Sometimes, I can’t watch or listen to anything. My head gets fuzzy and sounds from outside become unbearable. When that happens, reading is the only activity I can enjoy. During this time, I read a bit obsessively. I usually don’t even bother to read when I’m tired. But if I really like the book, I keep reading and I fight with my sleepy eyes.
One Sunday afternoon, after I came back from the dog park, I’ve been busy here and there doing some housework. I finally sat on the couch to read. After a while, I felt my body melting, and soon fell asleep. I woke up to the sound of my dog, barking at me letting me know it’s his dinner time. I remember that I was trying hard to lift my heavy eyelids. They must have given up on me. In the evening, I found a picture of me on my phone. My husband saw me sleeping, with my face covered by my book, and he took a photo. I finished the book later that day and I liked it very much.
가끔 아무것도 보고 싶지도 듣고 싶지도 않을 때가 있다. 머리가 멍해져 외부에서 들어오는 자극들이 견디기 힘들 때엔 책이 나의 유일한 즐거움이다. 이런 날들엔 책들에 사로잡히게 된다. 보통날들엔 몸이 피곤하면 읽는것을 포기하지만, 책이 재미있다면 졸린 눈과 사투를 벌이며 계속 읽는다.
어느 일요일 오후, 개공원에서 돌아온 후, 집안 곳곳 집안일을 보고 마침내 쇼파에 앉아 책을 들었다. 책에 빠져들고 얼마 후, 몸이 녹는 듯한 느낌을 받았고 결국 잠들어 버렸다. 우리 개가 짖는 소리에 눈을 떴다. 녀석의 저녁식사 시간이었다. 내가 기억하는 것이라고는 무거운 두 눈꺼풀을 들어 올리려 안간힘을 쓰던 것뿐이었다. 내 눈꺼풀들이 무거운 잠에 지고 말았나 보다. 늦은 저녁에 핸드폰에 저장되어있던 사진을 발견했다. 남편이 책을 얼굴에 덮고 잠든 나를 발견하고 찍은 사진 이었다. 나는 이날 밤 책을 다 읽었다.
It was a hot afternoon. My husband and I took our dog to the dog park. Like most dogs, he is extremely excited about going to the park. We usually let him play with other dogs, but if there are not any, we fetch. He is a Rat Terrier mix, and is obsessed with chasing a rat (in his reality, a ball). We settled under a tree. After fetching for about 15 minutes straight, he finally laid down near our feet. He was trying to calm his breathing down.
It was a pretty quiet day. Since it was a weekday, not many people brought their dogs. The shade under the tree protected us from the sun. The summer breeze brushed the heat off us. Dragonflies came and went, and birds flew low, chasing bugs. We sat there quietly, waiting for our dog, ready for another round of fetch. His hard panting was suddenly amplified in my ears. And the beat of his breath made my heart beat stronger. He seemed happy… and I was happy too.
더운 어느 오후, 남편과 개를 데리고 개 공원에 갔다. 많은 개들이 그렇듯 우리 개 또한 공원에 가는 것을 무척이나 좋아한다. 공원에 개들이 많이 있다면 우리는 녀석이 다른 개들과 어울리도록 해 주지만, 그렇지 않다면 녀석이 좋아하는 공놀이를 같이 한다. 우리 개는 농장에서 쥐를 쫓는 일을 하는 랫 테리어 믹스이다. 녀석의 현실에서는 쥐 대신 공을 집착에 가깝도록 쫓는다. 우리는 나무 밑에 자리를 잡았다. 약 십오분 정도의 쉼 없는 공놀이 후, 숨이 주둥이까지 차오른 녀석이 우리 발 밑에 자리를 잡고 엎드렸다.
잔잔한 날이었다. 주 중이어서 개를 데리고 나온 이들이 별로 없었다. 나무는 태양으로부터 우리를 지켜 주었고 간간히 불어오는 여름바람이 몸의 열을 쓸어내어 주었다. 잠자리들이 날아왔다 갔다를 반복했고, 새들은 낮게 날으며 벌레를 쫓았다. 우리는 녀석이 다시 공놀이 준비가 될 때까지 조용히 앉아 기다렸다. 갑자기 녀석의 가쁜 숨 소리가 귀에 크게 들어왔다. 숨 헐떡이는 박자가 내 심장 박동 또한 강하게 해 주었다. 입을 크게 벌리고 숨을 빠르게 뱉어내는 녀석이 행복해 보였고, 녀석을 바라보는 나도 행복했다.
There are days where you feel like everything in your life is falling apart. This day was like that to me. From the beginning to end, everything was just not right. I had a headache all day long. I couldn’t do anything constructive. I was upset. And the fact that I was upset made me even more upset. Before I went to bed, my husband insisted me to watch our current favorite show with him. That helped me go to sleep a bit easier.
The next morning, he told me that he took a day off. And he spent all day cheering me up. I still had a headache so I took a nap. While I was sleeping, I heard a doorbell and the soft growl of our dog. I opened my eyes a couple of minutes later and there were a big bunch of colorful flowers in front of me with a short but very sweet note from my husband. I thanked him and went back to sleep. The nap wasn’t the same. I slept much better.
