Monday, October 3, 2016
Reality, Or What Passes For It
As so often in troubled times, my dears, this last little while I've more than once had need of a Garbo Moment. Here we see her displaying a smile that, for me, rivals the one attributed to that Signora Gioconda about whom we hear so much.
Yes, I don't think this is going to resonate as my favorite autumn, not if these past two weeks are any indication. Nothing disastrous - so far - but rather a steady stream of small annoyances, ranging from the ongoing near-collapse of the public transit system in Our Nation's Capital to the parlous state of our body politic to what is, unfortunately, nothing more than the inevitable march of time. And the gray, rainy weather hasn't been helping, at least until today, which emerged rather miraculously as a last outpost of summer. I had a good long walk in the sunshine this afternoon, and I rather think it's done me a lot of good.
The thing that's really on my mind, I suppose, and distinctly weighing me down, is the recent and dismayingly fast onset of old age for our beloved Koko. There is something noble and heartbreaking about any old dog, but when it's one's own, and moreover one who's been with us through so much over the past twelve years, it's really terribly sad. His old hips are giving out, and while anti-inflammatories are helping, his walk is slow and uncertain and his once-frenetic tail is now just a gently waving flag. There's life in the old boy yet - his appetite is still voracious, and his good temper and gentle nature still shine through - but we're starting down the path of harder conversations to come. The vet has a sympathetic mien and has made it clear that she'll be ready for whatever comes. All things beautiful, indeed...
But we soldier on, and I'm resolved to be more philosophical about it all, even the horror show that unfolds nightly on the evening news. This, too, shall pass, and perhaps we'll have a long and blazing autumn of brilliant trees and long, crisp afternoons. One lives in hope; after all, what else have we?