Bolero, Layla and losing a pet

Yesterday morning I woke with “Bolero” in my head. It was annoying. For those who don’t know, “Bolero”, by Ravel, is a one-movement orchestral piece. Some of you oldsters may remember it from the 1970s movie, “10.” (I hope not but hey…) It’s not a good cello piece. Those of us who play instruments rate songs by our parts. I may say, “Oh, that’s a great one, I love it” while a clarinetist says, “That piece stinks.” In any case, Bolero is not a good cello piece, but I wanted to hear it anyway. I asked Alexa to play it and she said she was having trouble accessing our library. I asked again and got the same results. The third time was the charm (my persistence wore Alexa down I guess) and she played it.

Chester’s opinion of Bolero

Bolero is about 17 minutes long. Apparently the composer was a stickler for tempo, calling out conductors if they sped up. It is literally the same melody repeated over and over. Different instruments enter each time, and it’s been called one long crescendo. It reminds me a little of the Eric Clapton song, “Layla.” At the end of “Layla” the piano part goes on and on until the guitar is tired of protesting and gives in. The piano wears you down.

When I feel sad or anxious or just down, the repetition in both songs helps me to cope. The melody insists that you listen until you are really listening. My mind may flutter back to worry or sadness, but the piano/clarinet says, “no, you aren’t listening yet” and plays it again. By the end, I feel better. I guess it’s like meditation in a way. A few minutes to focus on only the music.

This won’t be exactly a funny post, although Chester is up to his usual antics! Several of my friends have lost furry family members recently. I read a quote that said “Pets don’t live as long as they deserve.” Obviously not as long as we would like. I have lost pets and it hurts more than losing some people (let’s be real here, it does!). Pets are angels on earth.

Before Chester, I had a beagle named Abbey.

Abbey was my sidekick. We walked, cuddled, and played. She had three feet (not sure of the reason) and routinely when we walked someone would stop and tell me, “Your dog’s limping.” I thanked them politely. Truth is, if she didn’t want to walk she would just stop and sit down. I would carry her home. Everyone knew Abbey. If she got out or wiggled under the fence (in the mud usually) the kids in the neighborhood knew where she lived and would drag her back. One girl asked us over and over, “what happened to her foot?” We started off telling her we didn’t know but finally our skateboarding son told her it blew away. That ended that.

Even Frank the Bad Cat loved Abbey.

When Abbey died, I was heartbroken. For whatever reason, I couldn’t get past it. I would cry myself to sleep every night. Finally some deceased ancestor got sick of it and gave me a dream.

I should say here that I have certain dreams that are prescient. Normal dreams I can laugh off, like the ones where I am wandering the halls of the high school and can’t remember my schedule. Or I go into the class and have a test, never having been to class before. Or I have to go to the bathroom and can’t find a toilet. This one is more common as I get older until I finally wake up and go.

No, the prescient dreams are different. They are exceptionally clear and detailed. They started when I was about 10 years old but aren’t frequent. This dream was one of those.

I was walking into a house, led by an unseen figure. It was a white farmhouse with red trim. A door opened to a screened in porch. Through the screen I saw an open field. Abbey and some dogs were chasing each other around at full speed. I opened the screen door and felt something I don’t know the words to describe. I guess it was complete joy and every good emotion you could imagine but more than that.  I called her but I realized she couldn’t hear me. I closed the door, wanting her to stay where she was, knowing she was that happy. I didn’t want her to see me and I sort of snuck out the way I came.  When I woke up I remembered every detail. It has been over 10 years and I am sitting here with tears rolling down my face because stupid me cries when I’m sad AND happy. Sheesh, maybe I should take a new profile picture of me blowing my nose.

I can relate..

I believe this dream to be true. You may not and that’s fine. But if you believe me, and you are one of my friends who lost a pet, know that they aren’t missing you. They are so, so happy. You will miss them of course, but they are better than OK. They are frolicking with the other angels.

That and eating garbage I think…

Sometimes missing them gets to be too much. That’s when to pull out “Bolero” or “Layla.” Better yet, learn to play the “Layla” part on the piano. Then you can play it for as long as you want.  Your family will thank you for it. The sadness won’t go away for good but it may give you a moment of peace.

I was debating all week whether to write something more serious than usual. I felt I had to. But I can’t stay serious for long with Chester around. Good news on the Chester/cat front…Chester can come into Milo’s room and will leave Milo alone IF Milo is on the cat tree and doesn’t move. Hey, baby steps.

Milo staring down Chester
Chester’s reaction…

We went to Holden Arboretum last weekend, and it was a dog party!  We saw big, little, medium dogs, and lots of people who wanted to pet Chester.

this tongue was made for kisses, and that’s just what I’ll do…

We told one couple that he didn’t like he water. He then trotted over to the stream and jumped in. Just like kids at the doctor’s, they make liars out of us!

That’s actually ice…what was he thinking??

Another couple smiled at us taking pictures of Chester. They had a baby, so I think they get it.

I want to see the squirrel who can eat these!!

Hoping the weather will get warm again next week after snowmaggedon predicted this afternoon. Take it with a grain of salt because I did NOT have a dream about snow. Not my fault!! Have a good week and take care of yourselves!