Some random thoughts on life, change, moving, and writing from the point of view of a dog

My wife, Louise, and I (and our dear, gentle yellow lab, Lucie) are slowly moving our lives from Minnesota to Portland, Oregon. Moves are always challenging, and equal parts exciting and frightening. The accoutrements of an old identity are sloughed off and a new person emerges. This is easier when we are young because transformation, growth, and discovery are the stuff of which an interesting life is made. As we get older, however, the sense of loss begins to weigh more heavily. The accretion of life’s meaning is tied so much to place and personal history. I am curious to see how much of the old me — the writer, the father, the husband, the man — remains, and to learn whether this is a step forward into a new identity or an untethering and a movement into a personal diaspora.

One change that excites me is the turning of a new page in my writing life. I want to republish my dearest, quietest literary child, A Haunting Reverence, and to do it with the help and involvement of you, my readers. I want to do more public speaking and working with young people. I want to do some reflective writing, perhaps about the inner world of a life in the arts, and I toy with the idea of a writing a novel from the point of view of a dog. When I mentioned this idea to my publisher they blanched and gently escorted me from the room. But, hey, they’re not dog people. You dog folks would understand: who sees more clearly and with better heart than a dog? I’d like to know what a dog has to say about the strange, inscrutable human species and the world we’ve created. The only way to find out is to ask one, and I might just decide to do so.

There’s lots more to write about: new friendships, new insights, new ideas (both half and fully baked), and the fresh encounters that come fast and furious when you embark upon a new life in a new place. Already the stories come pouring forth. I look forward to sharing them with you.

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