Life With Dogs – November 2021

Grey is the colour of my November.

For, this is the month when the inevitable happens… winter comes. This year it arrived with a bang, a three-day rain/snow event that left us with wet, heavy snowdrifts along with a new reality.

The dogs didn’t seem to mind although Odin did initially seem a little puzzled.

What’s happening!
But surprise soon turned to winter fun

November is also the month that marks the anniversary of Roland’s passing. It’s been two years now and, for the most part, I feel I am doing better.

But… November has me falling backwards.

The November days, and even more so the nights, are a struggle. I find myself back in that place where Grey lives inside me. I am learning to accept this but am humbled and a little shaken by the loneliness and sadness that still live here.

Roland loved his dogs. I miss him and the life we shared every day.

“Little by little, we let go of loss, but never of love.”

November is not without its splash of colour… and I have my grandkids to thank for this. From October 22 to November 30, five of them have birthdays.

These kids help me remember the good.

And then there are the W.A.S. dogs! They own my heart.

These are but some of the November adoptables. So many great dogs needing good homes…

That leaves my two, Odin and Lacie… where would I be without them! They get me up and out and, more often than not, have me smile.

So yes, November is a tough month and I suspect, for me, that’s just the way it is and will be.

But writing this, and seeing the photos pop up on screen does help.

I guess I have to hold my gratitudes a little closer…

and try to remember to just breathe.

my brain and
heart divorced

two years ago

over who was
to blame about
how big of a mess
I have become

they couldn't be
in the same room
with each other

now my head and heart
share custody of me

I stay with my brain
during the week

and my heart
gets me on weekends

they never speak to one another
- instead, they give me
- the same note to pass
- to each other every week
and their notes they
send to one another always
says the same thing:

"This is all your fault"

on Sundays
my heart complains
about how my
head has let me down
in the past

and on Wednesday
my head lists all
of the times my
heart has screwed
things up for me
in the future

they blame each
other for the
state of my life

there's been a lot
of yelling - and crying


lately, I've been
spending a lot of
time with my gut
who serves as my
unofficial therapist

most nights, I sneak out of the
window in my ribcage

and slide down my spine
and collapse on my
gut's plush leather chair
that's always open for me

~ and I just sit sit sit sit
until the sun comes up

last evening,
my gut asked me
if I was having a hard
time being caught
between my heart
and my head

I nodded

I said I didn't know
if I could live with
either of them anymore

"my heart is always sad about
something that happened yesterday
while my head is always worried
about something that may happen tomorrow,"
I lamented

my gut squeezed my hand

"I just can't live with
my mistakes of the past
or my anxiety about the future,"
I sighed

my gut smiled and said:

"in that case,
you should
go stay with your
lungs for a while,"

I was confused
- the look on my face gave it away
"if you are exhausted about
your heart's obsession with
the fixed past and your mind's focus
on the uncertain future

your lungs are the perfect place for you

there is no yesterday in your lungs
there is no tomorrow there either

there is only now
there is only inhale
there is only exhale
there is only this moment

there is only breath

and in that breath
you can rest while your
heart and head work
their relationship out."

this morning,
while my brain
was busy reading
tea leaves

and while my
heart was staring
at old photographs

I packed a little
bag and walked
to the door of
my lungs

before I could even knock
she opened the door
with a smile and as
a gust of air embraced me
she said

"what took you so long?"

~ John Roedel ( 

**** This post is part of the 2021 Life With Dogs photography project. ****

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