Faith via Fido 

Dogs and humans have gotten on famously for eras. Companionship takes many forms yet none is quite as enriching as that with a dog.

Together you form a bond with minimal linguistic commonality. Verbal communication happens with just a name and a few words, and maybe the occasional one-sided conversation. But non-verbal communication is one of the many splendors of the dog-human relationship. Our dogs read our facial expressions and respond to our eye contact. They see us for what we are at the moment that we are; they see right through us.

Every day when you come home, your dog rolls out the red carpet runs to you and hails the heavens. You are home! You are together! Reunited! Everything is awesome! Whether the separation has been for hours or months, the dog-sponsored welcoming home party is unparalleled in its enthusiasm.

When dogs enjoy us so completely, they validate our existence. When we treat our dogs humanely and with love, we validate theirs. On the darkest of human days a dog is a friend to remind you that you have at least two reasons to live: your dog, because who wouldn’t want to stick around for a fur-clad hero, and you, because obviously you can’t be but so bad if someone as great as your dog loves you so much.

Not everyone shares my love of dogs. Some hate dogs, some are afraid of them, and for some, dogs just aren’t their preferred form of companionship. That’s ok. Those feelings do not detract from the spiritual bond that exists between a dog and her human.

On March 20, 2015, on a snowy first day of spring in New York, I lost the dog I grew up with. My mom and I brought her home weeks before my 11th birthday. She moved with me when I went to college. She was the ring bearer in my wedding. She came with me and my husband when we sold what little we had and came to New York City. My new home in Florida is the first home I have ever lived in without her.

Cody and me at Flushing Meadows park in Queens, 2014

That little dog was and is my blessing. With her presence I was forced to hold myself accountable. Just one glance at my eyes and my face and she read me and then responded accordingly. She always knew how to exist alongside me. It has been a struggle to live with myself without her to keep me real.

I miss her. But I know it is time for a new friend. It is time to accept her departure. So I have. Though I make this announcement for fear that something will go wrong, tomorrow my husband and I will bring home a new pup, a new world of possibility, a new future, wrapped in the consistent bundle of furry faith that stands the test of time.

A glance at the future, February 2016

 

Journalism About a Journalist, Part 2

Lo and behold it was not taken. Of course not! It’s lousy. And such a shame to be so because I wrote it about a person I admire. One of my top role models. But I think (spoiler alert) Steve Inskeep would understand. It is the first thing I’ve ever written  in call-it-straightism.

How wonderfully absurd that days, countable hours, after I decide to give my dream of journalism another stab (after giving up on it years ago) – wholehearted and head-on this time – I hear on the radio, driving across a Tampa bridge, minutes away from my new home after hours on the road, that my most favorite newsperson will be miles away in just a few days. What?! Call it a coincidence, call it a sign. Whatever it is, it only fueled my reignited fire.

Man, oh man did it live up to the hype. Part of the reason my article is kind of lousy is because I didn’t originally intend to write about his talk. I just came to listen. Then somehow I worked up the nerve to question him about something that’s itched at me for years. Basically, how does he do his job so well[!]? His response was every bit as diligent as the questions he poses in interviews. (See below for a paired down version of the answer.)

I’ve interviewed people since I’ve been here. I’m pecking away at those profiles pieces. I must write faster otherwise I won’t make it. Aware it would take me awhile to get those pieces done, I seized the opportunity after the fact to write a concise bit about Inskeep’s talk with Carson Cooper at USF Sarasota.

By the way, he signed [Great] Aunt Jim’s WHRO (the 757 NPR station) mug. How pleased she would be. Stay tuned for more info on the history of the matriarchal NPR mugs.

Inskeep mug

Following is the article in question.

“Calling It Straight: NPR’s Steve Inskeep Comes to USF Sarasota”

Steve Inskeep comes to Flahrida

Steve Inskeep at the USF Sarasota Selby Auditorium

On January 21, Steve Inskeep, host of NPR’s Morning Edition, sat down with WUSF host Carson Cooper at the University of South Florida in Sarasota. They discussed Inskeep’s newest book “Jacksonland.” 

“Jacksonland,” narrates the face-off between Andrew Jackson and Cherokee chief John Ross over land rights in the American South. Inskeep described it as a narrative of “two men battling over real estate in a democracy.”
 
Inskeep described the tools of democracy Ross and the Cherokees used to engage in acts of civil disobedience which reframed the definition of minority rights to one inclusive of racial minority rights. Members of the the nearly all-white audience murmered when Inskeep described the Founding Fathers’ Constitutional interpretation of minority as one pertaining to the minority of people with money.
 
Asked about his swift interview tactics, Inskeep shared that he often practices interviews beforehand with colleagues. In scenarios when there is no time to “game it out,” he asks himself, “what does this person actually know that they can tell me?”
 
As a journalist, Inskeep noted, “your job is to call it straight.”

 

 

 

PS: I’m the one who asked about the swift interview techniques. Shocked? I knew it.

wordless to say

A silver bullet shoots the eye of the horizon. Periwinkle gray forms float above an endless morning bay. Southeast, the tip of a fat hot pink toenail punctures eternal sky. Subtly it glides into growth, transforming from bold line into bold arc into bold shape. Brilliance rising up reflects down below, illuminating a path headed right for the silver bullet.
Keep it going. Keep it moving. Move it, lady. Just another day on the bay. Nature’s skyscraper is as everyday as the Empire State. Steadfast, unrelenting. Ignored and awed. A symbol of what was, what is, what will be.
Bella sol, embrace us. Make love to the mar. Give birth to the terra. Feed the flora, foster the fauna.
Command the moon to move to the water to move the fish to the rods to the mouths. Command the human to wake up to open eyes to live to work to live. Your hot pink colors human souls. Your light breeds life from dreams.
Move along, silver bullet, my chariot, but don’t move past. Eyes do not avert your gaze. Behold with caution, with care. Let the light in your windows paint a hopeful face, as we move along to find our place.
7:18am
Courtney Campbell Causeway
February 4, 2016
Causeway Sunrise

This was actually taken the morning before, Feb 3 (Davy’s birthday)