Sammi

Today Sammi, our dog of nearly 14 years, died. She died with her ears still sticking up.

Some things I will always remember about my puppy: Taking her home the first night. Racing her up the stairs. The way she would get randomly hyper and run around the house. The way she knew when I was sad and made me laugh. The way I could get her ears to stick up by raising the pitch of my voice. How even she knew that wet, rolled up towels are a scary thing. How she always knew when dad was out getting breakfast and would wait eagerly for him (and bacon) to return. How she was always so warm and smelled like a dog, but I loved it. She loved toasting outside in the sun. She loved to have her ears scratched.

I don’t think she ever lived up to her name (Samantha means “obedient”), but she was a sweet, loving dog, and from that first night she was my baby. She will be missed very much.

This morning, when all seemed normal, I called her over and she laid down and rested her head on my foot. Totally randomly, I took a few pictures of her. I only wish now they had been better pictures.

Rest in Peace, Sammi. Thank you for being a part of my life.

Sammi

Arlo

Hachiko

Composed 1/4/11
Description: A little piece I was inspired to write after seeing this picture.

It is in the region of the Egova in which this tale takes place.  There it is said that the spirits once lived, for the deep slopes of the hills and mountains are cut into hundreds of tiny stair steps which lead to grand, smooth plateaus.   The plateaus are said to be where the houses of the spirits rested for thousands of years until these spirits, exasperated with humanity, destroyed their earthen residences and disappeared into the heavens – a world they created in which they could be alone and truly rest in peace.

However, it was rumored that some spirits stayed behind in Egova.  These few had grown so attached to this place that they would not leave; instead they vowed to stay on Earth forever, to watch over and protect the land.  The Great Spirit, who created the heavens and the earth, looked favorably on these few and blessed them with powers similar to his own.  This way they could protect the earth during his absence.

Humans moved into the mountains once the spirits left, building small settlements directly into the ancient stairways.  In these first days, many villagers witnessed ghostly forms strolling in the distance, circling the communities.  Frightened by this, they built shrines for the spirits to show their good intentions.  The visions then stopped.  However, the villagers kept a wide birth from these shrines, arriving only once a year to tend to the shrines and present gifts to the spirits.  Disturbing a spirit’s shrine on any other day was considered bad luck – not only for the individual, but for all the people of the mountain.

Spirit sightings had been rare since those first days.  Only a certain few had witnessed bizarre or extraordinary events, things that could only be explained as the work of a spirit.  Miraculous healings, massive, destructive fires… Both were considered signs of favor or disapproval of the spirits, respectively.

But seeing a tangible form of a spirit was rarely heard off.  What they looked like was only known because of myths, and even they were contradictory.  Some believed they possessed human-like forms, while others claimed they took form as animals.

Nevertheless, as the years passed, villagers continued to pay homage to the shrines; though, stories of spirits were always told in past tense, as if the species had died off long ago… Continue reading