Private Thoughts

Private Thoughts

Walking in the woods is a treasure hunt and private thoughts are the treasure. They are nothing like the manic cacophony produced from multitasking nor the annoying hectoring of the inner critic nor the unconscious pop culture regurgitation that feeds monkey mind. They don’t happen until the entire mental frequency calms down into soft rolling waves of just being. The best way I know to get to this mental landscape is to go on a hike with the dogs.

Private thoughts are conversations with yourself. They are full of secrets and the wonderful thing is that they stay that way. Something all your own, only for you. It’s lovely to be seen and recognized in this world, but don’t skimp on being the first audience for this recognition. See yourself. Be your own best friend. Be your most trusted ally. It’s a great deal because you will be together all the way, the only one who for sure will be with you in the end.

I find that my private thoughts generally run in several wide terrains: gratitude towards the people in my life, new creative ideas and pleasure in observation.

How wonderful it is to have all the senses operating. I can smell and see and feel and hear the wind. My feet work. I can climb. I can see my beautiful dogs scampering ahead, no longer held back from their desires and curiosities by a leash, they can do as they please. So much pleasure for me in giving pleasure to them.

That brings me to gratitude. I am so grateful to all the people who love me and support me. I have time to think of them, to appreciate them, to miss them. Holding them and honoring them in my private thoughts brings us closer. I have time to feel their distinction and value. I want to be a better person for them. My thoughts of love repair the damage of the past week. Negativity seems stupid. Such a relief to unburden myself from my petty ruminations.

Slowly observation and gratitude give way to new ideas. I think about what I am working on and working towards. In this relaxed state I don’t feel overwhelmed, I feel excited. I don’t feel like I am creating tasks, I feel like I am creating fun.

It may not stay this way when I get back home. I know from experience it will not. These private thoughts are like watching a hummingbird drink nectar from a flower only inches way. It’s so beautiful I hold my breath and then, off it flies, out of sight. But at least the sense memory is there. I didn’t imagine it.

Intimacy

Intimacy

What is intimacy? What is the best barometer to register whether or not you have it? I’ll tell ya straight up. It’s the presence of poop.

If you can tell who’s been in the bathroom just by the smell, congratulations, you have intimacy.

You also need to buy some Simple Truth Odor Eliminator room spray which they sell at Ralphs. Awesome stuff.

Please bear with me. Or leave while pinching your nose. I’m sorry in advance. But I really do have something to say about what nonromantic intimacy is, it’s value (very high) and it’s price (very high).

I am an observer of the mundane. I suppose we all are, but I tend to really mull it over. And I’ve noticed that that which is the most meaningful to me, is bound up in physical, animal biology. The more I value something, the closer I seem to be to its turds. Let’s start with the dogs. And disclaimer. I am not, repeat NOT, going to get graphic. I am not a third grader. I want to amuse you and maybe goose you into alternate perspective, I don’t want to disgust you.

I pick up approximately half the poops pooped by my pooches. My husband picks up the other half. I am pretty sure I am more intimate with my dogs than with any other living creatures. They sleep in bed with us. Decaf, the male dog prefers to sleep between me and my husband with just his head poking out of the sheets just like a human. It’s so freaking cute. I marvel at it almost every day. I know I can reach an arm over and give him a firm snuggle and he will not resist. He is totally there for me. That’s intimacy.

The wedding of availability and trust, he is there for me without fear and I am there for him without harm. I know I can count on him. The price for this great gift? Poop.

If we lived in the woods or on a large tract of land the price would be cheaper, but I would still be responsible for his basic needs. It’s not so much that I have to actually physically deal with it (though as a city dweller I do) it’s that I am responsible for him and I can’t casually come and go from that arrangement. That’s where intimacy comes in, it’s the fruit of unbroken tending.

With humans, we can mostly skip this arrangement except with very young children, very old kin and the unlucky. I am not going to tackle all that now as I live with my husband and a 16-year-old. If I could keep all my doings in this arena utterly private I gladly would. I assume those with multiple bathrooms take advantage to protect each other from total intimacy. We only have one and so unfortunately, we often know much more about each other’s animal activities than anyone desires. But there is a positive flip side to this annoying lack of privacy and that is humor of being known. Humor is perhaps the best way to demonstrate you know someone. We know each other over here and it’s not underrated.

We bypass this specific level of intimacy with friends, which is precisely what is so great about friends. But poop is just a metaphor. The friends we know best, we’ve metaphorically passed by their recently used bathroom. We’ve seen them in tears, we’ve heard them yell and scream, we’ve felt annoyed by them and yet we don’t leave. Intimacy is access to the full range. Intimacy is knowledge of the full range. Intimacy is measured in the width of the barrier. If you can smell it, the barrier is quite thin.