There are all these layers to stories, and one of the layers to my story is Ella. She is part of me in a way that skeptics can go ahead and laugh about, no one likes you guys anyways.
Sometimes I think about moving away somewhere, and I can’t bear to think about leaving Ella or Ted. They are my best friends and kind of dog offspring, and it would be so terribly hard to leave. I don’t know how many people factor in their pets when they are not sure if they should stay at home, but I certainly do.
I know the need to leave is always going to be there, I’ll be the first to admit that. It was part of me long before I had ever seen the ocean. I know I can find home anywhere. I know that part of me wants to live everywhere for a time. I know that isn’t possible.
I dream of living in New Mexico, simmering into the desert and running around in the dry heat and memories of White Sands, Albuquerque for fun, Native culture and the part of me that will never feel funny home unless I am driving through the Desert.
I dream of wandering through the forests of France, Germany, Beligium, anywhere that makes me never want to come back. I dream of seeing tiny cottages and vines creeping up the sides and things that hatched out of my imagination and are still so hard to know were always real. Wild strawberries, that kinda thing. Lavender that grows wild. Falling asleep outside.
I dream of walking past the ruins of cities I have only ever heard of in name only. Macchu Picchu. The Great Wall of China. They may be tourist traps now, but if you linger I bet you can smell the scent of ghosts. Something forgotten and vaguely remembered, I walk that way anyways when I live. I want to remember it there.
I want to sit very still in English Gardens. See great halls and the white pebbles they have in the movies that lead to the doorways. I want to just walk among roses, or giant lily pads, or places I could never dream of except to wander into them. I don’t want to be afraid, and I want to talk to everyone. Imagination sure, but reality is so much sweeter. Have you ever seen rain fall in the forest in a way that makes you forget to breathe? That is the joy I’m seeking. I can hold down a “traditional job” just fine, but I want to see the rain become like the ocean.
Ella is beginning to be a dog again. She has been digging me holes in the dirt. She sees something when she chases Ted, and she digs holes because he hides, it’s like she’s looking for him. It is home to see her come alive again. It is strange, to teach Ella how to be a dog. She is learning, though. She only knows how to chase me when I join their game, the one that she chases Ted. She chases me now. But she doesn’t know how to be chased. That makes sense, if you’ve ever read anything I’ve ever written. I am going to let her have this great patience and knowledge I have now, someday she will know how fun it is to be chased. Until then, she was always my child. She is part of me. That doesn’t change. And for that reason, it is hard to be here still, it is hard to not be here still, it is hard to see the black patch on Ted’s butt grow further into Ella and still know that it will be some time before she knows how to be chased or before he knows how to chase her. It’s a bizarre game we’ve stumbled upon, here in my backyard. It’s strange to just let it happen.
But she is mine, she is part of me. Someone has got to teach her how to be a dog. If not, she will be trapped being a human, and I want greater things for her. I want her to be free. And I will stay if I have to, to know that can happen.
All the love,