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

Sunday, January 29, 2012


He had me at woof

I met Blu at Joe Coffee and Cafe in Provincetown (the best, best, best place ever). The door swung open and just ahead of the winter air blast came Blu, accompanied by Kaolin, his very beautiful and friendly mother.  Just one long gaze into his eyes and I became utterly smitten with him.  Yes, his eyes are half blue and half brown.  The effect gives him a look of anticipation or hopefulness. He's sturdy and quiet and friendly.

Kaolin was equally captivating.  Friendly and vivacious, she visited with the other customers, smiling and laughing with little effort. As I was quietly making eyes at Blu, she turned her attention towards me and spoke to me as if we always visit each other at Joe's.  Blu stayed by her side and listened to our talk while keeping one eye on Joe's infamous jar of dog treats on the end of the counter.  He seemed very at home and wonderfully at ease.

They are quite a pair, these two, and they have quite a remarkable story together.   He is a Hurricane Katrina survivor from Mississippi. He was plucked from the flood and rescued by Chris McLaughlin, the founder of Animal Rescue Front, a non-profit organization devoted to rescuing animals caught in natural or man-made disasters. With the help of ARF, Blu was ushered up the east coast through a railroad of volunteers, until he made his way to Massachusetts. He arrived with parasites and heart worm.  He was very afraid of people. His chances of survival were only between 20%-30%.

With patience and gentle care, Kaolin has nursed him back to remarkable health.  She tells about the regulars in Provincetown who have helped him feel safe and welcome, such as Ann, the parking lot attendant who would always give him cookies when they passed by.  She beams when she describes her experience of getting him back into water again.   Using pails for his baths over a course of years, she was able to rebuild his confidence and gain his trust.  Finally last year, she was finally able to get him into the ocean in water up to his chest, and he was able to swim.  "I was so thrilled when we conquered that final hurdle", she beamed.

Kaolin has no way of knowing about his Mississippi family and no way to let them know his fate.  I bet they would be very happy to know he had landed in such a loving and healing place--as Provincetown is.  And if they could meet Kaolin?   She'd have them at hello.

Please read more about Animal Rescue Front at

*And for a really, really good cup of coffee?  Stop in at Joe's Coffee and Cafe, Commercial Street, Provincetown.  Woof.

Winter Mercy

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Provincetown Redux

Race Point

This is where the day ended yesterday.  I waited for the early morning sun and found it peeking between the rooftops on Conant Street, sanguine and serene.  I'd been waiting such a long time--maybe months--but there it was again. I followed it along the soft wavy brick walks of Commercial Street, past Joe's to the ripply low tide harbor, and finally to its grassy cradle beneath the icy winds of Race Point.  This is how day ends here.  

The bright colors and characters along the streets and lanes here speak an uncommon joy. I saw someone wearing seriously bright, bright purple leather boots.  I beamed.  My own feet cheered at the possibility.  I saw sparkly scarves and mad bomber hats.  Black glitter sneakers.  Friendly faces. Swirly snow.   Even in the dead of winter, these streets infuse joy and warmth.  

Yet, that wasn't really it this weekend.  Look up.  Or try not looking up. In spite of your joy boots on the ground, your eyes will drift upward. Town Hall, The Meeting House, and Pilgrim Monument all seem to point you there.  The Provincetown sky arcs over head like a transparent shield, expanding forever and ever, but tucked around our edges like a blanket...and here we are, under cover, safe and sound.  

I walked from the West End to the East End and back again, retracing summer steps, remembering the happiness of that time.  I could still hear the echo. But my eyes were fixed on now, the present sky, my feet following the sun to the edge of the night, the edge of the sea, and the very edge of the sand. Racing forward into the wild wind, I opened my arms wide and ran down the beach, silently shouting thank you to something or someone, and holding on to this peace.  I watched as the last drop of sun was absorbed by the earth. 

This is how day ends, here...