The story starts with Paul.  Paul Lisicky is one of four writers on a panel in Washington D.C.  Listening to Paul, watching him lean across the podium while wearing his blue winter hat indoors because he’s caught a chill, leads me to thinking about his partner, Mark Doty.  Where’s Mark?

I attended a Mark Doty reading a couple of years ago where he told a story about being on an airplane, and the airplane was going down, a crash landing.  All of the passengers survived, they ate pizza in an airport hanger.  Funny, the things you remember.

The first Mark Doty book I ever read was DOG YEARS. Hands down the best book I’ve read about the mystical bond between us humans and our animals.  Louise Erdrich said:  “DOG YEARS is about dogs, that is to say, about everything we cannot talk about.  Although Mark Doty manages to write about what he calls the ‘unsayable’ about our relationships with animals, and about unspeakable times of loss, DOG YEARS is not a dark book.  It is illuminated from within by gorgeous wonder.”

Which leads me to check out Mark’s blog — what is he working on these days?  Turns out he’s had eye surgery recently and has been unable, for a short period of time, to read.  But he’s been blogging, poetically as only Mark can, on this experience, and I spend a half hour reading every detail.

After waiting 6 weeks for an appointment, I’m finally seeing the eye surgeon tomorrow to see about removing my cataracts — yes, cataracts for god’s sake — which is like the littlest raindrop hitting the pond compared to Mark’s surgery, but still …

I wish him well.  And me, too.

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