Sandra Gibbons

Sandra Gibbons

lives in beautiful Northwest Arkansas. She writes about parenthood, lessons learned, and creating moments of happiness.

Dogs

As my nearly six month crisis-induced sabbatical comes to an end, I realize I’ve gone back to internalizing a lot, as well as sleeping through the daylight hours of recent weeks.

But to quote Van Gogh,

I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.

My creativity comes alive in the silence and clarity of the late night hours, and unfailingly, some elusive force plants the seed of inspiration into my mind, but whether I choose to develop that inspiration into an idea, and then bring that idea to fruition is a separate issue. Most times I’m overcome with a drunken grogginess, and that feeling of lacking energy allows me to focus all of my purpose into creating something singular—one poem, one painting, one means of sharing good unto others… Other times I feel too defeated or sad to do anything at all, and instead, choose to observe the creativity of my subconscious after going to sleep. While dreaming, most times, I vividly remember trying to make a point to recall some aspect of it to act on when I wake, and equally, I have no recollection of it when I come to. So is life.

But to return to my original point, I have been internalizing a lot lately. That internalizing has led me to paint, write, and read, as well as obsess over all of the goals I set for myself this year. I simply refuse to let the year get away from me again—I don’t want to look back in December wondering where time went and why so many of my goals and aspirations were left undone. I don’t want to fail myself again, or else, what was the point of the past six months? What kind of life is that? Not one worth living.

I’m feeling anxious and filled with dread lately, and I know it’s because I’ll be working full time again. Five days a week, cubicle walls on three sides… Performance reviews, and more incentive programs and team-building. What an exciting life to lead. I only hope these past few months have given me the courage and strength to keep the important things front and center no matter what I’ll inevitably face in the daily corporate grind. I really hope so. And since I haven’t mentioned it here yet, I did get offered the impromptu position I was double interviewed for at Walmart’s corporate offices in Bentonville. Well, they gave me the choice between a smaller medical office in Fayetteville, or the home office in Bentonville which offered more flexibility, so naturally, I chose the latter. We shall see.

So another chapter of my life comes to an end, and apprehensively, I welcome what’s to come. I look forward to nurturing new friendships and rekindling old, and I still plan on saying, “fuck it,” and doing some traveling this year. I realize I’ve been saving and putting off what I want to do in case of some inconceivable scenario in the future, but it’s time to get real and start living in the present. I’ll be 28 this year, and that fact slams me across the face. Twenty-eight and my life has been stuck on the side of the road for the better part of a decade. Unbelievable.

Along with writing poetry tonight, I did some reading and came across a poem that stood out to me. He’s an American writer/professor from Iowa, and I found his piece sad and beautiful. Rather than finding meaning in its literal words, I found it offered lessons learned across many aspects of a person’s life—I took it very much to heart.

Dogs

When I was six years old I hit one with
a baseball bat. An accident of course,
and broke his jaw. They put that dog to sleep,
a euphemism even then I knew
could not excuse me from the lasting wrath
of memory’s flagellation. My remorse
could dog me as it would, it wouldn’t keep
me from the life sentence that I drew:

For I’ve been barked at, bitten, nipped, knocked flat,
slobbered over, humped, sprayed, beshat,
by spaniel, terrier, retriever, bull, and Dane.
But through the years what’s given me most pain
of all the dogs I’ve been the victim of
are those whose slow eyes gazed at me, in love.

Ronald Wallace

Carpe Diem

Love