This morning, I want to be half as fascinated by anything as my dogs are by the smell of old shit.
And this morning, I’m wondering: why can’t I be?
When we go on walks (For those who don’t know, I have two dogs, Roxie and Samwise. Here’s a video of them going out in the snow.) my dogs will often stop to investigate interesting sniffs. Roxie prefers checking out holes, looking for small critters who will be her friends; Samwise is looking for markings from other dogs so he can understand them better and have meaningful dialogue. So it’s mostly Sam who stands over old feces and sniffs it carefully, meticulously; I suspect he either has a very sensitive nose (even for a dog), which allows him to discover more interesting bits of smell than Roxie can, or a very sensitive mind, one that allows him to think more interesting thoughts about the smells he detects, and so he must take longer to think those thoughts through.
Now I don’t have an acute sense of smell; I don’t have any particularly acute senses, actually. I used to have remarkable hearing, but I’m 44 now, and it’s fading a bit. But I do have a very sensitive mind, and it allows me to think more interesting thoughts. Certainly more interesting than Roxie. (That’s okay, she is sweeter and more exuberant and funnier than I’ll ever be.) So while I don’t care much for the smell of old dog crap — or even new dog crap — or any crap, really — the things I do care for, I can take time with, time to think through my more interesting thoughts. I just have to let myself have them: have to pay attention to what is in front of me, and let my mind take it where it will, think whatever I can think.
I wonder where my mind will take me.