Tooth decay, a doggone delivery and saving the St. Patty’s Day Parade.
by Greta Belanger deJong
My dentist tells me there’s trouble brewing between the teeth and below the gumline. To the naked eye, there’s nothing much remiss. But it shows up on an x-ray. Other signs point the way, too, if you know how to notice them.
While not outright rejecting his urgent message, I have resisted it. There’s always the thrifty thought of what if, after all that dental work, I died (what a waste). Or: Maybe the problem will reverse itself. Or: My vigorous efforts will undo previous damage. Or: Not this body, it’s pretty much problem-free—never even a broken bone (if toes don’t count).
As I said, I don’t deny he’s right. But I might as well do so, considering my ‘maybe, maybe not’ attitude. I’m waiting for… a sign. Some pain or difficulty that would let me know the situation is dire, that I was a fool to dither, that now that it is too late, I am willing to dive in and do what’s necessary (gasping hope).
And then I thought about people (“those idiots”) who ignore, even outright deny the evidence of manmade global climate change.
Careful, there—that’s my mouth, and that’s me.
True, if I die with a mouthful of crumbling fillings and crowns, no one else suffers; I’ve left no legacy of trouble for another to tend. I have enough imagination to see down the road what happens when we consume natural resources willy-nilly. I see the need for biodiversity. I can’t relate to an internal biological process I can’t feel or see, nor am I spurred to action by predictions. “Unreal” means it’s just not believable. And that’s the way most bad news sounds if it doesn’t hurt.
I really want to be motivated by joy instead of fear, by my own impulse toward wholeness as opposed to avoiding pain. I really don’t know how to segue from dentistry to dogs so I will just tell you that my dog snores gently beside me. Sarah Jessica Barker, aka Lady Lazarus, lives content as long as the cupboard is stocked with canned lamb and rice, she gets her acupuncture and Reiki treatments from Dr. Nan, and there’s something new on the sidewalk to sniff. A circumscribed life, to the extreme.
Barely able to stand, much less walk unattended, the almost-16-year-old dog got the ride of her life a few days ago when Pax pedaled to the Main Library, pulling her in the baby trailer he’d found at D.I. and converted into a CATALYST delivery wagon for downtown. Black ears blowing, blanket tucked in around her and a heart-shaped pink fuzzy pillow for her head, she rolled down the road like a rickshaw princess. If she could have, I’m sure she’d have turned to wave. As it was, she was way too busy sniffing.
The pleasure was fleeting but who knows? It may happen again. Or maybe she will die with the memory of that jaunt at the front of her mind, and next life she’ll return as a race horse or a cab driver or someone who likes to feel the breeze in her hair.
Which is to say that all we ever have is this every-changing moment. It’s simple, I imagine, if you’re a dog.
Help save the St Patty’s Day Parade!
The Utah Hibernian Society has asked Swagger to help raise money for their organization this year. Swagger was very honored to be asked to help & have put together a fantastic show. Proceeds form the concert will go to help support St. Patrick’s Parade which will be held on Sat. March 13th. downtown SLC. Also performing are The Heathen Highlanders Pipe & Drum Band as well as The Crawford School of Irish Dance. The event will be held at the 900 seat Judge Memorial Auditorium in downtown SLC. Tickets are $10 Students & $20 Adults. To purchase tickets go to http://www.irishinutah.org or call Gerald McDonough @ (801) 487-4456.
Greta is the editor and publisher of CATALYST.