We are not alone in dreaming at night
You will never find her
There were fascists at the dog park
Except that the two people I saw hit their dogs had the attitude of what I imagine an elite member of a fascist military might have. The attitude I have, I must admit, seen in movies, of Nazis, for example. A sort of righteous triumph.
(I wonder whether this offends you–or what about it offends you? I’m not sure how I feel about the offense)
The man hit his dog across the muzzle with a tennis ball, while the dog was down with her face up in a posture of the utmost submission. He had that sort of haircut from those movies. He was shirtless and he stood around as though wishing for an audience to his abuse. As those we’d all say, “yes, good job, you have such good control of the dog.” Like we’d all come around him and taunt and abuse the dog ourselves.
After the dog had properly groveled,the man threw the ball into the water and the dog leapt after it with a sort of joy.
This made me think about little pieces of joy. Doesn’t every dog deserve joy? Did this dog live in her moments of joy? Were they enough?
And why did this man “own” this dog?
You ask of my Companions. Hills – sir – and the Sundown, and a Dog large as myself, that my Father bought me
And why was I unable to let go of her suffering–or of what I perceived as her state of suffering? Even now.
burning all is burning
It was, of course, good I did not attack the back of his head with my keys–although I allowed myself the fantasy of his smooth white skin beneath his hairline breaking open under my hand, of him feeling pain. As though I could redeem her life through violence–as though I could redeem the lives of all beings deeply suffering whether through their relationships to humans, or to other species*, by inflicting terrible pain.
The eye is burning
For there are creatures everywhere that live lives of great suffering–Buddha told us this a great while ago.
forms are burning, eye-consciousness is burning, eye-contact is burning
The suffering of those dogs, however, still lives in me, no matter how hard I work towards detachment. It lives here
I teach only suffering
and the liberation from suffering
*As for other species, there is no one so brutal to one another as members of the same species. This moment I still feel a deep pain over the suffering of the submissive dog whose name I no longer remember in The Wild Dogs of Africa, an amazing film by Hugo van Lawick
quotes are from W. G. Sebald, Emily Dickinson and Buddhist texts (attributed to the Buddha)