Thursday, April 22, 2010

Back To Early Friendships

For anyone who has lived in Manhattan for over a decade, you know what I mean when I say it's a very small town.  Or a middle school cafeteria if you're still bothered with social stuff (yes, there are adult women consumed with where they are sitting at various venues) and god help you if you make out with a guy - it's Melrose Place, and everyone has an opinion.  The internet, weirdly, has proved to be the same - in a good way - and taking a dip in cyber space with this blog has connected me with early friends - even the ones I consider friends although we have never met. Meet Karen, mother of adorable dog Rocky, and author of Planet Books (if you like books, you should just 'favorite' her site, trust me) - she lived in Okinawa, Japan for four years and recently moved back to the states in the DC area.

Something about this picture makes me think that Karen knows a thing or two about picking up the pieces and starting all over again.  I've always believed the beach is where one goes to seek answers and solace. We Cancer moon children have always looked to the tide for answers.

The fact that she loves this book pictured below and got the author to do a guest post (Karen can always secure the impossible) makes her very special to me as it's also one of my favorite books:

The author, Stein, speaks of the Mongolian belief that the next incarnation of a dog is a person, and of Billy Collins' poem The Revenant. The poem is about a dog who has been euthanized - it's a poem I love because to some it may seem cruel and sick, but to me it's perhaps the only poem that will give me solace when I have to say goodbye to Harold. Some of you who love dogs the way I do might understand the rhetorical genius only Billy can harness, and then release through the simplest of words. We love our dogs so much only the thought of their greater happiness will bring any comfort, even if it comes at our expense.

The Revenant by Billy Collins
I am the dog you put to sleep
as you like to call the needle of oblivion,
come back to tell you this simple thing:
I never liked you - - not one bit.
When I licked your face,
I thought of biting off your noce.
When I watched you toweling yourself dry,
I wanted to leap and unman you with a snap.
I resented the way you moved,
your lack of animal grace,
the way you would sit in a chair to eat,
a napkin on your lap, knife in your hand.
I would have run away,
but I was too weak, a trick you taught me
while I was learning to sit and heel
and - - greatest of insults - - shake hands without a hand.
I admit the sight of the leash
would excite me
but only because it meant I was about
to smell things you had never touched.
You do not want to believe this,
but I have no reason to lie.
I hated the car, the rubber toys,
disliked your friends and, worse, your relatives.
The jingling of my tags drove me mad.
You always scratched me in the wrong place.
All I ever wanted from you
was food and fresh water in my metal bowls.
While you slept, I watched you breathe
as the moon rose in the sky.
It took all of my strength
not to raise my head and howl.
Now I am free of the collar,
the yellow raincoat, monogrammed sweater,
the absurdity of your lawn,
and that is all you need to know about this place
except what you already supposed
and are glad it did not happen sooner - -
that everyone here can read and write,
the dogs in poetry, the cats and the others in prose.

When my book came out in the summer of 2008, I was still in my old life and believed that I had gone as far as I was ever going to go.  I wrote my first guest post - thereby my first venture online ever - on Karen's site. I haven't revisited it till now; there is something sweet and sad and eerie about reading something you wrote at a time that is so different from where you are now. It's your voice, it's you, and you want to call out to that person and tell them so many things, yet the echoes are lost in the tunnels of time. But maybe that's okay. Karen reached out to me after my post on the white couch, and was inspired to send me this photograph:

Dear Anisha,
Karen here from Planet Books! I hope you and Harold are well! Your latest post has inspired me to share with you a picture of our new living room.  Though I sometimes miss our house in Okinawa, this is our first dream house state side and we love it.  I had a vision for this space and, though it's not complete yet you can see where I am going with it.  We are waiting for the one year mark to paint and the perfect occasional table and lamp table haven't presented themselves to me yet.  Anyway, the point is that I have a WHITE COUCH! I love it, though Rocky sits / lays / sleeps on it all the time, and though it's not from a boutique on Park Avenue, it is from the biggest department store:  Macy's.  LOL!  I'm looking forward to reading more about your new pad and seeing pics of Harold. 
xo Karen

Karen, I love your couch, but what I love most is that you understand Rocky's need to lounge on it, as well.  A home can be immaculately decorated, but a smudge or two from a dog who possesses your heart and soul makes it truly beautiful.  I think the Mirror Block Coffee Table from West Elm (under $200!) could be sort of glam?

I really like the Faceted Mirror Side Table as well - as a pair in lieu of a coffee table, or on the side of one of the couches?

Dreamers like you deserve to live in your dream house, and if going Back to A reconnects me on such a personal level with people I always mean to reach out to more often (aren't we all plagued by this disease) and spend a little more time in my day visiting your site, then already it has been worth it.  

I am rereading The Art of Racing In The Rain again.  I had all but stopped reading in the last year and was floating a bit.  Of course I was.  Reading for hours in silence defines me.

When I like me best.  

Thank you for inspiring.


Anonymous said...

I am beyond words! Thank you for your beautiful words, amazing use of my pics and your very accurate sense of who I am though, as you mentioned, we have never met. XOXO
BTW, I hope to make three of those side tables mine and use two of them as a coffee table and the third as a lamp/end table. Thanks for the tips!!

Anisha Lakhani said...

Karen how lovely, thank you! I'm glad you liked my suggestions and I was delighted to post! xx

Post a Comment