Gente que Cuenta

The knot,
by Leonor Henríquez

Dee Nickerson Atril press
Dee Nickerson,
Exploring, s/f

leer en español

      My days begin with an early walk and a knot.

It’s a new routine that started a few weeks ago, driven by a sweet guest I welcomed into my home this summer.

She is sweet and furry.

No more riddles, it’s my son’s dog, her name is Panda.

She has changed my schedules, my routes, she has made me discover new landscapes and people. At first, I resisted her, but now I let her guide me.

I have adapted to her rhythm; I stop if she wants to smell the grass, or scratch herself, or say hello to another dog; I return if she wants to go back to the house, I leave her if she wants to bathe in the river.

Anyway, Panda has reminded me of the importance of a sometimes-underestimated virtue: flexibility. That which contributes to one’s happiness and that of others.

And not only that.

The fresh morning air clears the mind, and just as she sniffs trees and roots, I do the same with my insecurities, my fears, my little “Everests”.

At the end of the walk, Panda does a dance and looks for the perfect place to “unload.”

I collect her “logs,” as my son calls them, with a small bag that I tie with tight knot before throwing it in the trash can.

Panda shakes herself and wipes her paws like a little wolf and continues on her way, happy and light.

Just like me.

Seems like the crisp morning air and my new “Zen” teacher, Panda, help me process and discharge my negative thoughts into the psychic bin.

I will miss Panda very much when I have to return her, but I promise I will exercise flexibility and will get rid of every bitter content from my head with a tight knot, so they can’t haunt me ever again.

Quoted by many, but originally articulated by the Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope:

“The more I know men, the more I love my dog.”

www.atril .press Leonor Henríquez e1670869356570
Leonor Henríquez (Caracas, Venezuela) Civil Engineer by training (UCAB 1985), writer and apprentice poet by vocation. From her time in engineering emerged her Office Stories (1997), another way of seeing the corporate world. Her latest publications include reflections on grief, Hopecrumbs (2020) ( and “The Adventures of Chispita” (2021) ( an allegory of life inside Mom’s belly.
Today she shares her “impulsive meditations” from Calgary, Canada, where she lives.

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