K and i are folks who rescue things… animals too. Nearly all of our pets have come to us from some worse place… damaged in some way, sometimes profoundly.
Luna was such a dog. She was cute and so sweet one moment, and then she had a vicious streak that only got worse as she aged until she literally began to bite the hand that fed her. Eventually, we were faced with a choice: Medicate her (yes, mood altering drugs for the canine) or put her down.
i chose the latter. i always stay with the animals when permitted, and so i did with Luna. The vet had injected her with the sedative first, and then the tech slipped Luna’s collar off. Luna (even slipping into pleasant stupor) reacted as she always did… she LIKED her collar. She tried to reach it. When i had bathed her, all i had to do to get her collar back on was to hold it out and she would literally walk into it, then i’d snug it to her neck and she’d be happy as can be.
So, i snatched the collar from the tech’s hand (poor girl) and tried to explain to her – though i was likely incoherent – that Luna hated to have her collar taken off… that Luna absolutely must die with the collar on and be cremated with it on…. promise me, i begged… promise it will stay on until the end
And then the second shot, and i held her while she died.
Why such a sad story on a fine day as this? Because i woke… and i emailed my morning missive to B and He replied with a simple sentence…and it made me think about last night and i felt owned.
And i was trying to find words for it… for myself… trying to make sense of it (because it still scares me in some moments – the shift – the belonging – the needing) and i thought of sweet crazy Luna. The way she looked at me in that cold clinical space as i secured that collar around her throat. In her eyes, i saw gratitude… i think… she loved that i owned her and cared for her and she trusted me, even as i directed her death. She trusted me.
i’m no dog but i think i know how she felt… i wish i could find words to describe this in a way that is meaningful to anyone else, but they elude me. It is enough, i suppose, that i feel it, the sweetness of it… of belonging to someone in that way.
Thinking of all of this, how it seems odd to experience this sense of empowerment within the bonds of slavery. How the process of refining myself with purpose can seem somehow organic rather than forced. Odd, this… passion and precision… control and joy… thinking and feeling and forgetting sometimes to even try to separate the two… and just allowing them – in unguarded moments – to morph into knowing.
Kodo Drummers (At the Acropolis) performing “Akabanar”