By Cora Lee Drew AC
I cut the perfect line with
my paintbrush between the white ceiling and the wall thatís
becoming red from white. My experience tells me that going
slower gives me a crisper line and I can make it look straight
even when the wall itself is not. Amazing! For a brief moment
satisfaction wells up inside me. "BIG ____ING DEAL!!!"
The voice comes from a corner of my brain shouting and snorting
in disgust! I can hardly get by a day now without it angrily
tearing down my workday. The voice comes from my bored self.
Itís getting louder and angrier and stronger. HOW LONG ARE
YOU GOING TO GIVE A ____ ABOUT YOUR CLIENTíS WALLS, WHILE
YOUR OWN LIFE COULD SERIOUSLY USE A LITTLE OF THAT SAME TLC!
The voice is right. How did
I get here? This painting gig was supposed to last a couple
of years—tops! Here I am almost 15 years later, still
painting but I am in denial of the toll itís had on me and
to be perfectly honest Iím
BORED WITH IT! The rare request for murals or decorative
painting is not enough to break up how dull itís become!
And denial (at least for me) has become useless as a means
of shoring myself up.
Itís not surprising that the voice
is shouting and swearing these days. One doesnít come through
open-heart surgery and not expect that itís a sign that something
has to change! What am I holding on to that Iím so resistant
Another couple of months pass
by. Iíve regained new
strength to tune out the voice by justifying that my problem
is about not having someone in my life. Itís a decoy but
not completely useless. However, with my romantic track record
I shudder to think of the ways that most people would remedy
this problem. While I love a great glass of wine and/or a
dry martini, barhopping to meet guys is not the best strategy
for someone on medication for life!
A friend wins a yearís
subscription to an online dating service. The next day she
meets the man of her dreams in a bar! (Oh the irony!) She
gifts me the subscription and I try it for a year. Of the
five introductory coffee dates that I get in that year, Iím
grateful that three donít call back. The fourth doesnít and
perplexed for a day. The fifth has no romantic sparkle but
becomes a nice friend. I guess the Internet isnít my medium
for the delivery of magic from the universe!
Over the years
my brother and sister have annoyed me with their rants of, ďYou
should get a dog, Cora Lee, you know dog is God spelled backwards!Ē
However, the underlying message that getting a dog could
be a solution to being alone finally sinks in. When I try
to imagine the kind of dog I would like all I can think of
is Dororthyís Toto and before I can sing Somewhere
Over the Rainbow I have made a connection with a snappy
86-year-old who breeds the "Scottish Warriors" (her
passionate description of the little ratters)!
He comes home
at 8 1/2 weeks and I am terrified of the immense responsibility
I have taken on. Nothing goes the way the books say! (A friend
says to me in disbelief, "Your first dog and you get a terrier!")
We bumble along and in spite of his front legs not growing
correctly and his curmudgeonly ways I fall for this little
creature. I name him Mr. Mac, then add Ananda to his name
after reading a definition by the amazing [Smith alumna]
Madeleine LíEngle: ďthat
Joy in existence without which the Universe would collapse
and fall apart.Ē I love to see him happy. Suddenly the three-flight
walk up to my apartment seems wrong. I insist that he gets
the best Kibble and I canít buy him enough toys. He even
comes to work with me. Itís not always perfect but weíre
But soon the voice has another
tirade. HE NEEDS A YARD! HE NEEDS COMPANY WHEN YOUíRE AWAY or HE NEEDS A DOGWALKER!
And so it is that Mr. Macís needs becomes the catalyst that
helps me face the big changes I need to make. I decide to
go back to school. After a brief stint with UMass I decide
to listen to the many friends whoíve been suggesting I give
Ada Comstock program a try.
So here I am navigating this
structure that is Smith College, believing Iím doing it for
Mac. But recently it hits me that the only way this will
work is if I let Mac off the hook. After all, cute as he
is heís just a little dog who loves long walks in the woods,
lying in patches of sun and as much food and treats as he
can stuff into that little mouth. Beyond that I donít believe
he thinks about much at all and certainly not about my altruism
on his behalf.
What has really happened through
the divine shenanigans of the universe is that through loving
Mac I finally found the path to loving me. A journey of this
type demands a place for transformation to take place. I
see the Ada Comstock program acting as my own personal chrysalis.
What comes out the other side is anyoneís guess, but whatever
it is I know it will be fine. Iím open to not knowing the
outcome and finding a way to be in the loving present. Love
is all I need!