Thursday, July 1, 2010

Jasper's Second Birthday (June 28)

Yes, I celebrated my dog's birthday. Yes, he got presents.

Crazy? Well, let's consider why before anyone begins to judge me:

Jasper has been with me since my days in Korea. He kept me from going crazy when I lived alone. Now that I have a roommate, he keeps us both in stitches, makes us takes breaks from studying when we ought to but are inclined not to, and keeps us both company while we read. He offers me his favorite toys (and himself) whenever I don't feel well. He licks my sore, sweaty feet when I come home, exhausted, after a day full of classes or errands. He rests his head on my arm or the side of my computer when I type. He greets every visitor as though they were his long-lost best friend. He treats my coming home as if it were a holiday each time. Jasper makes me go out and enjoy the sunny weather, and keeps me active when I'd rather be lazy. He alleviates any desire for cable with his numerous antics. He dutifully serves in the roles of vacuum sweeper, court jester, psychologist, nurse, companion, personal trainer, foot warmer, masseuse, night guard, doorman, food taster, garbage disposal, and alarm clock -- and asks for nothing in return.

Yes, Jasper deserved to have his birthday celebrated. It was the least I could do.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"