A state of connectedness

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“Being human is most likely a much lonelier endeavor than being a dog. Of course, many dogs spend a great deal of their time in solitude, waiting for someone to come home, for the world to begin again–but they live in a state of connectedness, it seems, that we have lost, if indeed we ever possessed it. Is that why we turn to them, they who are always ready to receive, to join in wholeheartedly, as we so often cannot? To be human is to be a watcher; sometimes even at our moments of great joy or great grief there is a part of us conscious of our being, observing that being. I do not think dogs have such a part; they are all right here, involved in whatever it is, and therefore they are a sort of cure for our great, abiding loneliness. A temporary cure, but a real one.”

— Mark Doty, Dog Years

(One of my favorite passages from the wonderful memoir.) Happy Friday, everyone!

Nature’s answer

The animal that will respond to your voice. Source: Miles to Style

“The loneliness and solitude of man can be dispersed by spiritual intercourse, but man is of the earth, too, and Nature lives in him and holds him fast. She is his mother, and just as in all young things that stray from home there is a yearning after associations which recall the color and the atmosphere of the old home now lost, so does the solitary man seek Nature, a life in Nature; Nature’s answer, the animal that understands his voice and respond to it.”

— F.J.J. Buytendijk, The Mind of the Dog (quoted in The Art of Raising a Puppy, by the Monks of New Skete)