poem: The Sun Dog

poem: The Sun Dog

A Chapter by Marie Anzalone
"

I always ask for the window seat

"

I open my eyes, awaken in a panic somewhere off the coast of Delaware's curving spine. She languors, stretching like a cat, before meeting Maryland's silver water fingers, the Bay Bridge's disappearing, resurfacing marvel playing hide and seek below us... and I remember, or try to remember, crossing that bridge with an old lover, a rare moment we were actually in love, and something about the watery expanse of the most glorious sunset of my life thus far, the water liquid gold and flowing and molten, the sky so beautiful it transfixes you in place in this world and you understand nebulas and heartsongs and why humpback whales developed culture and why that is a grand thing. But I cannot do a complete recall- the anxiety strangles those memories, there is not enough money, what if my business is taken from me at customs, what if I cannot ever go home, what if I never find it? What if I am just crazy, what if I end up a beggar on the streets, dying alone in a foreign hospital after an accident?

 

What if no-one ever loves me again?

 

There is a sun dog in the single lonely cloud below, and he is following us like a ghost- a ghost of a dream I once had of starting over back where my journey to the heart began, and I do not know if he is panting in anticipation or drooling in hope of a scrap of leftovers of my carcass, as they say, this is what happens to dreamers in the real world, they have to work to eat, and nothing you do is work, you are selfish, all you do is play, real work is what other people do in fields and banks, you work in information and and beauty and truth and it does not exist, is not wanted. Sun dogs are 22 degrees from the sun and it occurs to me this is roughly the latitude of my new home, too- 22 degrees from where the sun hits the ground hardest, terminal velocity the speed of light itself- and I shudder because it feels like some sort of omen I cannot decipher.

 

And we fly over North Carolina's piedmonts and then her white spits, her own lakes and fissures and sounds, all the way to Nag's Head, where we curve out over the Atlantic; incredibly blue, a want to draw me in blue, an Adirondack Mountain autumn sky blue, and for the first time ever, I miss my home, my childhood, I miss swimming with ponies on the beach and warm sand and someone to say good night to me, lovingly... I miss feeling like a day of joy was important enough for someone to want to give it to me, to tell me it was ok. I miss keenly what life once promised me it could be.

 

There is not even a sun dog and the world is too blue, too intense; I am falling, reeling- it is so empty, so lonely, so alone.

 

I know we are off Florida before I see him (for with a pendulous member that big jutting into the sea, how could Florida be anything but a man?) by the cloud type- subtropical cumulous, perfectly spaced like a child's painting of the sky, and we are descending, moving west, and the yachts appear it is Memorial Day they are scattered on the water like fleas like parasites they are so numerous and now we see coast and breakers but we are moving faster than the breakers so you have to turn your head to see them hit land and understand that really is what you are looking at, their inexorible slow motion towards beachgoers you cannot see, as inexorible as our own slow daily march towards death that we also move too fast to notice muchly.

 

It dawns on me that this is it, this is my last chance, there is no turning back, all I have left in the world outside of my life is packed into 3 suitcases below the plane and in the computer at my feet, and the anxiety comes flooding back in like a wave, like those breakers and there is nothing to do but ride it, ride it, to the shore, to see if she lands me on my feet or drowns me in a riptide and if I ever believed in God now is the time, because never before has my life ever been so completely in his or her hands, arms, or churning stomach acids.

 

There is a deplaning and replaning, and I am glad the gates are close to each other because I am not even sure I am real, how could I be , here in Miami, here where nothing is real except the tans; climate and water and land artificially drawn. And we are flying again, turning in a gyre, and there is turbulence, and then clarity, the dying coral reefs clearly drawn through clear water, and I am both in the plane and floating in that water, the ocean being the territory and property of exactly every and no land dweller, supporter of all life and receiver of all hurts, all wounds, all insults, like her corals and sponges she soaks it up, and is dying slowly from within, our warning systems all going at full blast.

 

And I start to understand again why I came this way, as a piece maybe of something larger than me, for it to nurture or spit back out, and the loneliness starts eating again from inside, fueled by recent rejections and losses and hurts and the feeling that there is not and never will be safe ground, anywhere, for me.

 

Then ah, Cuba, the land doing fine without us, emerald and lush and beckoning, and there is another sun dog, so brief I may have missed him, and the old fear loosens its grip as a new hope- a life that has space for travel and wonder, not spent chained to a desk barely covering rent and never time or money for what is important, for a changing of perspective, for exploring the beauty I see only in books and on my screen, and the old had to be set aside to leave breathing space for the new, and I black out again, awakening as we descend into Guatemala himself- a land so macho he would be insulted to be referred to as a her, which is a pity because the women here carry the Western world's sorrows so that others do not have to.

