Dogs at Faithful Friends

It was a sad day at the shelter today.  One of the dogs got loose in the kennel area.  Since it was a nice day the back loading door was open, but tragically both doors in the linking run from the back yard to the drive were ajar.   Silly doggie ran away into street and got hit.   He didn’t make it at the animal emergency room.  Julie was struggling to keep herself calm when explaining.  Poor doggie was almost through the adoption process, too.

There was better news though.  My little sweet Zoey and cutie pie Lexi both got adopted.  Mickie is the only one left of “my” original little doggies.  He is perking up  quite a bit.  I have decided that Butchie is a “dog potato”.  He is a bulldog and only wants to walk to do his business.  He would rather roll in the clover and lie on his back in the sun.  So that is what we did during his “turn”.  He flopped over on his back, so I gave him a nice belly rub while he was sunning himself.  He just lay there so relaxed, so he seemed just like a dog potato.  It was a special moment for us both.  He was so content, and I felt like I was doing something really useful for a change.  He doesn’t see so well due to his bad eyes, and he walked plumb into the dumpster on the way back in. 

The other silly little dog, whose name escapes me at the moment, insists on taking part of the leash in his mouth and “walking the humin” instead of the other way around.  “I’m in charge”, he says.  He is a white with brown spotted mix breed. 

 Today I got to walk Angus and he began to work really well “to heel” – finally.  I praised him non-stop and he would walk forever at heel, so he could be told what a super dog he was, and this was the best walk ever, and he was going to get such a great report card, etc etc etc.  Wish I could say the same for Mango.  He is still a very bad “puller” on the leash – and is so over excited when he is out it is hard to get his attention. 

AngusThere was also a new set of puppies.  I have discovered I am not overly fond of puppies – they are cute to watch, but what whiny babies they are.  I love working with older dogs, and when I thought about it, I realized I’ve never had a puppy since Hildie when I was twelve.  Nickie was a puppy too, though I guess.  But he never seemed like a puppy, even though he was only 10 weeks old when he came to live with us. 

Every time I work with the dogs at the shelter, I come home and appreciate my Lady even more.  My Dad is not exaggerating when he says she is the sweetest dog.  The doggies at the shelter can be sweet and loving, but Lady has such a gentle sweet spirit.  As Ken says, all she wants is to be with us, near us.  And a trip to doggie day care now and then LOL.

Hoos for Hokies Day

 A Hoo for HokiesI wish I could say it was because the world is experiencing miraculous detente of all kinds.

However, it is a show of support for the VaTech community in their difficult path to recover and regroup from the insanity of one poor sick guy, who got a lot of guns, and used them on campus. 

I had such a feeling of amazement when I saw the “Z” on the Rotunda steps being painted over in the Maroon-gold of Tech.  Under ordinary circumstance, if you would have asked me if that would ever happen, I would have replied “When Hell freezes over”.  It turns out that all it takes is to have one suffering person decide to share their own personal brand of hell with their entire community.  It seems obvious that this guy was probably suffering from a condition similar to autism, if not precisely mild autism, which as long as he could function was completely ignored by his family.  I know full well how parents can work hard a denial of  mental and affective disorders in their children, and they don’t have to be Korean heritage either.  Although, thinking of my friends the Chongs, and how trapped between cultures their sons often felt, it must have been very hard for everyone in that family.  However the Chong boys looked to college as the time when they would be “free”.  Perhaps Cho had the same desperate longing, but due to his inherent inability to form ordinary connections with people, he was never going to be free, or find what emotionally he was longing for.  One writer sagely observed that, although he was physically and intellectually and adult, emotionally Cho was a child – a very stunted child. 


Bloody Day in Blacksburg

There was only two students in my Monday class yesterday.  We all were having anxiety about sharing our campus with thousands of people who were essentially strangers.  It was interesting to note, that even myself, had pause for thought in coming in today one day later.  It was unsettling to note that the student gunman in Norris Hall on the VaTech campus took out the person at the head of the class first.  Although there were several profs there who are true heroes …. one tried to hold the door shut with his own body so the students could have time to jump from the windows.  He was a Holocaust survivor in his 70s. He did not survive his injuries, but he saved a lot of his student’s lives. 

In the crucial moment, he showed his true spirit, and laid down his life for his students.  I have nothing but deep admiration for him.  I want to write to his department – who lost 3 profs and one entire class of graduate students.  Not sure of what I want to say, but I do know that their time ahead will be draped in a difficult emotional backdrop, and the survivors who didn’t die will have their own difficulty, not just the families and friends of those who perished.

Virginia Tech Tribute Pages

Back to Studio 5 and more Mask Work

Another session with Per Brahe.
Similar structure but some different masks.
More confident of process, however I did trip over two folks out of my range of vision – I checked only high range not down to my feet.

These are some rough notes I made after the end of movement session in cool down.

Full Body Warmup
all warmups are done to pretty passionate new age music
“Moving Mask” – Per’s original design from William Blake’s Puck (green)
“Moving Mask” – Per’s collection of what I might term larval masks
“Healing Mask” – Per’s own collection of wooden clown noses on strings
“Healing Mask” – Per’s collection of Angel Masks

In my session with the Puck mask, I felt like a temple acolyte and every movement had to be worshipful of the room, the others, and the light.

In my session with the larval mask, I was overcome with a “shit happens and then you die” feeling. It didn’t seem to make any sense to make the effort to stand up, so I lurched around on my knees. I felt free in speaking, but it was all of complaint. I wish I could remember the one phrase that kept coming back again and again. I was told at the end of the session I was wearing “the grotesque” mask.

My session with the clown nose, was of course a joy. However, I am not sure I was as open to the mask as I could have been.

The angel mask experience for me was quite low key this time but deep. I had gone as I was in a black state of creative despair, and was having a hard time finding a way out of it. I know the mask work “worked”, as although it wasn’t a joyous, or thrilling, or any type of emotional or spiritual rush, the angel mask opened up the locked place. I was open again and calm. And very appreciative. My angel mask had a heart shaped jewel set in forehead.
These are some other quick notes I made.

Per told the Kali – Dorgon story from Hindu mythology.
“Training of the American Actor”
Per comments:

“Narcissists can’t do mask work as they have to be willing to let go thir false images of the self, which they work overtime to maintain”

“The mask connects with the image memory in the muscles and releases it.
“The thought or image inside the mask goes into you, activates these memories, and then move, and balance the body”

He also related the story of the mask maker whose father had died, and when he went to see about starting the work on some new masks, this artisan could not work for 2 weeks. He also spoke of not even working on sketches or designs if he wasn’t in the right emotional state, lest his negative energy be transferred to the process and the mask.