The other morning I woke up with an ominous sense that something was just not right. My household is one of rituals. My morning always begins with my old dog, Diego, doing his pee-pee dance at the foot of my bed hollering at me to let him outside. On this day, Diego was absent. I was unnerved by this. I have come to count on certain things and when they’re not there, I get a little uneasy. I knew something was up.
Walking my slippered feet downstairs, my suspicions were confirmed. My damn dog was laying on our old green couch with his head on a throw pillow looking at me with the sad, cloudy eyes of shame and disappointment. On the carpet in front of the couch and beyond was a crime scene of dog-doo of unnatural proportion. Diego got into the garbage the night before and paid a heavy price. Unfortunately, it was a price that I was now forced to pay as well. Cleaning this disaster was not on my day’s itinerary.
I felt bad for the guy. I called him off the couch to take him outside, just in case he wasn’t completely empty. Though, based on the volume and distribution of his illness, this seemed unlikely. Anyway… my plans for the morning took a turn. I had not anticipated this possibility, yet here I was. I was surprised and not surprised and just kept moving; another story in the sea of stories of my life. We all have great canons of stories.
All great stories begin with the stroke of the pen. They shift from an idea or a dream into a physical form. The ink on the page represents the blood pulsing through the heart of a dream. Getting the pen to the page requires work, which is probably why so many wonderful stories go untold. Dreams require work. We must stretch and push and pull and stride forward against the wind to make our magic.
Dreams get stalled and there are moments when we can’t find the words to our stories. In these moments, we must simply keep the pen moving. The words are there. Our words don’t leave us. They hide, but they’re always with us even when we think we’ve lost them. These can be difficult times. But, proving again God’s absurd and sometimes cruel sense of humor, these difficult times may be the most important ones we experience.
They force us to find new words and to change our stories. We must reinvent and re-create and grow. Through this growth, we see the world differently. The world becomes new again, full of opportunities and hope and fresh blooms in the trees.
Life is funny. The unexplainable and inconceivable are the norm. We’re often surprised by the truth that our plans don’t always work out. When our tree gets shaken and we must make a new move or invent one, we try to fight it and we lose. We can hold-fast and set our feet and minds and we still lose. We must adapt and adjust our sails to greet the new wind. This is usually uncomfortable, but also vital to the beautiful evolution of our spirits.
Nonetheless, sometimes the clouds are dark and the days seem to begin and end with neither a sunrise nor a sunset. It’s just dark. In these times, when we’ve lost our words, the best one can do is to hold tight to the idea that our words have not lost us… and they will find us. They always do…
[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). He also runs the new Waterland Arcade, located at 22306 Marine View Drive South. Dave extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, Dave needs more friends – find him on Facebook here.