I sit before my laptop, empty and uninspired. I summon ideas; they decline. The daily war of art ensues.
My dog lies beside me in her plush, memory foam bed. She fetching, her brown fur shining in a sunbeam. Her legs sprawl into a stretch, her paws flexing open then closed. A deep inhale is followed by a groaning sigh.
Contentment is the vibe of her morning.
We face off - my struggle versus her ease.
I resent it.
Her eyes are at half-mast. She fixes her hazy gaze on me and in her eyes there is wisdom. Knowing. I get the distinct sense she is trying to tell me something. She curls a paw over her muzzle and her eyes sink closed, sleep claiming her.
Is she suggesting I take a nap? Blow off my work, give up the struggle?
Her limbs twitch. The blank page mocks me. I wish I was a dog.
But wait. What if I WAS?
If I was a dog writer instead of a human writer (just go with it), would I sit here riddled with doubt, dousing every spark of an idea before it had a chance to catch to flame?
Not a chance.
If I was a dog, I would think all my idea were good ones. I'd think I was good, too. Smart, clever, wonderfully unique. Because my mere appearance in a room would win me coos and haunch rubs, my worth would be certain, my greatness an indisputable fact.
"Good girl," they would say. And, because I'd grown up in a golden sphere of my own
goodness, I would believe them.
Hell, I would get praised for pooping. Nothing I produce could ever fail.
And if I was too enthusiastic and knocked a vase to the floor or upset someone's coffee, my forgiveness would be swift. I would still sleep on my velour UGG pillowcase at night. I would still have marrow bones stuffed with yogurt and peanut butter waiting for me in the freezer. I would still lick out the pans after dinner and romp in the pines behind my house every morning with my mom.
There would be no rumination, no regret. I would be wired for presence. Contentment would be my magic wand, one that would release my fear and unlock the door where inspiration has been so diligently knocking. How fearless would I be then? How daring? If all my idea seeds were deemed brilliant, what might they grow into?
If I were a writer dog, freed of the striving and proving, creating would be natural, even playful and fun. And if writing could be more "wag more, bark less," perhaps, like a dog's joy, the work itself might be contagious and delightful.
Wasn't that the whole point of this writing thing?
But if my days were filled with walks, treats, naps, cuddles and chew toys, would get anything done? Would the blank page ever fill with words? With good words?
Absolutely. Because two hours of an open, relaxed mind is worth a hundred hours of turmoil-riddled effort.
Maybe I wouldn't even care about writing if I were a dog. Maybe I would be fulfilled being the queen of my family's universe, my name the wi-fi password and all plans made around my needs and preferences. Perhaps it would be enough to have three dog beds, my own Christmas tree and my own luggage for traveling.
Still. What would it be like to meet each moment with the unwavering acceptance of a dog? It's time to walk? I walk. It's time to go? I go. It's time to play? I play. It's time to rest? My eyes are already closed. Imagine the creativity that might sail on such calm waters.
It's a fact: I would be a much better writer if I was a dog.
But, man, typing with paws would be a bitch.