I'm Nobody: I thought belonging required you to be Somebody--until a chance conversation about a special dog taught me to witness someone's love as one Nobody beside another.
Stunning. And this moment of witnessing, pure and true. Thanks, Rona💕 “I could be the one he needed when a memory unmoored him and left him Nobody too. I accepted what he offered, the gift of witnessing his love. He didn’t wipe his tears. I didn’t look away.”
Wow. This is the best essay I've read in many moons. It's so deeply human, touching on so many things both wonderful and painful about living in a world as/with Somebodies and Nobodies. And of course how dogs have the natural gift of leveling the playing field for humanity.
Such a beautiful essay. It feels like we're carefully making our way on rocks across a stream -- each step is balanced and tested until proven solid. Of course I was rooting for the narrator and her story, but also somehow rooting for Kenneth. What a lovely reminder of the beauty of being a nobody and that even somebodys have soft, unprotected nobodys deep inside.
I am one of those who discovered Rona's poignant, beautiful writing and rare insight in the short essays on life that she posts on social media. As a confirmed crazy cat person, I always felt left out of the devout dog lovers' conversations, but all the deeper sentiments ring just as true. So touched to read this essay; thank you for sharing it.
Jane- thank you for sharing Rona's essay. I knew from her social media posts and her comments on my posts that there was something special about her. Now I know what it is--she is a soulmate.
Jane, thank you for editorial wisdom. You took an outtake from my book and saw where it could go.
Beyonders, I’d like you to know this essay began as an outtake from my book, STARTER DOG. I had no idea where to put it so decided to kill the darling. What I really didn’t know, until Jane gave it her wise editorial scrutiny, is what it was trying to tell me. She encouraged me to listen to the story instead of trying to impose my will on it (my words, not hers). I now see how beautifully it would slip into the book. But Jane can’t edit everything, can she?
This is so beautiful and tender. Belonging is a subject close to my heart as a fellow shy girl who struggled for connection in the schoolyard. These days my heart belongs to two black kitties 🖤🖤
This is just gorgeous! I love the power of animals to bridge human divides. Also, Maynard's language is just remarkable--often unexpected and perfect: the dog's throat, "it was many misfortunes ago"...and the silence at the end. Thank you for sharing this!
I'm so glad I made the time for this this morning. It is profound and moving in its expression of how a momentary connection between strangers over a seemingly safe subject (pets!) can nudge them to a place of authenticity and non-judgement. Beautiful and evocative. Brava, Rona!
In the midst of a chaotic morning of packing to move and going throug final edits, this piece has centered me. Until recently, my little heart dog would have been asleep on my foot. Since losing her I've seldom been able to be still. Thank you, Jane and Rona, for sending this story into the world.
Agreed! It's the sign of a master writer. Nobody schmobody. lol.
Beautiful. I can still believe in us. What makes us human and part of the world. Thank you!
I can totally relate to this account of being in a relationship and having life throw changes at you that challenge your union! (I have been with my husband since 1988 and we both had to cope when a serious pregnancy complication gave me a stroke and ruptured my liver. )
Stroke recovery has meant having to work hard at rebuilding a life—-and a marriage—-that I loved. The power balance of our union used to be 50/50 but now it’s more like 80/20—with me feeling like I have only 20% control over decisions that affect both of us.
And my husband is a GOOD guy who stuck with me through the worst of it—-even when his mother predicted (preferred?) he walk away from me!
Absolutely beautiful story, such delicate prose. I have a heart dog, she is gone now and like Kenneth, many came and went before her, but Fifi was special. She was my best friend and I loved her dearly. I miss her terribly; she was the sweet soul of our home and sometimes I catch a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye and I know she is still with me.
This is a master class in personal essays. I need to study it again and again. Beautiful, thank you.