Night walk around Lents
Today our family said goodbye to Elsa. It went the best we could hope for: The initial sedative worked quickly, and it was a relief to see her truly relaxed for the first time in a while. We sat around her on the floor, petting her, saying goodbye, and remembering her, then asked the vet in to finish. She required a second injection of the euthanasia drug, but passed quietly.
Elsa had arthritis in her back legs, and it had made a lot of things very hard for her. She wanted to be with us wherever we were in the house, but getting up and down the stairs was harder and harder on her. She began to fall every now and then, and would sometimes cry out from the pain when trying to climb the stairs. We ended up putting up a gate to keep her downstairs, and that was pretty tough: She slept in a bedroom for as long as she was part of our family, and it was hard to leave her downstairs at night.
We adopted Elsa from a shelter ten years ago. We didn’t know much about her history except that she had been brought up from California, and had been found outdoors with two puppies.
She was often a challenge. We don’t know what kind of trauma she endured before she came to our home. Loud noises and sudden movement were hard on her, and she once smashed through a wooden fence when a car backfired and she got off her leash in a panic. She hated being outdoors or out of sight of the house. She was usually content to just be with us wherever we were in the house. We took it as a sign that she re-found some sense of spirit when she started barking at strangers just two or so years ago.
She was a sweet dog and we’re going to miss her. I’m so glad her suffering is over.
Yay! This weird little Funleader bodycap lens arrived: 18mm/f8 fixed focus. It’s so tiny and it makes my X-Pro3 look utterly unthreatening. Need to get it downtown during the day.
Well, what I need is to find people down for socially distanced photo walks.
Yes, I have shown it before. Tonight I finished up hanging the last of the curtains and finished the gutter/rain spout. Still need to secure the curtains better for windy days and find an outdoor heater, but it is ready enough to host a pandemic dinner tomorrow.
I still just stop and stare at it: I’ve never built anything like this before. It’s sort of fun to just come out and sit under it when it’s raining, wrapped up in a camping blanket with a cup of tea and a book. I look up at the rain running down and think “it’s working!”
Seldom buy physical books these days, but anything I expect to flip around in I do. This one is pretty good for Fuji shooters. Learned a lot in ten minutes of opening random pages.
Fujifilm has replaced Apple as the one brand I allow to have a claim on me: The X100S I bought six years ago reawakened photography for me, the X-T2 was the first “more camera than I need” camera I bought, and I’ve spent all the years since trying to fill my Fuji cameras up.
There are no objects I love to pick up and use more than them.
“As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution. However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution. We don’t deserve resolution; we deserve something better than that. We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity. To the degree that we’ve been avoiding uncertainty, we’re naturally going to have withdrawal symptoms—withdrawal from always thinking that there’s a problem and that someone, somewhere, needs to fix it.” — Pema Chödrön, “When Things Fall Apart”
I just finished reading Pema Chödrön’s _When Things Fall Apart_ and recommend it to people who think about mindful acceptance.
I love this sentiment, which echoes a book about Enneagram I’ve been working through that talks a lot about the personality as an overlay on our essential self:
As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution. However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution. We don’t deserve resolution; we deserve something better than that. We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity. To the degree that we’ve been avoiding uncertainty, we’re naturally going to have withdrawal symptoms—withdrawal from always thinking that there’s a problem and that someone, somewhere, needs to fix it.
One of the core ideas of When Things Fall Apart is that of how to be alone. She talks about “cool” and “hot” loneliness in this excerpt:
Usually we regard loneliness as an enemy. Heartache is not something we choose to invite in. It’s restless and pregnant and hot with the desire to escape and find something or someone to keep us company. When we can rest in the middle, we begin to have a nonthreatening relationship with loneliness, a relaxing and cooling loneliness that completely turns our usual fearful patterns upside down.
Kind of a flat day for photos at Hug Point yesterday. The tide was in and I wasn’t feeling it, so I didn’t like much that I got, but I do love going back and learning its moods. Last time it was all fog and rain. Yesterday was blue sky and sunshine.