I asked some of the people in my life put together a mad lib of sorts today without really knowing it. The result? A fluffy tree sings to an affectionate Tiger licking Pumpernickel bread. I don’t care if I sound like those rabbits looked at their pool party in the rain. This nonsense is artwork to me.