Perspective is an interesting thing. I recently got a new tattoo. I wanted something unique and a tribute to my pops. I went with one of his paintings titled From the Horizon. The tattoo artist was super excited to do it because the original was actually art.
Now, I do not think I know it all but as I creep closer to 50, I have gained some perspective. Some of it simply through the lens of time and some of ir from having a few drastic bounces. Living next to a developing nation slum and befriending my neighbors opened my eyes as did almost dying on multiple occasions.
Recently I was reminded just how fleeting life is when my dog Gezi was lost and it turned out she had been kidnapped, not for the first, but for the second time.
My girlfriend and I had gone up into the mountains to enjoy a hike in the snow. When we arrived at the park, we were alone and in the fog and clouds.
We hiked for an hour up and about 1km from the car Gezi found something to eat on the side of the trail. As she nibbled, out of nowhere, a dog burst from the forest and chased Gezi off from her find.
Normal behavior from both Gezi and the aggressor but it caused Gezi to sprint by us and suddenly she was gone into the mist. We couldn’t see her and had no perspective of her location to us.
Gezi is a Jack Russell Terrier who was born to run with her dad who is a runner. In the past two years Gezi and I have traversed mountains and spent countless hours on trails and in the forest with only minor hiccups.
Yes, she has a stubborn terrier streak but under normal circumstances returns within a few minutes or so. And when there are people around, there are usually Gezi sightings. Oh yeah, she said hi and then ran off that way. Leaving us searching circles until we find her either sauntering up like nothing has happened or in the middle of a feast of something I would like to share.
When she has been kidnapped, she becomes a ghost. She simply disappears into the wind. We spent the day searching with zero success and at sunset gave up and drove home. The day that had started with such promise suddenly had broken me. I was a broken man. The animal would die for me and was in my care was no longer there. She had become a ghost.
And when I imagined life with Gezi, I went to some dark places. I cannot imagine what it feels like for a parent. To have a child and then suddenly not. I have only experienced it with a dog and it was shattering.
In the morning I woke up sort of. I think I just moved vertical as my girlfriend left for work. I didn’t know what to do. I had not slept the night before. I just laid there in the muck of sadness.
Her collar has my email and she is just a kind animal. To think harm had befallen her was devastating and these thoughts were driving my life force nowhere good.
I got up and drove back to the mountain and instead of going the route we had the day before, an error in my navigation had me entering from the north. I was angry and blind and void of me. All I could think about was Gez. My smart yet dumb loving strong running partner who should have been riding shotgun.
I bought gas and a candy bar and started my ascent of the mountain. On the first turn a splash of light blue, brown, black and white caught my eye. I braked hard and looked to my right.
There she was tied up to a pigeon coup. I was elated. I parked, chalked the wheels of the van as it almost slid down the mountain and went to get my dog.
Most people are nice. Some are dumb. And some are evil. Next to the pigeon coup stood a man of 30-35. He could see that my eyes were on the dog and that I was happy to see her and she was happy to see me.
I motioned for him to come with me so that I could give him money as I ran up to reconnect with Gezi. The man took a weird posture as I unclipped Gezi from the coup and carried her to the van.
Again, I waved him to come with me while he told me to stop. He started the posturing of a man about to fight.
I stopped dead in my tracks. I am not violent but when he picked up a rock I made a choice. I put Gezi in the van and turned back towards him. Maybe he wasn’t as dumb as he let on. He only had one throw and then I would have been on him.
I don’t know what I would have done but I can certainly understand a bit more a crime of passion.
At the vet we found out that Gezi had a broken tail. I assume from being kicked and an infection. She is back home now and life is back to normal. I am grateful for this.
Now Gezi had a GPS tracking device connected to both of our phones and we know exactly where she is at all times. Mostly. She is a terrier and I am unwilling to break her out of my fear of evil people.
So back to perspective. Life is short and fleeting. It’s literally a flash in the pan and we seem to forget this a lot. Thinking that our immediate problems are what is important to us and the world.
For some this may be the case but for most of us we could spend a lot more time walking the dog, playing catch with the kids, reading good books, jamming on an instrument and ultimately connected with love, compassion and kindness to those around us and stop logging in and swiping looking for the marrow of life, like Thoreau would say, in our screens among rants and raves and Tweets.
- All works at Observations from the Spectrum written by Dylan Netter
- On? a third point of view – book of Essays
- Marinehippie.com podcast w/ Docstodden.com – dialogue exploring politics and musings of life
- Horizoncoaching.org – English Tutor and Guide