The following day, I was able to manage the day as normally as others. I was in a decent mood and fighting hard with this smoke in my head. My husband called me and said he had a meeting near the house and was coming home for a second to say hi. He called me again to ask me for help bringing some stuff from the car. When I went out to meet him, he let me hold his coffee for him. I grabbed it without any thought. A few seconds later I realized that it was hot. ‘He never drinks hot coffee’ I thought. I yelled with a big smile. ‘It’s hot coffee!’ He smiled back at me and said ‘Yup!’.
I drank the coffee while working on my art after he went back to work. The flowers are gone too. It had brightened my days for more than a week. It is a blessing to have someone who truly looks after you. He helped me glue the falling day back together.
We have a couple of types of play with our highly active dog at home. One of his favorites is playing with our hands. I think it is similar to a dog’s bite game. For me, this is the most difficult game to play. I think he wants me to get rougher but I’m not good at it. And it hurts sometimes!
On the other hand, my husband is the master of this game. When they get into it, I usually walk away for other errands. When I come back, I often find them on the ground. Our dog snuggling in my husband’s arms. My husband calls it ‘male bonding’. I heard that in a father and son relationship. I guess it can be applied to a man-dog relationship too. When my husband comes back home, my dog tries to snuggle with him until we go to sleep. So definitely they are bonded.
We had snow for over a month this year. I love the snow. When I saw the snow piling up, I was so excited. But when it didn’t stop for a month, we started having some inconveniences. Many days my husband couldn’t even go to work. The sidewalk was covered with heavy de-icer burning my dog’s paws. We couldn’t open the patio door. Almost every single person I met agreed it was enough with the snow.
Now, all the snow melted away. Everywhere I see green instead of white. Ironically I already miss the snow. I loved watching the snow fall quietly from the patio door that I couldn’t open. I miss the crispy footsteps of me and my dog. I liked to stand still and enjoy the silence at the park while walking my dog. I enjoyed watching him take a nap in front of the fireplace. My husband was all about the big icicles. I was happy to warm the house up before he coming home so he could relax right away.
But for now, it’s time to let the winter go and welcoming the spring.
So, goodbye winter.
I’ve mentioned before that I love to see the sun and moon at odd times. One of the times that I enjoy very often is the morning moon. Every time I see it, I imagine that I woke up early enough to catch it before it goes home after long nights work. The street lights that are waiting to be turned off any minute are lingering in the night. The moon and street lights in the morning make me feel like standing in the moment between the night and morning.
I used to be a night owl when I was younger. Sometimes I went to sleep at sunrise. I thought that was my nature and I liked the quietness of the night. After I got married, my husband decided to go to work really early so he can come back early. So we agreed to try to wake up at 4a.m. It took us about a couple of weeks to get used to the time but it was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. My working schedule is from sunrise to sunset. A few days ago, after I finished working, I was about to close the blinds. I saw a beautiful sunset and birds on a bare tree through the window. This fiery sunset always makes me relaxed. It’s time for slowing down and closing for the day.
My dog’s newest nature toys are pinecones. They’re still covered with snow in our city and only this week the snow started to melt. I noticed that the snow under trees went away first. My dog seemed happy to see dirt and grass again. He spent a lot of time sniffing under the trees and found many pinecones. He got right into breaking them apart. While he was busy on playing I was looking around and saw the sky. It was a very clear day, not even one cloud floating. A pine tree against the solid blue sky was popping out. I don’t think I’ve ever looked through a pine tree from right under it. I’m thankful for my dog who let me rest under the tree and gave me the chance to see the beautiful tree and sky.
It was an exceptionally cold morning.
My dog’s footsteps on the icy ground harmonized with his sniff.
I love the emptiness of early morning.
Snow just turned into rain. It’s so wet and cold out. I’m craving Kimchi stew so bad today.
아침에 내리던 눈이 비로 바뀌고 얼었던 땅이 축축해진 추운 오늘. 김치찌개 먹고싶다.
A few days ago, I was talking to my friend and our main subject was our dogs. She said to me, ‘It’s a good thing that you met your dog’. The words she used in Korean was ‘다행이다’. It could mean a good thing, luck, mercy, and so on. As there are many options for translating the word, it engraved in me mixed feelings.
He wasn’t our first choice from the shelter. We met two other dogs briefly hoping that we could have one of them. But our situation and timing weren’t right and they met their new families before us. However, we saw our dog there and liked how he presented himself before us from the opposite side of the glass wall. We decided to try him out when we saw him again a couple of weeks later when we visited the shelter second time.
He came to our home on Christmas Eve last year 2018. One week later, we went back to the shelter and signed on the final adoption paper. It took me for over a month to figure him out and teach him basic command and rules. It’s been only two months since he came into our life. But I already feel that he is our dog. Our family.
So about the word that my friend said to me, I still can’t explain my emotional reaction toward it. But I’m very much thankful he came to us. Perhaps, it truly is mercy for all of us.