Animal Magic

She's asleep at the moment beside her water bowl, which could mean I have another half-hour to forty-five minutes to write this post. Or she could wake up now and I'll have to spring into action to get us out the door in time for her to pee. I'm guessing the latter, largely on the basis of the fact that now I have to pee, which must mean that I've been sitting here on the couch taking care of emails and ordering course books for next quarter for longer than I realize. It's a hard call. I really need to get up and go myself, but what if I do and she wakes up? I will more than likely lose the thread of this thought in the ensuing flurry, only to spend the next hour or three gnawing on it in my head until it is thoroughly chewed and worn out. Covered in floor fluff and gray.

Oh, she's stirring. No, it's just a dream, her little legs pumping as if she is running in the snow. Now she's lying on her back, crashed out like only a puppy can crash. I could try and take a picture of her but that would mean getting up to get the camera, by which time I'm sure she'll have moved. I'll have to make do with my Blackberry. There. Okay, you know that my posting that photo in "real time" is a fiction. I don't have my cable with me at the moment, so I can't upload it just now. But I will, as soon as I stand up...and come back some hours later. You'd think all of this disruption of my writing--and thinking--time would be driving me crazy. And, truth to tell, it rather is. But...but. You know the "but": I wouldn't trade the time that I have with my puppy now for the life that I had before she came. Not for the world.

I do wish that I could focus better on this post and not be thinking about my bladder all of the time. It's part of the magic, really. Animals put us in touch with our physical selves in a way no yoga practice ever could. See? Here's my choice: keeping working on this post or go relieve myself. Know that if I choose the latter, I may not have another opportunity to capture this thought because it will be gone, dissolved into the moment. Dissolved into the present, an irrevocable marker of what is. She's turned over again. How much time do I have? All the time in the world, which is right now.

Have I told you how much I enjoy petting her? How wonderful it feels to pick her up, feel the strength and solidity of her body? Here's the thought that I had this morning, while I was watching her play in the snow: we often complain nowadays about how the enchantment has gone out of the world, but why are we so sure that it has? Who was it who coined that phrase "the disenchantment of the world" anyway? Was it Weber? It could be, I can't quite remember. But it's been haunting me as long as I can remember. So what happened to the magic? To the dragons and saints and relics and miracles and sunrise and glory of all of creation? What happened in our culture to make the world die, lose its magic and connection with the divine?

I haven't seen Avatar yet, and I'm not sure I entirely want to. I don't want to be sucked into the CGI fantasy of a world so beautiful that I hear some people who have seen the movie have gotten terribly depressed, so much do they want to be able to leave this fallen world and go live with the Na'vi on Pandora. Since when was there anything more beautiful than our world? Our beautiful, beautiful earth, filled with creatures like my puppy Joy? Here's my theory: we need more pets. More animals with whom we share our everyday lives, who put us in touch with our bodies and dreams. Have you watched a puppy recently? I mean, really, really watched her, every minute of every day, wondering whether she needs to pee? If you do, you won't need some computer generated fantasy to put you in touch with the earth. Just watch for when your short-legged puppy starts sniffing around whether she is about to lift her tail. That is magic. That is the gift of the gods.

Oh, good, she's still asleep. I may just have time to go pee.


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