i have been thinking this for a while, and admitted it to a friend this weekend, and am going to write it here.
i’m over pets.
i say this as someone who had an amazing and gorgeous mutt for 13 years named sugarfoot, who showed me complete loyalty, forgiveness, love. i loved that black dog with white paws, a mellow spirit, and a resistance to any and all training. she was her own being, she chewed on cigarette butts until she had a habit, tho we never saw her pick them up, just drop them in a pile at the end of a walk. when she was old, my parents moved to an island for a couple of years and she had a second youth, discovering the joy of hermit crabs on her tongue in her own catch-and-release game. i loved her, when she died i bent over at the waist and wailed, i’d known her from a puppy, longer than anyone i wasn’t related to.
i love dogs, i love watching people love dogs. i even don’t mind cat people, and occasionally see cats i like, though i am too allergic to go deeper. turtles are cool, snakes, etc.
that said, i think i’m over pets.
from two angles, the first being that i am really over captivity of any sort. what is the natural order of dogs, of cats, of horses. is our love of owning creatures and making them dependent on us disrupting the natural order of everything? and what is distinct between that ownership and taming, and the way we seek to tame each other, break each other’s spirits…
not that i am longing for a world of wild dogs and cats, but…here’s the source of this (and the second angle for attentive readers):
i saw the image of dogs being evacuated before black people after katrina, at the front of greyhound buses 24 hours before black elders and children were stuffed onto the back of a flatbed truck for exodus. i saw it before, and i saw it again two weeks ago. since seeing it i have been hyper aware of pet culture – picking up the poop of dogs, staying in an otherwise sophisticated house where a whole corner was covered in mini-domes full of cat poo. you might think it’s the poop, but its really the privilege of spending exorbitant amounts on caring for animals in a world where so many people are uncared for. for carrying bags of animal poop past hungry people. it’s too “let them eat cake” for me. or rather, its too “AIG” (who is with me on doing a massive aggressive action on those fools??)
i like pets individually, i love spaceman spiff, the ruckus MD’s dog. its just on a larger level, something about pets seems hella wrong to me.
i’ve also come to the end of my faith in the existence of fiction, at least if its seen as something created. there’s nothing i see in fiction that i don’t see happen in real life – the drama, the sex, the family, the violence, the history. i don’t believe in fiction anymore! i believe that we tell our history obsessively, all the time, in many ways…in poems, in dreams, in art. nothing is made up, its collected, we collect moments and concepts and present history, fictionalized to take the edge off, but its just us we’re telling, its our ways of seeing and loving and being with each other, our failures and evolutions. there is no fiction.
all of this has come on in the past month. something awful happened in the family of a friend of mine, and since then its felt like there is a chasm in the armor, the polite false systems of the world. even the things that are love, and creativity, seem somewhat shallow and false to me.
at times like this i really have to turn to something like battlestar galactica, an amazing show which my lady thinks is too dramatic. but i feel like on that show they have a concept of the finite nature of humanity, and how fierce the struggle should be for justice and equality, for being a worthwhile species. humans on the show have a marrow-level desire for the sky and the sun, banished to space, searching for earth, or something like earth, everywhere. searching for meaning.
friends will know this is nothing new. i am always this close to running in the street screaming “we’re all gonna die!”, or stripping down to nothing and undulating on strangers saying “we’re all beautiful!” – shows like Lost and BSG exist for people like me, who live seeing the edge all the time, and try to find nirvana and balance and joy with all that chaos in our eyes.
sigh. im swimming every day, and going to try meditating some because a friend made it clear that i am speaking too breathlessly again, going 100 miles an hour in my head.
anyway i got interviewed for an amazing film addressing all of these things, go look at me: http://www.thegreatturningfilm.org/?q=node/2