So, our neighbours have a small dog.
It’s a nice dog. An inside dog. So we don’t really see it that much. Kinda like it’s owners – our neighbours. They’re nice. Mostly inside. When they’re home.
They’re considerably younger than us. Meaning with their youth and their DINK lives, they go out a lot. Giving me fond memories of when I too had a life. When I too would go out. When I too could stay up after 10pm.
Last night, again our nice neighbours were out. Leaving their nice dog inside. And clearly feeling rather indignant that his nice owners (our nice neighbours) had left him (the nice dog) inside and home alone, he began to bark.
Except small dogs don’t bark, they yap.
And this one yapped a lot.
Now I’m no saint when it comes to being a quaint neighbour. My kids are often feral and on my roof. I also have 2 dogs which have been known to bark. Sometimes a lot. In fact sometimes kinda a lot. To the point where I once had the local ranger permanently parked out the front of my house.
Although I wasn’t sure if he was staking out my dogs or my kids.
But I gave numerous bottle of wine apologies to my various neighbours, and now my dogs sleep inside.
One by the fire.
One by my bed.
Both void of barks.
But this nice little dog next door starting it’s intermittent yapping bark at 7:30 last night. Building to a constant 4 beat crescendo by 10.
Right outside my bedroom window.
During this time, I lay on my pillow (as I say, I have no life) and listened to this kind of dog-yap-chinese-water-tortue-sound for nearly an hour. Believing it to be some kind of bark karma. While listening to the yap drumming into my brain, I began to think of nice ways I could suggest to my nice neighbours to have their nice little dog nicely quiet on a still winter night.
Thoughts of a letter came to mind. I like words. I find them soothing. And as long as one doesn’t write the contents of the letter in capitals and avoids extremes of punctuation (ie exclamation marks), the written word is often well received.
Especially if written by a nice person to other nice people. With reasonable suggestions like “leave the radio on” or “buy one of those dog-smart toys”. As opposed to “I’m reporting you to council”, or “I’ve left your dog up at the Bluff.”
For 53 minutes, I wrote and re-wrote the letter in my mind. How to start it, how to finish it, how to be – well – nice about it. As I hate confrontation, I settled on “can you tell me when you’re going out so I can buy 5 pairs of ear plugs from Bernard at the chemist”.
I felt like a stalker.
Then, at 10:53, something happened. It was short. It was sharp. Poignant and to the point. A strong voice on the street, from the depths of a man’s being. It yelled,
The dog obeyed.
And silence was heard.
Think chest openers, jalandhara bandha and viloma breath.
Voicing our truth comes in all shapes and forms. We can side-step around the crux of the issue. Pretend we’re being nice while we slink into passive non-confrontation.
Or we can shout.
We can shout loud.
We can shout hard.
And if what we shout is true, coming from the subtle whispers of intuitive space – it deserves the recognition to be heard. To be heard loud. Even if it’s hard to hear. Even harder to say.
True words are our birthright. They can show our power when we’re scared, our strength when we’re challenged, our light when it’s dark. They can show ourselves and our stuff. And in doing so, we can become the vehicle through which consciousness can manifest. Actions in service to spirit become words coloured in grace.
This morning at 5am, I put our front light on. I woke the solo sleeping nice dog next door. It began it’s yap.
“Shhhhhht!” I hissed to the breaker of my dawn.
And silence was heard.
In my home and in my heart.