wings and things

Beware of the dog: a cautionary tale

on August 28, 2014

I wrote about the accident yesterday, naively thinking that if I regurgitated the stones in my throat, it might be possible to reach a place of calm, cathartic peace. How stupid was that!

The dog was here, again, its initial growl sounding like a lullaby until, once I had written my words down, it began to bark madly as if I had done/said something wrong. So I edited what I had written until the dog swallowed my extra words, until it attacked my thumping heart and painted it red with slices of stillness, until it put its big paw against my throat and whined until I woke up.

Jet black, this dog blends into the evening sky invisibly, sleeps in the pocket of the dark blankets around my feet at night, wakes me up every morning with the audacity of its sudden absence – not my best friend, not my worst enemy, but my closest companion.

Of course I hate the presence of this black dog, and its black eyes, and its black waving tail, and the black fur of its snuggly black snout but recently I have noticed the growing yawn of its absence. Hurray!

That dog was blocking out the sun with its big, dark presence, its ridiculous attempt to be a metaphor, its wolfish editorial antics. Beware of the dog.

I wrote about the accident yesterday, naively thinking that if I regurgitated the stones in my throat, it might be possible to reach a place of calm, cathartic peace. How wonderful was that!

33 responses to “Beware of the dog: a cautionary tale

  1. Terry says:

    Excellent writing. It reminds me of my constant guilt I carry about how I grabbed two extra hours of sleep and during that two hours Al passed away. I promised him I would always be there and I failed him. I was so selfish, I was so tired and exhausted. I should have been sitting by his bed holding his hand while he passed. I hate myself so terribly for letting him down. I wonder how long I will carry this creature of guilt with me

  2. I love how you have weaved your words. They are expressive and leave me with a very strong visual image.

  3. dogdaz says:

    Wow. I really enjoyed that post. Good job.

  4. mimijk says:

    Fantastic Jules – breathtaking.

  5. Wonderful writing Jules xox

  6. Rhonda says:

    You are such an amazing human. Powerful, powerful words capturing the frighteningly real battle with depression, anxiety, PTSD…all of it. May that black dog be on a very long and far away holiday. xoxo

  7. Hugs my dear friend. You are the black dog, the white dog, the ghost whisperer, the story-teller, and so much more.

    You are Love. Wishing you many blessings my friend for a lyrical day of poetry awakening in every morning.

  8. I hope your ‘companion’ soon finds another place to live… permanently Diane

  9. FlaHam says:

    Julie, thank you for sharing this. Over the last year or so I have seen flashes of your brillance, but this purely is. Take care, Bill

  10. Julie!! A brilliant post! How wonderful that I got to read it! ❤
    Diana xo

  11. Lynda says:

    Was he this black dog? I know him well… he is not my friend.

  12. A lot of inspiring people had to face their black dogs, Winston Churchill for instance.
    I am glad you feel better this morning (by your replies to comments). 🙂
    Brilliant writing, by the way.

  13. Judy says:

    Actually you might think your black dog is only PTSD, but I think there’s growling there that might represent anticipatory grief. That is “ruff.” Those lapses of darkness aren’t easy to deal with. Feel my hug and light.

  14. you are the best! to put in to words what so many feel. chris has battled this black dog for most of his life. over the years we have been married things have gone better and when he does face that mutt it is for very short periods. we face it down together, guess that is one benefit to marrying a psychologist? as it should be:) i love you, not because your brilliant and kind and loving… no wait i do love you for those very reasons:) and many more my friend!! big warm hugs and love

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