The road to personal growth generally, and artistic growth in particular, starts with a journey into the past. If we have been scarred by early life experiences, we must find ways to articulate those experiences, to work through the painful emotions associated with those experiences, and to recognize the consequences of those experiences. After this often painful process we understand better the adjustments necessary to surge ahead. In our experience as artists, we sometimes come up against technical or conceptual limitations. Sometimes we can dig into our past and discover the origins of these stumbling blocks. Armed with this self-knowledge, we can describe and implement the therapies which will further our creative work.
There was a happy puppy once, innocent, playful. His old master was kind and gentle. Families kept their large yards unfenced, all extending back to the large woods. The neighborhood dogs enjoyed lots of play and adventure. Life was good.
But Ancient Master’s mind failed. He became forgetful. Bowl would remain empty. Walk times would be missed. Petting time, snuggling time, brushing time diminished. The bonding rituals were breaking down.
It was not easy for the dog to comprehend. There was a feeling of abandonment, of rejection. That feeling became embedded in the psyche of our poor Spaniel mut.
One Spring, the Old Master left our Spaniel mut at the groomer’s for his hot season shave. As it would happen, the groomer had moved to new quarters and was not able to let the dogs out to relieve themselves. By the time master returned at the end of the day, Spaniel was ready for business. The minute they left the groomer’s shop, Spaniel bolted like a bat out of hell to find his spot. He pulled the leash out of Master’s hand and charged around the block. Typically master would catch up in these situations. This time, when Spaniel looked back, master was nowhere to be seen. Our loyal dog sniffed his way back to the groomer’s shop. Master was gone. Intentionally? Absentmindedly? Spaniel would never know.
This is Deuce’s story. With tears and sobs he related as much to Lolita.
Lolita held her beloved Muse close, soothing him, encouraging him. “I have good therapy for you, my dear Deuce.”
(to be continued. . . )