Three months after Wolfie\’s demise, we\’re still a one-dog, two-fish household. I had forgotten how simple life with a single dog, especially a single small dog, can be. Gone are interminable grooming sessions, when my arm would give way before making even a dent in Wolfie\’s perennially shedding, dense undercoat. Gone are the daily heartbreaking walks, when he would alternate between hopping on three legs and lagging behind on four. And gone, at last, is the anxious watching–is he getting worse? Is he miserable? What should I do?
With only Bisou like a little red shadow at my side, the days seem to have expanded, and I have been using the extra time and energy to revisit a project that I began four years ago–a personal account of my two decades with CFS, enlivened and redeemed by the company of dogs. A couple of years ago I got as far as printing out a first draft, and then the illness itself took over and robbed me of the energy to write about it.
But now that I no longer have a garden to tend or meals to cook, let alone a large sick dog to care for, I have managed to revisit that old manuscript. And that is why I\’ve gone so long without writing here. I\’ve been busy keeping the almost 70,000 word narrative straight in my head and on the page, taking out enormous chunks of blather (I am, if nothing else, a superb deleter), and striving to tell a good story while also telling the truth, whatever that is. I used to find writing–essays, speeches, short stories–less than agonizing. But this memoir business is a bear. A grizzly bear, in fact.
There are hundreds of writers out there, prolific novelists, essayists, and memoirists who somehow manage to write copiously and continuously on their blogs. I am not one of them. You should know that I have been been beating myself up about this regularly, though. I have been grossly lacking in blogger\’s noblesse oblige, all but abandoning My Green Vermont without explanation or apology. But the truth is that I never intended to stop posting. Every day I would tell myself that I was planning to write a post, that I would very soon write a post, that I was about to write a post any minute now…And then–you know how it is–guilt and embarrassment took over, so that the thought of ever writing anything here again made me cringe.
Today I have obviously stopped cringing long enough to write this, but I suspect that I\’ll have to get that memoir into a lot better shape before I can post regularly again. In the meantime, I\’m still thinking, thinking, thinking about getting a kitten for Bisou.