Making God Laugh

My dad used to have a set of Post-It notes on his desk that said “If you want to make God laugh make plans.”

One thing I planned to do was write on this blog more often; every Thursday morning at nine according to my calendar. Several friends, good friends, blog-reading friends, have asked me, in that semi-hushed voice, are you still blogging? I think, of course, I’m going to post Thursday, at nine. And then I sigh to myself and wonder what it is that I’ve been doing. Then a little voice answers: living life, and making god laugh.

It’s been almost a year since Z and I headed to Sri Lanka and then Istanbul, which I’ve written about here, and then Spain and Portugal, which I haven’t even gotten to yet. I’ll tell you all about it soon (next Thursday, at nine?), when the winter sets in and my desk feels warm, but right now, the sun is out in Seattle (!), I’m furiously editing my book, foolishly starting another one, and playing with our new puppy.

She is four months old and a snuggly ball of brown fuzz. I planned to walk her in the morning—before nine– and in the evening and work with her at my feet in between. But God laughs and we have all sorts of fun instead.

A few days ago we were walking in the park. Something about the air reminded me of travel, or changing seasons, of picking up and taking off: of freedom. For a moment I looked at my little dog and felt sad. Now that we have a dog we won’t be traveling the way we did. Then she looked up from the twig she’d just found. It was one of the very first cold mornings and when she breathed out her breath hung in the air.  Just for a moment. And then it was gone, a small sign that the morning was cold and she was warm and we were both in the park, alive, together.

I tried to explain to her how great this was.  But you know how dogs are. She just wiggled and looked at me like she understood every word, which is nice for a writer sometimes. And then a breeze blew and her brown fur ruffled and I was glad that I was close to home, without any plans to go anywhere soon.

12 thoughts on “Making God Laugh

  1. Lovely Beth. I know what you mean about wanting to be outside in the sun. I too think of traveling in the fall. It’s the season where I feel most calm and desire to move around without an agenda with my dog at the other end of the leash… just one more cup of coffee… I set my timer and write at my favorite coffee shop on QA Hill. Last night I had a dream that I was driving down the coast to CA. I woke thinking that we should take more driving trips. Then it hit me that it was morning, I had to get the boys to school, go teach, and snag some time to write if just a few lines… And, those lines it turns out are to you!

    1. Oh, traveling dreams. I sometimes wake up feeling like my body was actually moving! So what is you favorite Queen Anne Coffee Shop?

    2. Oh, traveling dreams. I sometimes wake up feeling like my body was actually moving! So what is you favorite Queen Anne Coffee Shop?

  2. You are brilliant, my friend. Such a beautiful, insightful post. I felt as if I were there with you on your walk, enjoying the beautiful fall. P.S. Your puppy is adorable!

  3. Reminds me of a joke from my Romanian youth: engineers have a lot in common with dogs, one such thing being communication style. Neither can talk very well, but if you look deeply into their eyes you immediately understand what they meant.

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