Ponder this:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Five words to ponder

GooseBreeder's recent entry has enticed me to try this five random word thing. The words to address are:
boldness
beauty
beat-up
bespoke
barely



boldness
Before I met the late great Marly dog, and had only petfinder.com pictures of her
with which I was trying to decide if I should consider adopting her, a dog-trainer acquaintance told me she had "a bold look."

Merriam-Webster defines bold as "showing . . . a fearless daring spirit." And, indeed, Marly was a fearless and daring soul. Boldness, like courage, isn't aggressiveness. Nor is it foolhardiness. Boldness is a willingness to face what is. Marly taught me a lot about that. She was expert in investigating and evaluating new people and new situations. Except for car-riding.
Her boldness did not extend to the interiors of moving vehicles. I suspect it was due to her never having gone anywhere better when moved from place to place. Her own four feet did fine for getting someplace better. By the time she came to live with us, the habit of vehicle nausea was well-ingrained and she never got over that, poor thing.


See that round-eyed straightforward curious gaze? That's bold.

beauty
Marly was beautiful to me. Or rather, she became beautiful to me. I had never owned a dog that color, and I had no frame of reference for the beauty of a red-gold coat and amber eyes. When she came here she was ribby, with a thin dry coat. Wherever she walked she left a trail of falling hair. A good life improved her coat, but what made her beautiful to me was less her nascent thick fluffy pelt than her slowly-revealed personality . . . her sense of humor, her devotion, her caring nature.
A person's beauty is like that too. Some decidedly physically plain people are beautiful to the eye that sees beyond the exterior to the warm soul inside.

beat-up
Oh, Marly had been beat up earlier in her life... Her bio provided by the woman at the rescue included her having been shipped by air, at six weeks of age, to a family who upon seeing her didn't like her color. They had apparently expected the usual brown or black kelpie, not cream. After several months the man of the family decided she either had to be given away or shot. She came here with that bold nature, but as well, a neediness, and a fear of men. Husband brought her around, with his warmth and playfulness and gentleness. At first she would recoil from his attention, and I remember the joy of watching the first time they played the game of peeking and chasing around the kitchen island.
It is my firm opinion that animals who are given a second chance for happiness grasp it and are forever grateful.
Just like people. More readily than people, really . . . animals being less inclined to hold grudges against life.

bespoke
What do I know about bespoke? ...except that I read recently in Vanity Fair magazine about Dominick Dunne's bespoke suits.
Husband has a few custom-made shirts, a luxury he indulged when he lost a lot of weight and deserved them.
Some years ago I worked at a state agency with an attorney who had an extremely successful Long Island Gold Coast practice waiting for him at the end of his tenure as a public servant. I can't recall what started a particular conversation about thrift in clothing purchases. Laughing, he said, "So I should start shopping at Macy's instead of Brooks Brothers?" I laughed back, my gasp of shock silenced before it escaped. Thrift, to me, meant Wal-Mart, or thrift store!

barely
I like walking barely: Barely are my feet. In the late spring, I wriggle with pleasure at the feel of the grass as I walk for the first time in months on the lawn. As soon as I come in the door after work, the shoes go off. And the socks. The former for comfort, the latter for safety: I have wood floors slippery as ice to sockfeet. Winter floors are cold to bare feet but still my toes go naked, if icy chill. For this preference I pay in calluses and plantar bruises from escapee kibbles from the dogs' food dishes. Still, I like walking barely.

Just an odd note about barely. You know how, if you look at some words long enough they begin to look strange? Barely is like that. It wants to be barley to my eyes. Or barrely (like a barrel).

Should anyone care to carry on, here are my suggested five words to ponder:
White
Curls
Goosebump
Fiddle
Election
Do with them as you like.

6 comments:

Susan said...

How wonderful to have had a friend like Marly.

Tigerbi said...

What a heartening and heartbreaking ode to a once in a lifetime dog who will always be beside you and always running free ~

VioletSky said...

I like how this meme has evolved and taken on a new life.
I especially liked your take on 'barely'.

GooseBreeder said...

Barely and not badly, so very goodly June, your tale of Marly.What a one-off special dog, like my Zorro.Perhaps they are running free together.
Great use of the words, pleased it was irresistable to you but then it would be, you're a word person.

Carolynn said...

Beautifully done. I especially like your words about Marly. Brought her to life for me.

June said...

Thanks all. I had fun doing this, although I did have to climb out of a slight slough of despond after staring at Marly's pictures... She was indeed a one-off special dog.