There is a Crack in Everything, That’s How the Light Gets In

What the dog did wrong–He ate a hole in my mattress.

What I did wrong–maxi-pad failure, too busy to clean it up on a busy morning, and this wouldn’t have happened if I walked him more. (Despite our abilities to shower and show up, there is so much slippage in our efforts to live normal lives. The dog found the opportunity between the cracks.)

What I didn’t do wrong–This mattress wasn’t cheap. It was a carefully-thought out purchase that was delivered the week my husband died. He slept on it two nights. This mattress has always been fraught, and the hole invited me to see it as a symbol of how crappy my life is, and how futile my efforts at improvement have been, but I didn’t take the bait. I didn’t freak out. It is a very good mattress, and the hole isn’t really that big. When I have the wherewithal, I’ll fill it with foam and patch it up. In the meantime, I flipped the mattress over.

What surprised me–After I flipped the mattress, it fit nice and snug with the headboard. There’s been a gap between the mattress and headboard recently, and that’s bothered me. It’s much better now for sitting up.

What was apt–In the process of flipping the mattress, I spied a book under my bed–Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart by the Buddhist psychotherapist Mark Epstein. (It must have fallen into said gap.) I knew I had two books by him! Luckily, I’ve been reading the other one, so I already knew that I was doing well with the hole in the mattress by not being “reactive.”

But finding a book by a Harvard-educated Buddhist psychotherapist while accepting that your dog bit a hole in your Room and Board mattress? Priceless.

(The title of this post comes from Leonard Cohen’s Anthem. I wasn’t sure whether to title this one about cracks or about the middle-class journey to acceptance.)

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3 thoughts on “There is a Crack in Everything, That’s How the Light Gets In

  1. Dogs sure keep life interesting. I once had a dog who’d eat the crotches out of any underpants left where they didn’t belong. At least you could flip a mattress…try wearing a pair of crotchless panties. 🙂 One time he got into the dirty laundry basket and not a single pair of underpants survived.

  2. Oh, those dogs. When I told each kid the story, they responded the same way. They laughed a big Ho! Ho! Ho! and marveled at the ingenuity of these dogs. Destruction is their creative talent. The kids are so proud.

  3. thank you to wordpress for sending you to my scribblings. now i’ve found your posts! i gain a lot from reading other’s experiences around profound loss.
    as for dogs, my young choc lab has trained me well. she is quite good at knowing the difference between her toys and my things. she is now running the yard with a garden boot. her tennis ball isn’t enough of a lure and so i will resort to the talking troll doll that my sister brought as a joke for barb last year. the dog can’t resist the sounds it makes.

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