 

And we are careening over the tortured carved landscape, the in your face dystopian maleness of his reality of greenless concrete and glass and diesel exhaust and razor wire that is La Ciudad, onto that tiny flat expanse on the edge of a gully and braking to a screeching halt in the rain, and I realize that the most courageous act I have ever made so far is as simple as screwing up enough faith and hope to get up out of this seat and walk off this plane and into my new life. And I decide right there, right then that I will buy a dog and name her "Sol" or as soon as I can afford her.

 

I still wonder if I will ever let anyone but a sun dog love me again?

 

about this picture... see update below

 




© 2014 Marie Anzalone



Author's Note

Marie Anzalone
spoken word stream of consciuosness piece.

While packing on Sunday, I listened to a TED Talk given by a woman who was a brain researcher and suffered a stroke that left her flipping from one hemisphere of the brain to the other. In her talk, she discussed the epiphany she had during this time. You see, the left hemisphere makes boundaries and delineations, and the right makes connections and shares experience. Both have their value and place, but she believed that we need to nurture development of human interaction from the right. It dawned on me during my flight yesterday to Guatemala that I fight that same war inside my own brain, and that transitioning from one country's culture to the other, from one mindset to the other. After a day in Guatemala, I feel my anxiety and the pressure to perform melting; my sleep cycles, exercise and eating habits righting themselves.

The idea for this poem came from my thoughts during that flight.

UPDATE: January 17, 2014. I go for a walk to the neighbor's house to visit a baby goat (yes, my social life really does suck that bad). A 5 week-old orphaned male puppy is placed into my hands. And so Ra the Amazing Guatemalan Sun Dog entered my life and captured my heart.

My Review

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Featured Review

I love you...as a friend, Brother, artist, confidante, and most of all a fellow Human trying to make sense of a life tainted by the corporate gyroscope. Your observations of the within and without are both bracing and beautiful, dark yet illuminating. I see tu perro, as female; tough and wise, smart and loving... every bit as courageous as you.

ride it, ride it to the shore...

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 4 Years Ago


4 of 4 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

4 Years Ago

Te quiero mucho tambien, hermano de alma. Fellow Traveler. Your words are a welcome wave of support .. read more
John Jackson (El Juero)

4 Years Ago

My heart beats stronger reading these words. Goddess will put someone strong and right for you in th.. read more



Reviews

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Jen
.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 4 Years Ago


0 of 2 people found this review constructive.

This is stunning, well penned and full of gorgeous imagery. You kept the sun dog metaphor running through out this piece so well.. made me long to see one myself. So many emotions ran through this piece.. loss, longing, love.. I could feel the anticipation of a new beginning and a sigh of relief as well. Wonderful work!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ravyne Hawke

4 Years Ago

sorry.. Marie.. renaming you.. lol
Marie Anzalone

4 Years Ago

thanks- at this point, I am hoping for not putting the audience to sleep!
Marie Anzalone

4 Years Ago

no worries... you are not the first, will not be the last. My ex-BF even did it once here on site, a.. read more
I liked this a lot,not only a great idea,but well written,the concept of the stream of consciuousness has been used by a lot of great writers,notably ( or arguably) in the later James Joyce, or by writers like William Burroughs.The names,the impressions all fit, enjoyed too the way you describe the journey in a physical and a emotional sense.Well written.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

4 Years Ago

Thank you very much for stopping by to read and review this, Leslie. Stream of consciousness is not .. read more
As a writer you have left thoughts with us that
will always be.
I am impressed by the lonlieness, the detached musing
about life and your impressions of the world as it passes
beneath you.
Sun dogs are little more than a reflection, perhaps the
writer, in musing about life, has found that equation in
her trip. Life is after all, just so many reflections passing
before us.
I am left saddened by these reflections. The world is such
a lonely place. Are we just dependant on the impressions of
others for our sustenance ?
A brilliantly writen story about sun dogs .
Thank you,
----- Eagle Cruagh


This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

4 Years Ago

Thank you, Eagle, for your very thoughtful review and for the words in your messages to me. You ask .. read more
Nothing real but the tan...a future dog named Sol. All of your writings have such heart
and insight. How could florida be anything but a man? lol. wonderful! xxx

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

4 Years Ago

thanks Phibby; praise for my my work from a writer as accomplished and insightful as you is always w.. read more
Phibby Venable

