I live in a country that is deporting an 11-year old girl because her paperwork got screwed up by bureaucrats. Hopefully, her attorneys will be able to stop this madness. But think of this: whoever was in charge didn’t just step up and fix what went wrong. They let their mistake terrify this girl and her family. Who would do that? Us, apparently. Americans. We do that.
On Monday, I saw a dead bird on the beach, surrounded by a circle of carefully arranged rocks. The bird was large like a goose but wasn’t a goose and it was lying on its side, its body arranged in the circle, its long neck a perfect S. I stopped a long time to admire the bird and later tried to explain the oddness of finding it to someone but my description fell flat and sounded, even to me, strange and too fascinated.
I sat with a young friend while she nursed her 3-week old baby. She said she was going back to work in three weeks and I said right away, “that’s very soon” and then I caught myself. I told her that I’d gone back to work just a month after my baby was born and people thought I was crazy. And she looked at me in that wise way that new mothers have and said, “that must have been very hard back then” and she was right. It was. I didn’t have any explanation for why I did it, I just remember feeling like I had to.
“These people have been disappointing you for years.” Not everybody has a life partner who distills and dispenses such wisdom. He is spare in his analysis but succinct and merciless when he lets loose. This particular gem has been in my head quite a bit lately, giving me much to ponder.
We are now ten days without a dog in our house. Last week, we got a sympathy card from the vet that included two little squares with Minnie’s front paw prints. We put them in a drawer with BowWow’s paw prints along with their collars and tags. The memorial drawer, I guess. Today, we got the vet’s bill and as I read the line items, I remembered each step, a week ago Wednesday. It’s very quiet here and we have no one to worry about but ourselves.