verge (vʉrj)
the edge, brink, or margin (of something): also used figuratively the verge of the forest, on the verge of hysteria

to tend or incline (to or toward)
to be in the process of change or transition into something else; pass gradually (into) dawn verging into daylight

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Otis Morning

Otis is back.  His timing is always impeccable.  He moved in on Monday with his special blanket and duffle bag, and his favorite bedtime sweet potato snacks.  He brought me a very sweet gift--a lovely book, and his own gift to himself to put under the tree.  He thought of everything.

My timing, however, is horrendous.  Some people have built-in dimmer switches--little dials that provide a nuanced range of choices between all-the-way on and all-the-way off.  I'm not one of them.  Instead, I have just two settings: overdrive and sideways.  Consequently, I am just now cleaning up from Thanksgiving and doing all the Christmas shopping, cooking, and cleaning in the two days before Christmas (overdrive) while also deciding that there's no better time than Right Now to sit down to write some blog (sideways).

Otis' timing requires that I forgo overdrive and sideways every four hours to go out and play with him.  He's my plug-in dimmer switch.  He has a way of getting his point across:  when I get going too fast and he starts seeing contrails in my wake, he comes and leans all of his weight on me.  He's very big, so it's impossible to ignore his message.  I sigh, he barks with delight, and off we go to run and laugh at ourselves.  And whether I'm writing, working overtime, or madly careening through the stores, my mind is grounded by Otis and our walk schedule.  Otis keeps me on task.

Overdrive and sideways are useful settings at times.  They demand great efficiency and creativity. I've done my best work in these zones. They are also great noise-makers, the inner racket usually being the loudest and most distracting. But something caught me this week. During our early morning walk when it was just the two of us and the earth, I was stunned to suddenly hear the quiet of winter.  There was no sound at all. At first I didn't know what I was hearing--I didn't recognize it. There was just gray on white under a pale pink sky. It was so painstakingly quiet that had it not been for Otis and his stride, I might have crumpled under the weight of such stillness.  It's easy to miss this in overdrive.

Perhaps overdrive is easier.  Overdrive allows me to mask the solitary stillness of my winter.   This quiet is slightly uncomfortable. As I said, Otis came at the right time.  I might otherwise miss this. Early each morning he nudges me back out into the deep quiet.  I trust him.  And then it dawns on me.  Perhaps it is in the deepest of quiet where the best work is done.

Otis and I wish you joy in the noisiness of this season, and peace in its quiet.

1 comment:

  1. Peace and joy to you as well. With Otis or without.