Waiting for David

The things you learn from a human being that stands proudly in his 16th month alive on this planet is that life is, quite simply, a gift. That this is as straightforward as it gets. It is about the next few minutes, every next few minutes. It is happiness. It is promise. It is delight. It is unconditional.

The things you learn about families from the way other people’s family’s work is that the day-to-day functioning moulds emotion and dips its toe in admiration while it becomes something almost tangible when you see it enlivened from the inside out.

The things you learn from watching people in love is that not everything has to be black or white. That love is real when it exists in the light and the dark and that glitter can still shine between us when we are different. A difference of preference and a difference of opinion only asks for one thing: to be heard in the simple difference of understanding.

Round and round we go in natural, undeliberate circles of light and dark, love and ambivalence, ignorance and the smile. The things you learn about being alive come from people who are alive. Who see and experience rather than look and witness.

The things you learn in the light of contagious finesse and a default setting of optimism is to bask therein. Soak it up. Listen more. Feel full. Try sampling the next few minutes, every next few minutes. Try sampling happiness and prodding your senses from the inside out. See that glitter can still shine between us when we are different.

Follow rivers.

The meander is exactly where you though you wanted to be.

© Dylan Balkind

The Electric Fence

#TheFinnDiaries

Before I knew why, I was running and crying. Something awfully terrible had happened and I was looking for my dad. I was dizzy and sore and my face was pounding. When my dad came to see what all my noise was about, he picked me up and made me feel better. I heard Granddad explain to him that I touched my electric fence with my nose. Then he said I went flying backwards and then started crying.

I always go and play on my rock that leads up to my little wall that is protected by my electric fence. That is a fence that has electricity in it so that mean, bad people can’t come in and take our things without asking or saying please. I can’t really remember what happened but it was not good and I hope it doesn’t happen again.

Once everything had calmed down, I sat and looked at the scene. It makes me sadder because I don’t want to stop playing in those flowers. I must be careful.

That was on Saturday. There was a very big storm later that night and my Gogo and my Granddad needed me to curl up with them and keep them warm. On Sunday there was a lot of chilling. That is when they take it easy. I didn’t want chilling so I kept myself busy and my Dad gave me a bone. My first bone. Then he said he had another first for me – a bath.

This is when you go in the warm water and get all your fur cleaned with shampoo. He then made me dry with a two very big towels and a wind blowing thing and I was so happy after that because I was shiny and new.

My name is Finn. Good and clean and electric fresh.

The New Normal

I heard a song that made me think it was his anthem for our end. I choose them so why shouldn’t he? Anger is not mine to own. And to be honest, the song’s pretty close as far as anthems go…

I am my fury and my sorrow. I am my courage and my embarrassment. I am my solidarity and my alienation from myself… but I am still a solid human being. I am my bolshy and my blindness. I am my craving and my diet. I am my silly and my togetherness… but I am still a solid human being. I am the profit and the debt of me. I am the hunger and the overweight. I am the lover and the hater… Still, I am a solid human being.

A theory of not being truly counted was what I put on my menu for so long. And as much as I thought no one was ordering, they are. Empathy is closer than I thought and the brush off-forget happens less often than I believed. The harsh punishment of insecurity is the constant script that gets scribed in interiority. The pro is, surely, that it is better to be cooler than you think you are.

I am joyful and I hide sorrow. I am strong and yet I nest a vice. I am smart yet make the same mistakes over and over again. I am here yet disappear often. I am full of love and still I am full of anger, but I am still a solid human being. I am friendly and fond, bitchy and hard, comforting and kind, abrasive and harsh. Still, I am a solid human being.

I am uninhibited yet insecure. I am loud yet unknowingly quiet. I am sure, scared, brave and nervous and I am telling the world of my heart while scooping stories from closets into places before-unlabeled.

Walking along the fringe is a place you choose for yourself. And it is there in this descaled platoon where beauty is found in creating something out of nothing at all.

The new normal is in the realisation that you don’t need to create demons to fight with in rooms that told stories about the artist in the alone. It is when old school gets old that the path leads to a brave story like this one that I am exposed to experience now.

And so I walk… and where I go has it’s own song to sing. It might be about how we used to see forever, or now about how forever doesn’t see us. Because our future for us was one that made me realise that you incomplete me.

