This piece reminds me quite a bit of a quote that lit a fire under my ass a week ago or so. With the same questions that all writers ask themselves constantly I’ve been stalling my writing goals by doubting my worth. But then this quote came along and reminded me what writing was, being passionate and translating that passion. "I pick up the broken glass that is everywhere to be found and upon which Tulip sometimes cuts her feet. I pick it up throughout the year whenever I notice it, but it is only now when the high summer seas of bracken have sunk to a low brown froth that I can see it where I fear it most, at their roots. Here, where she was so lately pouncing … The scattered fragments of broken bottles are bad enough—so sharp that, cautiously though I gather them, I often prick my fingers—but in their midst I sometimes find the butt-end still planted upright in the turf where boys stuck it, the other day or years ago, as target for their stones. Its splintered sides stand up like spears. I gaze at Tulip’s slender, long-toed feet in dismay. The little knuckly bones that curve over the four front pads are more delicate than a bird’s claw. And the pads themselves: I used to suppose them made of some tough, resistant, durable substance, such as rubber or gutta-percha; but they are sponges of blood. The tiniest thorn can pierce them, a sharp edge of glass, trodden on merely at walking pace, can slice them open like grapes. How they bleed! And what age they take, by slow granulation, to heal! Together they fit, indeed, to form a kind of quilted cushion; but dogs spread their toes for pouncing, and in between is only soft furry flesh and all the vital tendons of the leg. One pounce upon this bottle, with both front feet perhaps ... I pick it up. I pick it all up, every tiny fragment. I seek it out, I root it up, this lurking threat to our security, our happiness, in the heart of the wood; day after day I uncover it and root it up, this disease in the heart of life." - J.R.Ackerly, My Dog Tulip


Writer — Nature | Science | Agriculture | Health

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