PLAY PLAY PLAY PLAY

Another heavy, cloudy morning in Massachusetts. I put on my sneakers and grab the leash, intending to take Aussie for a quick walk before driving Bernie to his audiologist, but there is too much rain. I call her back, she’s puzzled, resists—she needs to run in the mornings—but I call her in a sterner voice and this time she comes back in.

Ah, that stern voice. Sounds a little like the judge’s voice, the voice of many men who say, “This is it, it’s gone on long enough. You’ve had your fun with MeToo, you’ve done your small antics and shenanigans, now let the big guys take over.”

“I love my shenanigans,” says Aussie. “I love cavorting in the rain.”

“Tough,” say I. “’Plans for the day have been upended so I have to make changes and hit the road with Bernie. No time for cavorting.” I dislike that bossy voice. The I know better voice. The I’m in charge voice.

Maybe Aussie knows better. Play, play, play, play. What better way to put an end to the roiling week? At least there’s a retreat day tomorrow, an opportunity to sit quietly.

What happened to me this week? I’m usually so steadfast in keeping my distance from the news. I read it once in the morning, and then restrict myself to a few glances at changing headlines during the day, nothing more. No TV news. Total resistance to the media’s grab for my attention.

But not this past week. This past week I couldn’t look away, couldn’t stop reading. Life was being unveiled, layer after layer, scene after scene. Something new? No. So why the deep sorrow? And why the sense of a searing cut that isn’t healing any time soon?

But it’s Friday. Bernie and I will go to the audiologist, I will return and walk Aussie, prepare for tomorrow’s retreat, shop for food, try to get some other writing done before dinner. Go through motions of life going on, reduce the big-lens perspective, cling to the sanity of small, personal lives. Wonder at all our intersections that makes up this big world.

Go to the woods with Aussie, play with this pup joyfully beginning her new life. Practice Come! and laugh to see her tearing through the woods with a branch in her mouth or splashing through the water, silly and noble all at once