tmbt: barking at nothing
I walked step by step through my morning. Walk. Putter. Breakfast. Shower. Putter. Make Lunch. Pack a picnic! Yes, pack a picnic! And I toddled down to Pearl Street on my bicycle, still a little aching from a recent back outage, and did a little shopping knowing that my cute little picnic lunch was waiting in the basket of my bike. I made my way to the creek and saw a little half-shaded bench on the otherside – perfect for lunch and watching all the rafters and tubers drift down the bubbling rapids there. It looked like such a perfect spot that the barking dog didn’t deter me. And did he bark!
This old black lab just barked and barked at… nothing. The water. Maybe the light and shadow of the sun through the water onto the rocks. Maybe fish he imagined to be there. Apparently he does this in all bodies of water, though. He has gray around his mouth and has been doing this barking at nothing for a long long time.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about speaking, well barking, actually – speaking up. Saying it. Giving rise to unrest. Getting vocal. I have a bark, but it stops most days just below my vocal cords. And they are tired. So very tired. I have a little censoring brain there, just below my vocal cords. It’s the same one that sends warning flags up to my face when a difficult passage in a song is upon me and may not sound perfect. The censor sounds the alarm that we are approaching a likelihood of foolishness. Same flags when I’m angry. Everyone has a right to their opinion, their quirks, their blind spots, their small cruelties born of misery… so why say anything? Aren’t I above pointing out others’ flaws even if they hurt me? Why make another person feel bad for their inconsiderate tendencies when I certainly have my own?
Why? Because not opening the clamp is turning my throat into a vice, that’s why. Maybe it won’t solve the problem and maybe I will look like a jerk once in a while, but I am starting to think that it will be better than this lump that seems to take on bigger and better clamping qualities as I age. And maybe I need to speak up just for the practice, just for the introduction of sound up and out of a place not-always-pretty-and-put-together. Maybe I need to bark at nothing just to get the hang of it. Aren’t all the barks just a call into the abyss of nothing anyway? Big and small, beautiful barks at nothing at all.