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Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Wonderful Day. Is All.

Source: Wikipedia 
I had a wonderful day yesterday. Is all.

It wasn't an earthshatteringly momentous day. It was just a wonderful day. I gripe enough online; to be fair, I should report on wonderful days.

There are heroes in this world who rescue retired racing greyhounds from death.

Greyhounds spend their early years mostly in the company of other greyhounds, not humans, so they don't know how to be pets. They are gathered from the track, often in Florida, transported to other states, bathed, photographed, and publicized. They have to be taught to walk on tile, to climb and descend stairs, and to play. Volunteer greyhound rehabilitators do all this.

I greatly admire the saints who devote huge amounts of time to helping greyhounds transition from racers to pets. I can't devote as much time as they do to the work, but I wanted to do something.

I got an idea. Maybe I could read tarot cards at a greyhound craft fair and donate any proceeds to the dogs. The folks organizing the fair said yes.

I was a nervous. Before yesterday, I'd never attended an event like this. I had no idea of who was there and what they wanted from the event.

I do tarot readings mostly one-at-a-time, and I take it seriously, so it drains me emotionally. I had no idea if I could spend eight hours reading cards.

Would anyone attending a greyhound event want to have their tarot cards read? Would they give me money for this? Would I sit there for eight hours doing nothing and looking ridiculous?

I had dressed up in my costume: embroidered shirt, colorful apron, headscarf, abundant jewelry. Would this display all be for naught? Would the greyhound team, whom I admire so much, hate me for putting them through the trouble of devoting a table to, and printing up signs for, my harebrained scheme at their event? Would I be bored and humiliated and have to go home a big bust?

Well, if nothing else, I got to spend the day around really beautiful dogs. There were a lot of greyhounds there, of course, one more beautiful than the next. There were also other breeds: presa canario, boxers, French bulldogs, German shepherds, shih tzus, and dachshunds.

I brought the New York Times to read, thinking I'd get bored, but I never did. Just watching the dogs parade in front of me, and petting as many of them as I could, gave me a warm feeling.

As it happens, my idea worked. I did have clients.

I got to serve. I got to feel like I was contributing in some positive way to a good cause. I received positive feedback.

There was even a line for readings at a couple of points. "That was very helpful" some said. I even did a tarot reading for a dog, a first for me. It worked well.

At the end of the day, I had a big wad of bills to donate. I made about three times as much money as I would make during a comparable amount of time teaching.


Here's the inevitable gripey part.

If I could turn back the hands of time, I would never go to graduate school, and I would never have anything to do with Polish-Jewish relations, the topic of my dissertation and my publications. Academia and that work came very close to killing me, and that isn't a metaphor. Had I done almost anything else with my life, I could have been of service to others, and I could have built a comfortable life for myself, including health insurance, and my own home, and enough money to buy a car and get out and meet people. I could have spent my days among sane, decent, pleasant people. Instead of academics.

Well, I can't turn back the clock, but I can at least volunteer on those weekends when I can.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps you can not turn back the old clock. Why not invest in a new one? I really enjoyed reading this post. I have hope that one day you will believe what I and others know: you are both valuable and valued. What happened in the past can not change that basic fact. Thank you for sharing this experience with us. An extra benefit was learning a little bit about what happens to Greyhounds after they retire from racing.