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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

MY FRIEND RENA


waterfalls creek
 
I went out to dig a hole in the meadow, in the cold, cold ground. Jenny has not let me near the baby. Today it is going in the ground if I have to do it in the dark with flashlights. It wears me out to think about it anymore. The donkeys are both wrecked and I'm wrecked. I've commissioned a couple of helpers to come by if possible before dark and help me get it done. Can't get any help before dark. I dug until I started thinking if I keep on, somebody will be digging my grave. The rectangle established and I've gone about a foot deep. Came to the house to lie down, failed to sleep, but relaxed for half an hour with dog on the bed at my feet. Martha, the jealous dog from next door, was outside when I wanted to go out to dig. Apprehensive, I carried a walking stick. Our friend hesitated with Martha out there. I told her it was ok, I'd take care of Martha. Martha's attitude was entirely different today. At first, she glared at friend. I pointed the walking stick at her. She hunkered down. I said, "It's ok to play today, not to fight." Both dogs followed me, hesitantly curious about each other. Martha's lip curled up and I told her again, ok to play, we're here to play.
 

big rock beside waterfalls creek
 
They spent some time assessing each other with distance between them. My friend went and took a dump. Martha had to go pee near the place. Martha then went off someplace else and took a dump. Friend had to go pee there. They didn't put nose under the tail to sniff each other. Rather they passed nonchalantly by each other's rear ends sniffing the air. Martha took off running and friend followed, playing chase. They switched around and Martha did the chasing.  They played chase with near abandon. I was satisfied they'll be friends from today onward. All the time digging, I was going over names for the dog. This morning I found myself partial to Friend, as that's what I call her talking to her and about her. Thought about Crow, Crow Dog or Raven, partial to Raven. But when I called her Raven, it did not sound right. Same with Crow. Friend sounded empty, like that was not it either. I looked at her as I worked the shovel, looking for a sound that resonated with her energy as I know it. I want a name particular to our relationship. Somebody else can call her whatever. I wanted a name between us, a name that resonated with her and for me. Nothing I called her sounded right. Everything sounded as far off as Vladimir, though Vladimir is a good name.
 
sofia
 
A friend from twenty to twenty-five years ago came to mind, as she often does, Rena Ferneyhough. I loved her name Rena and loved Rena herself. The name was right for her. I called the dog Rena and it felt right. It resonated when I called to her, "Rena." It's easy to say and I like the sound. The name Rena is a pleasant memory. If I think of her every time I speak the name, it will be to the good. I was thinking I wanted a feminine name, she is very much a feminine dog, and wanted a name that means her in particular. The sound flows well with Sofia. I also wanted a name that complemented Sofia somehow. Rena and Sofia sound like sisters. I've not seen Rena for at least twenty years, attempts to find her by way of internet came up with nothing, I knew her from Boone. She was originally from Raleigh, same place dog is from. Images of Rena are flooding my mind. I've seen her looking the very worst she could possibly look, after crying all day, butcher knife at her throat, a voice in her head telling her to kill herself, her own will struggling not to do it. All day long. I knocked at the door around 4 in the afternoon, no idea what she was going through. She appeared, face raw from tracks of tears, butcher knife in  hand, holding it more like a weapon than an implement. She was a good cook and kept sharp knives. I embraced her in a major hug and encouraged her bawling, butcher knife in hand.
 
a shadow ran through it
 
I thought I had opened myself to extreme vulnerability, entered the zone of zero defense, offered myself to death by someone else's unpredictable whim, because I trusted Rena, felt I understood her and what she was going through, to some degree. I stayed with her for quite awhile, not going home til late. Rena was delicate as a bluet, an artist and she wrote well. She'd done graduate work in Art at Emory. I bought one of her paintings because I loved it, to give her some financial support, to back up my support of her art with action. I've been looking at the dog, thinking Rena, questioning. It always resonates with her. I asked her if she would like me calling her Rena. She seemed friendly to what I said, but she's always friendly to what I say. I'll sleep on it. Dog doesn't seem to me to have a name. She seems better without a name. But I feel that about naming anything alive. I'd get awfully tired of explaining why she doesn't have a name every time somebody asked her name, so tired of it, I'd name her. It would become affected in short time.

sofia in the sun
 
 
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