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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


The dog and I were outside on Monday when a little shower passed seaward. I moved under the trees but she stayed out in the middle of the lawn, sitting wetly and patiently for a treat I may have forgotten to give her. We had been playing her favorite game (and now I have to type very quietly, for she goes bananas when she hears the words), called Go Outside, Play with the Ball? in which she chases and retrieves a tennis ball and is properly rewarded. She loves chasing and she loves any food that's not kibble, equally it seems, although only a human would try to decide between them. Dogs do not catalog against the future. They love the moment, however foolish it might make them look.

When I see sun and rain together I always think of a Korean phrase. "The tiger came," they say, nodding wisely, from the slants and stripes and variations that falling rain makes in sunlight and from, no doubt, the foolishness of the tiger in their folklore and art. The phrase also implies the happiness and marriage of elements coming together. I think the tiger just likes standing in the rain waiting for treats.

When we were done playing and went inside, the shower was over the islands and the human treat appeared. A rainbow is such a happy thing in spite of its turned-down mouth, so rare and colorful, so full of happy metaphor like harmony and coalition and pots of gold. And it's at its most beautiful when you don't think of ROY G BIV or Jesse Jackson or leprechauns but just stand quietly in the moment, mouth upturned in a smile.

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