By now, you all know that Lenore died last night. Did she have any idea how many lives she touched? I’m only becoming aware of it by looking at Jon’s facebook page. I know what she did for me and now I see that her love had such a far reach. I think how wonderful it is that Jon was able to capture her essence in his writing and pictures and share her with the world. How wonderful for all of us.
And I’m sad, so sad too. We had a special connection me and Lenore. The way we walked through the woods together, both of us finding the wild parts inside of ourselves. Aware of each other always, as if connected by an invisible thread, but each in our own world too. Each taking from the woods what they had to offer us. I will miss my companion of the woods.
And I have to admit, I thought someday, when Frieda finally left us, Leonore would become my studio dog. So she would not only walk with me in the woods and ride with me in my car, but she would accompany me to my studio too. It just seemed like it would be the natural progression of things. But when does life and death conform to our sense of order.
I think when we’re authentic and true to ourselves our spirit, our essence precedes us. Animals can’t be anything but true. And the joy that emanated from Lenore, was Lenore, is Lenore. When we sat on the floor of the animal hospital last night, Jon holding Lenore, his head resting in my lap, her tail was thumping as they put the needle in her leg. And when her heart stopped beating I felt her spirit, it lingered over her body for just a few seconds, and I looked at the space it occupied and smiled. I actually smiled. Because I was feeling what was there and it was pure happiness. The space itself seemed to shimmer, like heat in the air above a fire, with tiny, soft twinklings of pinks and greens. I can still feel it now and the joy of it makes me cry.
I’ve never seen Jon so moved by the death of one of our animals. He cried for Lenore like I’ve never seen him cry. He even accused me of being happy to see him cry. But I told him I was happy that he could cry, not that he was crying. The depth of feeling was so powerful, it made me see their connection in a new light. Lenore always brought out the silliness in Jon, in the way he would sing to her and the songs he would make up about her. Be she also came into his life at a time when he was at a divide. He could have shut down his emotions or opened them up. He always said Lenore kept his heart open, brought out the love inside of him.
Yesterday I thanked Lenore for keeping that love alive so when I came along Jon was open to loving me. I remember when Jon first got Lenore. We were just friends then, both married to different people, he brought her into my studio at Old Bedlam Farm. She ran around my floor chasing scraps of fabric and we called her name again and again so she would get to know it. Lenore was there from even before the beginning of me and Jon. Or who knows, maybe that was the beginning.
Because of Jon’s writing, Lenore will live on. But she’s gone from our lives in a very real way. So I miss her and I cry and I smile. And I’m grateful for what she did for me and Jon and everyone else out there who loves her.