Walking to a London park with Leonard The Dog. Through gritted teeth and spikes of nameless fury, I am attempting to practice my Practice. Welcome… WECLOME… welcome… to this and this and this… I crack my jaw, doing a fair imitation of Munch’s Scream. I’m not sure if I’m getting some queer looks from passers by.
I am full to bursting with compressed and compacted anguish. I could burst. I really could. Burst.
Quite suddenly, I see, quite vividly, an elephant. Now, I’m not much prone to visuals. I am more a fragment of words sort of girl. But here, on the way to a London park , I am visited by an elephant. She’s lumbering and lurching in half circles, listing badly to the left. Do I have some trace memory of wildlife films? Have I seen an elephant do this? This elephant is clearly not okay. Her trunk is hopeless weight, her knees are buckling and she’s going down: a big, falling elephant in my minds eye on a London street.
I don’t even know about elephants. I don’t know if this is actually, factually, how one would fall. And the sound: Oh Lord, the sound of this elephant as she lists and lurches and falls… I don’t know if this is the true sound an elephant makes? Or just this one? This elephant inside me has been shot in the hip, or knee capped, or something quite inconceivable. Elephant depression. And, the sound of an elephant’s sorrow is too much for the ears or heart of a human, to tolerate.
Leonard The Dog is having a pee. Here I am on the way to a London park, having some kind of elephant breakdown and Leonard is cocking his leg up against a London wall.
I keep going. Dogs are good like that: good at moving forward. We walk and slowly my elephant bleeds back into the mystery. Now, at home in Bed World, tapping out an elephant report, I feel the tears behind my eyes. I see my own small endeavor to make postcards from my small sufferings, as the prayers for Mercy, that they are.