First, yesterday’s post about our dog’s overheating may have alarmed the many admirers of Serena the Wonder Dog, the Hines Family Animal Companion (we eschew calling her our “pet,” this being terribly Homo sapiens-centric, though the verb form of this word accurately describes how we spend much of every evening).
Hopefully this photo that I snapped this morning when I went in to the dog room to wake her up will reassure anyone concerned about her welfare. Serena has an entire futon on which to sleep in her amazingly cute contorted dog postures. This is her famous “straight arm” pose, a favorite. About a week ago Laurel switched her futon covering from a teal sheet to this more harmonious earth tone design, into which Serena blends nicely.
Second, in writing about the frequent “told you so!”s I hear from Laurel, in which she corrects my many erroneous conceptions about the world, I may have left readers with the impression that this is a bad thing, that I long for a subservient, docile woman who will unthinkingly agree with everything I say and obediently comply with everything I ask her to do. Well, I do have to admit that this sounds pretty appealing. But only for a little while, like a few hours a week in the bedroom.
The rest of the time I want a woman who is herself, not me. Otherwise I’d feel like I was married to myself. What’s the point in that? “Yes, yes, yes” would get boring. I like the unpredictable mix of “Yes, no, yes, no you bozo!” Recently I ran across a great (and possibly tongue-in-cheek) quotation from Rumi’s Fihi ma Fihi where this incomparable Sufi mystic speaks of the spiritual benefits of marriage (to get the full impact of this passage recall that Muhammad had at least ten wives).
God most High and Mighty showed the Prophet [Muhammad] a narrow and hidden way (to refine himself), and that was to marry women, so that he might endure their tyranny, listen to their absurdities and let them ride roughshod over him….The way of Jesus was to struggle in solitude and not to gratify one’s lust; the way of Muhammad is to endure the tyranny and grief inflicted by men and women. If you cannot go the way of Muhammad, at least take the way of Jesus, lest you be altogether deprived.