|Muffin. 13 Dec 2014. Cubbon Park.|
This is undoubtedly the most beautiful piece of writing I have ever come across. A short story called 'The 24-hour Dog' by Jeannette Winterson. About this man who adopts a little puppy. I could barely breathe till the end.
"He was as soft as rainwater. I made him walk on a lead and he jumped for joy, the way creatures do, and children do and adults don't do, and spend their lives wondering where the leap went.
He had the kind of legs that go round in circles. He orbited me. He was a universe of play. Why did I walk so purposefully in a straight line? Where would it take me? He went round and round and we got there all the same.
...... I looked at him, trusting, vulnerable, love without caution. He was a new beginning and every new beginning returns the world. In him, the rain forests were pristine and the sea had not been blunted. He was a map of clear outlines and unnamed hope. He was time before or time after. Time now had not spoiled him. In the space between chaos and shape there was another chance.
......He circled along in his warm skin, happy again because he was free and because he belonged. All of one's life is a struggle towards that; the narrow path between freedom and belonging. I have sometimes sacrificed freedom in order to belong, but more often I have given up all hope of belonging.
It is no use trying to assume again the state of innocence and acceptance of the animal or the child. This time it has to be conscious. To circle about in such gladness as his, is the effort of a whole lifetime."
From 'The World and Other Places', Jeannette Winterson
This book is available on Flipkart. I got it from a second-hand bookshop on Church Street.
P.S: So a kind soul found me the full story, published online, in 1997. Thanks, Rukhiya, you have no idea what this means to me!