Still… I am my sickness and my wisdom. I am the arid and the plenty. I am begrudging and the welcoming… But I am still a solid human being. I lock the gate on my me-ness and I shout about its accessibility when I choose to. I am the concealer and the bragger, the giver and the beggar. I am the lazy and the defiant… But I am still a solid human being.

Songs are written to be lived inside of, for one and for all. For me, now, this is mine.

© Dylan Balkind

My big weekend

#TheFinnDiaries

This was a very full weekend. I did lots. I went to the doctor and she put an injection in me to make me strong against diseases so I can go to the park and still be fine. Because sometimes the other dogs can make a little guy like me sick, but not now. I have been booked for another meeting with the doctor in December, but no one will tell me what that is about so I guess it is supposed to be a surprise.

When my dad was paying for my injections, he said I could choose a harness and a leash. I chose the blue ones and when we got home, we walked down to the end of the road and back.

This is me walking down to the end of the road and back.

On Sunday, my dad’s friend Christiaan organised a puppy play date. We went to their house which is close to ours which was good because I don’t like the car. It makes me sleepy. When we got there I saw my friend Harley who I have met twice before.

This is me and Harley. That’s me on the right.

A little while later, another two more dogs came! Olive and Troy. We all played and had fun for the whole day. I think they all loved me a lot because they said that they loved me a lot. Our dads are going to organise more dates like that and I will be happy and they will love me a lot.

When I got tired I went to sleep on my dad’s lap. Then he took me home.

This weekend was fuller!

My name is Finn. I love the weekend.

To re-cover a couch

#TheFinnDiaries

There comes a time in every puppy’s life when he shows he grew up and made good decisions. Today was not one of those days.

When my Gogo gets home from the Buddha job, she lets me free in my house to run and catch things and play and jump and bark. She also sits and works a bit on her little screen and then I watch her and play and watch her and play. In between that I think about changing the world.

Today I found braiding behind her couch. This was something I knew I could change. This braiding was very tightly stuck to the couch – but not too tight for me. I knew I could get it loose and after using my sharpest teeth I did. Then I heard it. The noise. It went like ‘mwraaaahhh warhhaaaamm…’. You know… that big noise that my Gogo can make?! She came toward me and I had a funny feeling she wasn’t as impressed with my unpicking as I was.

Exhibit A

I got a hiding.

It was sore.

But before I could explain myself she put me outside and closed the door. I remember her saying she wanted to recover that big chair and I thought I was helping my Gogo by starting to help.

There comes a time in every puppy’s life when he shows he grew up and made good decisions. Today was not one of those days.

My name is Finn. Un-picker of the couch.

The leftover lemon

#TheFinnDiaries

It was a fresh Saturday morning. I had finished munching on my morning food that my Dad gave me and then it was time to jump around and bark at the wind. It wasn’t long before I found myself in my corner patch. This is where my humans throw organic stuff that they are not going to eat. They say it goes back into the ground and makes the sand yummy for my plants and my trees (which I eat when they are not looking).

Anyway… this is where I found a yellow half ball of sour. It was an alien in my patch and it was my very important job to make sure no harm came to my humans because of it. I pounced and bit and pawed until I was sure it was lifeless.

It was.

But you never know.

My name is Finn. Defender of my humans.

Sleeping arrangements

#TheFinnDiaries

When my Dad and my Gogo brought me to my house, I got to see how they had chosen all these different rooms to do different things in.  In my kitchen, they make food for them and for me. In my dining room they eat their food (or sometimes on the couches if they want to watch the picture machine). I have my own set of bowls and sit before I eat. I think they like that because then they speak in nice sounds and stroke me on my back.

In my house, there are three other rooms with big soft boxes. I used to sleep with my Dad on his box but then this one time (or maybe three) I needed to wee so bad but was barking and bouncing and biting, so I just made a wee where I was standing. Wow my Dad got cross! So I have decided to sleep on my floor bed.

My name is Finn. Peacekeeper of my home.

My name is Finn

#TheFinnDiaries

I was born on the 25th June, 2012. I had to stay in the nursery with my host Mom and Dad for six weeks until my real Dad came to fetch me. I have one brother and three sisters but they had to stay when I left so I think they lost contact with me.

I settled into my new home very quickly. My humans made everything nice for me and my Dad bought me lots of presents.

For five days in my week I watch our house for five hours all by myself. I’m not scared because I have my teddy-puppy and am learning to bark pretty loud. If a bad human heard me they would run away.

My name is Finn. Guardian of my home.

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