Today I took Clio on a long walk. I think we left the house about 5:30, and we just got back now about 7:30. I walked around the campus of the neighboring school, around their maintenance facility, and then down the dirt road behind campus over to the backcountry route. Then I took the Red Trail back past the hockey rink. Along the way I met Sandy, with her two dogs Ella and Dell. She teaches anthropology and her husband teaches classics. She seems pretty cool at first glance; maybe I want to get to know them.
Last night I went to the co-ed sweat lodge down in Ashford, at ‘s roommate’s place. She pours a lovely lodge. I sat in the east, on the south side of the door. We did not have a dedicated fire-keeper outside, so I also tended fire and brought rocks into the lodge from the fire. I also opened and closed the door. This time, I brought a colleague from work, too. It was fun having him there, but I was sort of nervous, too. He seemed like the kind of guy who could get into it, but he doesn’t open up much and I wasn’t sure.
Throughout the lodge I was conscious of not being as hot and overwhelmed as I was the last time. Since I sort of knew the routine from before, I knew what I was getting into. Several times I slapped my chest to indicate that I wanted it hotter, and the pourer made it hotter, but it never seemed to reach the spirit-blasting heat that I had thought I had felt before. Maybe it wasn’t that hot the first time, and it was just the unknown that made it so warm.
I was also aware of drying off each time I went out between doors to tend the fire, to pull rocks, and to refill the water pail. It made for an interesting awareness; I was all four elements at various points during the evening. For a while I was my own breath, cold and dry. Then I was aware of my body, hot and dry. Then I was aware of being my fluids (because my snot was dripping out of me!), so I was hot and wet. Then when I emerged from the lodge, I was cold and wet in the night air, before putting on clothes and becoming dry and hot again. Because I was constantly going in and out of the lodge, though, I moved through all these stages rapidly — hot and cold, dry and wet — several times during the evening. Alchemy at work, I guess.
Yesterday was the last day of school. I have it in mind to be at Victoria Station Café this morning, writing comments for school, and then maybe this evening having dinner with before going to the Poets’ Asylum for the reading. Depending on how Monday and Tuesday go, I may go to the Got Poetry Live reading in Providence on Tuesday. The dog has really changed how I see time away from home. It used to be that it was hard to get me out of the house because I’m a homebody at heart. Now it’s hard to get me out of the house because the dog needs to go out so frequently, if I don’t want her peeing on the carpets inside.
For the record, the surgery appears to have been successful, in that she no longer dribbles constantly. However, she does pee fairly regularly — I’m guessing every 15-40 minutes, as an estimate. Whether this is because her bladder muscles are too weak to support the weight of urine pressing on her sphincter, or whether it’s that she doesn’t care about control… I’m not sure. I’d like to figure that out, but I think it’s going to take a professional to help me understand it, and train her, if possible, not to pee inside.