Such Stuff That Dreams Are Made On

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Reaching the threshold of seven decades is daunting.

I had imagined this post to be full of self deprecating humor about crumbling teeth,

sinus pain, and VANITY ~~ there’s still time for that.

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Caught in Goya’s Saturn grip, a dismembering is taking place.

A breaking down has to occur.

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The alchemy of returning to my own prima materia–

the raw stuff of which I am made.

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These are natural laws we are all subject to, and aging is one of them.

Beyond cliches about wisdom and other self soothing aphorisms, is the truth of mortality.

And the paradox of death and rebirth.

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From this suspended place in time, I find myself viewing my fellow travelers and humanity from a soft lens.

How precious and vulnerable we are!

odilon_redon_004“Our revels now are ended.

These our actors, as I foretold you were all thin spirits, and are melted into air, thin air:

And like the baseless fabric of this vision,

The cloud capp’d towr’s , the gorgeous palaces,

The solemn temple, the great globe itself,

Yea, all which inherit, shall dissolve,

And like this insubstantial pageant faded,

Leave not a rack behind.

We are such stuff that dreams are made on;

And our little life is rounded with a sleep.”

Prospero, The Tempest, William Shakespeare, Act IV, Scene 1

cropped-odilon-redon-xx-adam-and-eve-xx-villa-floraAll art credit goes to Odilon Redon.

Lydia, Oh Lydia!

“The Paradox of life and death

 returns in a new form at each new spiral of growth.

If we accept this,

we are not torn apart by the opposites.” ~ Marion Woodman


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Lydia came to us with her name.

She was on her way to becoming a junk yard dog, when we learned about her.

Her retriever buoyancy and passion for children was too much for the first family.

Lydia joined ours, and became the youngest sib to two other dogs.

She brought a balance to the ruff and tuff one, and a job for the eldest, which needed a maternal herding outlet.  A fine little trio.  And, a LOT of energy.

Her diagnosis of untreatable cancer came suddenly this week.

I recalled Marion Woodman’s (MW) story about her own dogs, as soul animals.

And Neil Russack’s book on Animal Guides, where he writes about the capacity for deep healing intimacy between humans and animals:

“…so my own little dog kept me linked to life when my vitality was fading.  When I took him with me into the country, we would take a long walk during the day, then spend the evening by the fire.  Sometimes, we walked at dead of night in the dark woods, and the white tip of his tail would lead me home in the starlight.  He was the one who, by helping me find my way, showed me who I was.”

Both Woodman and Russack remark on the timing, the co~incidence of the dog’s death, as a punctuation in their own individuation journeys.

Perhaps, as I just crossed the threshold of 60 years, Lydia has been with me for the empty nest Demeter depression, and the entrance of The Crone?

Animal behavior experts warn against anthropomorphizing, or projecting human sentiments and characteristics onto our animals.

Fine then.  Projection removed.

Farewell

But I say, what about Soul?

“Soul hears with eternal ears,

sees with eternal eyes,

smells with eternal nose.”  ~MW

And I would add,  Soul’s Body wags with eternal tail.

Vox Anima, SDM