Reverb13 prompt: “Give us a sensory tour of 2013. How would you describe the year that’s passing in terms of: Sight? Sound? Smell? Taste? Touch?”
Sight: the sunrises, the sky, Dexter’s sweet face, Sam’s happy wiggle, that one time Sam and I were walking at the park and Eric was running the Homecoming 5k and we were heading back home and saw someone walking down the hill towards us and I thought “that guy looks like Eric” and then realized Sam was doing his happy wiggle and it was Eric, how our new front garden was so full it looked like a jungle, flipping the light on and seeing blood on the floor where Dexter was standing that last morning he was with us.
Sound: music, the birds singing outside in the still dark of morning, the buzz of the crickets, the hum of the hummingbirds at the cabin in Crystal Lakes where we stayed the week after Dexter died, dog sighs, the sound of the snow on the roof melting, ocean waves coming in and out like breath, the wind rustling the aspen leaves, the bubble of the river when it’s full and fast, the soft sound of Eric’s voice when he talks to the dogs, laughter, quiet.
Smell: tomato blossoms, that one time Dexter’s head smelled like sunshine, incense and patchouli which I’d stopped using while Dexter was sick because it sometimes made him sneeze, warm biscuits, hot coffee, the house smelling of cookies, the bark of the pine trees that smell like vanilla.
Taste: smoked mashed sweet potatoes, coffee that tasted like melted dark chocolate, fresh cucumbers from our garden, smooth creamy avocado, the best Yay Turkey sandwich of all time, salty potato chips and melt in your mouth donuts after so long “not allowed,” KIND bars, Noosa strawberry rhubarb yogurt with granola and almonds and raspberries.
Touch: hugging like you mean it, never the first one to let go, leaning against him while standing in the kitchen with a dog’s head pushed between our legs, not wanting to move or disturb Dexter as he rested even though my leg was falling asleep, the way Dexter would pet me back, curling his toes against my arm, the nudge of Sam’s nose or sometimes his whole head into my hand, his head ramming into the back of my legs, “trading some” with Eric, how soft Dexter’s fur always was, how careful his kisses, how he’d shove a toy or his whole body in my lap when he wanted to play.
Project Reverb prompt: “Anchor | What kept you tethered in 2013?”
Practice, coming back again and again, showing up with an open heart, riding the discomfort, the waves of emotion and thought, watching how each one would arise and dissolve if I let it. Presence, wanting to experience every moment we had left together. Therapy. Friendship and love, connection to others, an awareness that I can be the love I need. Eric and Sam, my tiny family. My work and practice spaces, which can feel so solid, so permanent, so spacious and safe.