My last blog post (Beauty, part one) is a Navajo prayer. Now, my knowlege of the Navajo culture all comes from Tony Hillerman’s Jim Chee mystery series. I’m sure Tony’s research was impeccable, but that’s not really the same as knowing anything, I’m well aware. But it resonates with me, and being the spiritual gatherer that I am, I put it in my little brain-basket to keep.
What I have posted is actually part of a longer prayer and is used in a cleansing ritual called the Blessingway, which a Navajo may have done when he or she has experienced something that has unbalanced his or her spirit. Their term ‘walking in beauty’ is used to express balance and feeling good.
I often walk my way back to balance. Into beauty.
I was feeling unbalanced last night: lonely, cranky, fatigued. I decided to take my point and shoot camera along on my walk with Indi, because taking pictures also makes me feel better, and I would have something to share on the on-line creative group I belong to.
There was a glorious sunset happening, but evey time I tried to compose a picture, oppressive black webs of power lines hung into the frame. Other things looked dumb, dull or insignificant once I had them snapped. I held the camera in my right hand, leaving the left for the leash, and Indi did not cooperate, attempting to chase a squirrel, dig under a fence, lurch into a pile of trash.
By the time I was turning the corner onto my street, I felt that my camera sucked, I sucked, my dog sucked and I lived in the ugliest place on the planet.
I walked up my block, having decided not to be so negative, that I just needed to go home and eat dinner and go to bed. I didn’t quite achieve beauty, but sometimes you just don’t and so you need to go get a good night’s sleep.
We were two houses from home, when we passed a neighbor walking his dog. I stopped to let Indi and the other dog sniff noses.
Indi bit him right in the face.
It seemed to come out of the blue, but I’ve read enough dog behavior books to know that the signs were there, I just didn’t see them.
The dog was ok, it was really just ‘back off, buster’ nip, no skin broken, but I felt absolutely sick. Why is she like that? Is she too spoiled? Am I so unbalanced that I’m unbalancing her? Is she a mean dog?
I’m trying not to overreact. Dogs communicate in ways we don’t understand. But I can’t ever say breezily, ‘oh yeah, she’s friendly’ to another dog owner again. My neighbor was totally cool about it. I wonder if I would have been if it happened to Indi.
Needless to say, I did not find beauty again until this morning’s walk. We went to our park. I wish I had some woods or fields or beach to walk, but I don’t. I live in the middle of a decaying, rust-belt city. Our park is small but pretty, and there are blue flowers blooming all over it right now. Best of all, it was cool and breezy this morning, the sticky, brain-draining heat all gone. Indi and I have had a heart to heart about biting as well. I told her I will always love her but she may not do that ever again. She looked at me with her tongue hanging out. I’m sure she totally understood.
It has become beauty again.