Dear Family and Friends,
For over a week I have been trying to write the 2014 Rufus Chronicles. Most of you know that for the last twelve years Rufus has written an annual chronicle of the year. Despite his death, I WANTED to have one more Rufus Chronicles. I have struggled with this task and have deleted every draft. They just didn’t sound right! Then yesterday morning it hit me like a sucker punch to my gut—I can’t hear Rufus’s voice. The recognition brought me to my knees. Things are not what they were. I can’t write in Rufus’s voice because that very sensory life force I loved as Rufus is silent.
I recently told someone that grief is like a breeze that unexpectedly floats into consciousness. You can’t see it coming and can’t control it . . . the most you can do is go with it and breathe its salty air. Sure, you can distract yourself, numb yourself, or pretend it’s not there. But grief is a patient and tenacious lover whose purpose is not to destroy us but to move us through the seemingly impossible task of letting go.
My writing owes its life to Rufus. Whether the Rufus Chronicles or the puppy’s (Beau’s) narration in my novel, Life on All Fours, the words are inspired by the playful, soulful, naïve, insightful, irreverent, spiritual, narcissistic, loving voice of my Rufus. He could as easily talk about poop, as he could love. He was free of any filter or self-consciousness. His beauty was his complete commitment to right now. For someone like me whose journey at times has been mired in correctness and carefulness, Rufus was a challenging and inspiriting voice to follow. As one friend said, “Rufus wasn’t the dog you wanted, he was the dog you needed.”
Over the last six months I have been supported and loved by all of you in many ways. I am forever grateful. Yet, when my front door closes and it’s just me, I’m so aware that I am alone. Our greatest loves leave the biggest holes. But here’s the real kick in the pants . . . as it turns out, alone is a powerful place to be. As it turns out, alone is one of the most honest places to be. As it turns out, alone is not the same as lonely. And as it turns out, (and this one makes no sense at all) alone is the fertile soil where I have found my greatest capacity for connection with God, myself and others.
In the empty space that once was Rufus, with the courage that comes from loving and being loved, I have found a voice that is willing to be heard . . . mine.
With gratitude and love,
Rufus Chronicles 2014
Daily Bites and Blessings
Welcome to "Daily Bites and Blessings." Pull up a chair. I’ve set a place for you at the table. These edibles are sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet and often they are both. This is a come as you are party. I invite you to bring your compassion, courage, and curiosity as we dine together on life's bounty. May our time together give us more light and more love.