looking at you through the glass

June 11, 2019

As much as I hate to admit it, Soleil is getting old. When we go to the park, I don't throw the ball as far, nor as many times for her, and after a while she's content to find her shady corner under one of the scrubby trees by the fence, and watch Arwen rocket around the field, fetching at full tilt, in an endless loop. She has aches and pains that she can't hide, and she needs occasional doses of a doggy analgesic to sort out a wonky back or a gimpy foreleg. She's gone nearly entirely white around the eyes and the muzzle, but that's easier to ignore because she's a light-coloured dog to begin with. She snores when she sleeps, and she does more of that too (the sleeping, I mean). 

She has been raised in relative isolation; for her entire life, we've lived either in an entirely rural area or in a small village. We are both rather introverted people, so we don't have a lot of visitors either. As a consequence, we've got a rather introverted dog, and she will sometimes physically remove herself from situations that are noisier or busier than what she's accustomed to. So it was no surprise to see her sitting off at a far corner of the deck when the family got together. She'd found a comfortable distance to participate at, and she simply sat quietly, gazing off at some distant point. She seemed so peaceful and at the same time so vulnerable and alone...it's a strange mix, this territory occupied by an introvert, especially looking at it from the outside, when I normally see it from the inside, with my own eyes, and my heart melted with empathy and love.

There was an opened casement window between Soleil and myself when I took this picture, and the window not only provided a frame, but also a barrier that reinforced the sense of isolation. I knew it was a poignant picture when I framed it in the viewfinder, and that it will be one of those images that I will keep in my mind as a remembrance of her many years, after she has gone. When I converted the photo to black and white, it became even more emotionally charged.

A line from the band Stone Sour came into my head as I took the photo, and when I looked up the full lyrics, they truly seemed to belong to this image, that moment:

 

I'm looking at you through the glass
Don't know how much time has passed
Oh God, it feels like forever
But no one ever tells you that forever feels like home
Sitting all alone inside your head

'Cause I'm looking at you through the glass
Don't know how much time has passed
All I know is that it feels like forever
When no one ever tells you that forever feels like home
Sitting all alone inside your head

How do you feel? That is the question
But I forget, you don't expect an easy answer
When something like a soul becomes initialized
And folded up like paper dolls and little notes
You can't expect a bit of hope
And while you're outside looking in
Describing what you see
Remember what you're staring at is me

 

 


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