4 Years Ago

thank you for your beautiful words ~ you are already an amazing writer! xoxo
everyone loves someone regardless of time space and dimension
and as you fly in a metal lounge that you know can be your coffin
and all around folk are snuggling while others coughing
to get the attention of the attendants on the pretext of orange juice
and they smile knowingly and serve quickly to the one who feels the blues
cause they know to get in their shoes when the wheels touch the ground
and they too have a family waiting to be found
and a tail that follows the head and ears that wag like windmills in an errant wind
a a snout always moist even when the one you call the sun is at its zenith...
you be and stay at yours.
and excell

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 4 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

poetry-kiddo alienbaba

4 Years Ago

rating doesnt mean anything at all to me....what matters is your love and trust
Marie Anzalone

4 Years Ago

I assure you that you have both
poetry-kiddo alienbaba

4 Years Ago

that is enogh to go by in this shortcut of a liftime:)
well you know me and how i love to disconnect and let it flow. you never know where you will go but somehow, maybe even mores o because of the disconnect you are able to "connect" on a more intimate level. it's exhausting sometimes but there is such freedom that you don't even realize it until you type those last few words. i see sooooo much of what i have know and come to love about you in this piece. very nice work hf!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 4 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

4 Years Ago

Funny, CHL, I was having a convo with another writer about that disconnect recently. He and I have a.. read more
There are those special moments when we get into a headspace and the world becomes clear and the words flow to accompany them, organic, raw, and filled with the moments experience in a way that makes us feel we have transcended something inside of us. Being in an airplane, Seeing the world and it's wonders moving past, feeling disconnected but because of that omniscience, even more connected than ever... A poets world... I have been there and this was beautiful and thoughtful and relaxing in a way that a distantly felt admittance can be. Very enjoyable read, Marie.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 4 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

4 Years Ago

Thanks, Horizon- you nailed it, that disconnect. Traveling between worlds is for me an out of body e.. read more
I've seen Sun dogs and I felt, to a lesser extent what you felt. I have never been able to place it as clearly as you. And I never had the courage to do what you have done.
I can only praise you for the beauty of this write and the clarity of your vision.
I found the geographical connections the most powerful. The journey through the geography of your world and the landscapes and seascapes of your mind at one and the same time. Linked with the punctuation of the Sun Dog.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 4 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

4 Years Ago

Sun dogs, perhelion, mare's tails, mammata, eclipses, aurora borealis, the Southern Cross, meteor sh.. read more
Dear Marie,

Another fabulous write. You describe your emotions and ponderings so well, and they are so sophisticated and perceptive that it leaves one breathless. It is marvelous throughout, but the first stanza/paragraph left me stunned. Then the story developed, enriched itself, and became a whole at the closing, which left you with the same power as the opening. I just loved this.

Yes, please, love again. It is worth it and your final, forever love, will wash away any anguish from previous loves. It will wash this away forever. That's not to say there are any perfect relationships, but there are those that outshine the others like the sun outshines the stars.

And I feel Guatemala in your words, like a comfortable blanket, enfolding you in a glowing warmth, even if it is so macho. I understand the feeling. I feel like that when we go to our timeshare in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It is such a different place. It is not the high pressure cooker of the US. I suspect that Guatemala is even more so, e.g., a different place. I have a friend that worked for our group in the IR astronomy lab at UCSD. He no longer lives in the US. He started out in China, teaching English as a second language. He loved China, but he is now in Guatemala. I've mentioned him to you before. Have you met him? I can reconnect you if there is interest. He's an interesting guy. He's there with his wife.

A powerful piece, Marie. You always impress. Absolutely exceptional writing, so greatly enjoyed. Marks at the very top of my scale (98/100--the highest mark I have ever given). I am still waiting to discover a 99/100 write, which I'm convinced will cause me to go blind immediately. A 100/100 write is impossible in my book since we are only human.

My very best regards, and enjoy Guatemala. I know you love the country. And truly, don't give up on love with human companions, even though I know a good dog (and sun dogs) are so compelling.

All the best,

Rick

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 4 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Rick Puetter

4 Years Ago

Hi Marie,

The gentleman's name is John Jain. He lives in Antigua. His e-mail address is.. read more
Marie Anzalone

4 Years Ago

thnak you for the information, Rick- I absolutely will do this! I plan to be in Antigua on the 11th .. read more
Rick Puetter

4 Years Ago

Sounds good, Marie. I think you'll enjoy him. - Rick

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Added on May 28, 2013
Last Updated on January 23, 2014
Tags: flight, journey, new beginnings, starting over, panic, ocean, atlantic, airplane, fears, overcoming, faith, obstacles, parhelion, sun dog, sol, new life, abuse, interconnection, peace, enlightenment

Peregrinating North-South Compass Points


Author

Marie Anzalone
Marie Anzalone

Xela, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala



About
Bilingual poet, essayist, novelist, and technical writer working in Central America. "A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, .. more..

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