12/23/11

Dog + Fog = No Blog Posts

Watching t.v. with Dad, I'm creeped out by the endless commercials for Christian Mingle Dot Com.  Apparently one can "Find God's match for you" online.

I am in love, but with a five and a half pound dog, possibly a divine gift for mental health and stress relief this holiday season.  While my trip to Oregon included a wonderful visit with my son and daughter-in-law, scenic adventures in several environmental niches, and a break from both nursing home and computer, the best for my blood pressure was probably hanging out with Wiley the Wonder Dog.  Wiley has two speeds, Doggie-A-Go-Go, and snoozing on your lap.  Wiley is either a baby koala, a canine Einstein, or a Schnauzer-Yorkie mix.  He does NOT like to have his toenails trimmed.  Neither does my dad.  Medicare doesn't pay for old farts to have their nails cut very often, and those poor podiatrists probably wait years to be reimbursed for their services.

Sunday my eldest and I visited the Mt. Angel Abbey near Salem.  We went because Fodor's suggested the library was a "masterpiece of serene and thoughtful design", and one of only two American buildings by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. Maybe the interior is a masterpiece, but the exterior was less intriguing than the monks' Weber grills on its patio. Since the library was closed, I will not add it to my Life List.
The hilltop abbey was itself a gem of serenity and mindfulness.  Like Brigadoon, it seemed adrift in a sea of mist and fog, removed from real time and concerns.  I felt near Christopher Columbus' edge of the flat earth looking out into the fog beyond the pines.

The Benedictine monks thoughtfully reminded me I should winterize my condo exterior faucets when I returned home.  Please note the faucet cover at the grotto:


What makes a non-dog person in a foggy land go seeking Finnish architecture in the Willamette Valley?  There doesn't seem to be an online specific matchmaking website with or without God's misty assistance. Sometimes we must find our own way or a comfortable chair.  Why seek out an Alvar Aalto project?  Because his chair designs are found in a book I loved as a child. We all find our places of calm where we can retreat.  On a clear day we can see for miles in the valley, but this was a foggy day:

On a  clear day
Rise and look around you
And you'll see who you are.
On a clear day
How it will astound you
That the glow of your being outshines ev'ry star.

You'll feel part of ev'ry mountain sea and shore.
You can hear, from far and near,
A world you've never heard before.
And on a clear day...
On that clear day...
You can see forever and ever more!






So tonight I have Arvo P√§rt's "Te Deum" in the cd player.  It fits the fog, the abbey, the aesthetic, and recent memories of a small dog snoozing on my lap. 


© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder

4 comments:

Christine Thresh said...

A book about chairs is a very interesting choice for a child's favorite.

Collagemama said...

Christine--I loved looking through all my parents' architecture and furniture books while listening to Broadway show tunes on the hifi. The first items I "put my name on" for after the folks were gone were my dad's typewriter and the chair book.

Kathleen said...

Merry Christmas!

Kim said...

I'm glad you got a nice break away! Happy holidays to you Collagemama!

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