Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Novel Perpetuity of It All

     Since I'm usually the first one awake around our house in the mornings, it's customary for me to let our German short-haired pointers, Simon and Lilly, out for a pee while I fix myself a latte. Mechanized and automatic, it's a ritual that requires nominal effort and minimal thought, one of life's little routines. Every morning, these silly brown dogs charge gleefully through the door into the courtyard and the sultry Atlanta dawn--expectant, stumbling over their huge front paws, their hind legs spinning ridiculously behind them, like chariot wheels furiously hoping to meet with traction somewhere atop the waxed concrete--as if it's the first time they've ever seen or smelled outside, clearly enchanted by the novel perpetuity of it all.
     Summer is winding down; I can feel it. The palpably cooler morning air that's now skimming the hairs on my bare arms is mingled with a familiar uncertainty, distant memories of future past segueing into reflections on future present...what's happening? I'm an infant, clumsily feeding myself Cheerios, arms and legs akimbo in my high chair, no different in nature than my dogs. Uninhibited and sublimely sloppy, I hold my fork indelicately in a closed fist, my elbows planted firmly on the tabletop as I lick my knife and chew with my mouth wide open. Here, there is no Sunday-evening-spent-dreading-Monday morning, no anticipation or expectation, no worries or regrets. Restless, my hunger satisfied, I flail my arms wildly, signaling to my mother: "I want DOWN!!!"  Before she can reach me, I've already wriggled my way out of confinement, deftly sliding from beneath the cereal-littered tray into the sanctuary of my own kitchen--indulgent yet determined, elegantly unrefined, still blissfully indifferent to convention.

13 comments:

  1. Talk about a visceral flashback! I can feel autumn coming, too. Not sure I like it. But I loved reading you eat your breakfast. ;)

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    1. I am sure autumn's approach in Iowa is quite a bit different than it is, here in the South. Isn't it fun to imagine me as a giant baby in a high chair? :-)

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  2. I like morning routines. It makes the start of the day feel organized. I love the way you describe your dogs running out into the courtyard. Every day is really a brand new day to a dog! The winding down of summer always makes me a bit melancholy. Love the way infant you ate your Cheerios...lol!

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    1. Madilyn, the melancholy of summer winding down into fall is exactly what inspired this piece. I was complaining that I had nothing to write about, and my husband suggested writing about the change of seasons.

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  3. Kris, I understand your short-haired pointers perfectly. I'm at their level...charging enthusiastically into each brand new day.

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  4. beautiful little piece! casual and thought-provoking! the last sentence is a lift! i especially like "still blissfully indifferent to convention" :-)
    the silly dogs scene also made me want to have a dog!

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    1. Thanks, YunYi...if you were to have a dog, what kind of dog would you like?

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    2. something like this:
      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e0/Japaneseakita.jpg

      this is almost exactly like the one i had about 30 years ago in china.

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    3. i have heard stories about how loyal the Akita is to its owner...sounds like a perfect choice!

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  5. Beautiful imagery, I am glad I stopped by to have a read. I felt like I was there with you the whole time.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, PBS! I was complaining to my husband that I had nothing to write about, so he suggested I write about the change of seasons. I'd been thinking about a picture I saw of a baby, feeding herself "undaintily" in her highchair; her mom had remarked that her daughter needed a lesson in manners. It was fun tying all the different elements together: routines, change of seasons, table manners, and social conventions together.

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