As soon as I get an idea we’ll go,” I say to O’en, who’s looking up at me from his office bed, anxious, I know, to go for a walk at midday so that he can immerse himself in all the effluvia I cannot smell.
It is wondrous that he can become so transported on routes, in East Hampton Village and in Springs, that rarely vary. But nothing’s humdrum to him when he’s in the out of doors, whether the weather’s fine or not, day or night. “Always be sniffing,” I say, as we stroll along.
He likes to roll on his back too, where the turf is thick, twisting back and forth in utter ecstasy, all white and pinkish. “Ah, splendor in the grass,” I say, wishing I could frolic with him, but would I be able to get up?
To him, when he’s on the move, everything is new — the quotidian becomes all-absorbing. I envy him that.
I’ve seen Mary in that state sometimes, remembering herself, delighting in Nature. Looking up at the trees in our backyard in reverence, looking just as worshipful as she did upon entering Chartres. So I say to her, never be closing, don’t let the news of the world grind you down. Glory in the flower.
Live in possibility, see beyond suffering, don’t lose yourself in it. Remember, the Dalai Lama’s laughing, and that my father was healed by a nun’s smile.
Let O’en be our preceptor then, our olfactophilic guide through this hell and purgatory, preparing us to climb unto the stars. Let him teach us to delight in the moment — in the good, the bad and, at this time of year, the buggy.