Hurricane Katrina had just demolished the southern coast of the United States, and Rita was lining up off shore to finish the job her bitchy sister had started. The flood of refugees had impacted southern Arkansas, bringing with it not only the unfortunate souls displaced by the flooding, but also the predatory gang members looking to expand their territories north from New Orleans. These parasitical bottom feeders started a cycle of mayhem that negatively affects Arkansas’ crime statistics to this very day. I know this to be a fact because I was in the middle of it, working the refugee centers, and quickly found out that there are both good and very, very, bad people affected by any disaster.
Then I completely ruptured my Achilles tendon playing basketball and requred extensive surgery, and my world really went pear shaped. I had no idea that the pain drugs I was taking had the effect of making me completely insane and claustrophobic; I’m sure that my displays of lunacy was highly entertaining to those around me, but I was a miserable wreck. On top of all this, it was an oppressively dry Arkansas summer, and my favorite dwarf Japanese maple out front was drying up and dying, and due to my full length leg cast, I was incapable of getting outside to water the poor soul, and she died a lingering death.
The song that seemed to come up regularly during this time was “Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day; a great song, but also expressed my feelings a little too perfectly.
So, in this state of mind, there I was. Attempting to eat a ham sandwich, leg propped up in on pillows in front of me as a constant reminder of how ineffective and insignificant I was when the world around me seemed to be going to hell in a handbasket. The electronic sewer pipe (the TV) was continuosly pumping digital sludge directly into my living room at an alarming rate, and I could literally feel my anxiety levels pegging the needle in the red.
Then I looked down. My goofy dogs were all in a semicircle at my feet(foot, actually), affixing me with laser beams of guilt in an effort to convince me to give up my ham sammich. They had their backs toward the TV, oblivious to the hell that was supposedly breaking loose all around them.
Then it dawned on me: these dogs were totally unconcerned about the mayhem because they had perfect faith that, regardless of what happened “out there”, they would be taken care of. And if these dogs had such faith in me, who proves myself fallible every minute of every day, why should I not have faith in a Higher Power that has proven perpetually infallible?
“Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” I would change “consider the lillies” to “consider the puppies”. It all comes down to the old saying that it will all work out in the end; if it ain’t working out, then it ain’t the end.
Turn off the TV, and turn towards the situations that you can affect directly. Tune out the cacophony of negativity and tune into the peace exhibited by those puppies. We’re all in this together, and it ain’t over until the black dog charks.
we be of one blood. ye and I