I sat there for hours and my thoughts went round and round. I absolutely had to finish. The appointment hung over my neck like a sword of Damocles. “Where does the expression ’sword of Damocles‘ come from?” Suddenly crossed my mind, and I immediately went to look it up. At least I had the impression that I was doing something. But who am I kidding? Myself. Always just myself. Pretended this was important now. But it wasn’t. What mattered was the work that was about to be finished, and I couldn’t move a step. I felt like a dog chasing its tail, and it sat down in front of me and whined. I looked furtively at the clock. He wanted out, move. Of course, it was high time. “Yes, we’ll go in a moment,” I said soothingly, but half-heartedly, “I’ll just finish this off quickly, then we’ll go. You have to understand that!”
Have to? Of course, he didn’t understand, there was no need to talk about it. And even if he’d understood my words, it wouldn’t have mattered because it was his time, like always, he wanted out and that was his way of telling me. He continued to whimper, unimpressed. My concentration was now completely gone. It was a cheap excuse, very cheap, because nothing worked before he started whimpering. But there is always something exonerating when you can blame someone else, and it doesn’t bother the dog. It didn’t let up until I got up, angrily took the collar, and the leash and I was on my way.
„So, are you satisfied now?“ I snapped at him sullenly, „Now that you’ve got your way?“
And yes, he was very pleased. Full of anticipation, he jumped out of the house and onto the street. Determined he took the path towards the forest.
„But we’re only going a little,“ I heard myself say, but it was more than weak.
Asphalt under my feet, dog yapping from the other gardens. The dog that I kept on a leash was sniffing very eagerly. From the very first moment he was totally into the matter, only two souls in me still quarreled. The one who accused me of being so undisciplined, and the other who tried vehemently to advance in order to experience the walk. The former still had the upper hand, but as soon as we had entered the forest, the noises subsided, the rays of the sun snaked through the leaves of the trees, I gave up all discipline and was there. Breathed the air, smelled the earth and felt the soft forest floor under my feet. I let go. What was left at home, I had actually left there. I let go. The thoughts that had tied me to the problem that had circled like a wild tiger had stopped. Now I was gone. The task would still be there when I got home, but then it would be too late to enjoy this one hour that we spent here, to take in and perceive the impressions. Just to be here, nothing more. A few meters before, my thoughts had been mixed up, as if a hurricane had raged in my head. Slowly they lay down. Peace returned. Step by step. I walked. The dog went. We found a rhythm. Side by side. Rhythm. Walk. Stop. Like a unit. And suddenly, without even thinking about it, the solution arose from all these thoughts, which were finally calm, arose, clear and simple. In one fell swoop I knew what to do, how to continue, how to complete. And the answer was always there. I just couldn’t see it, I was so deeply buried in the problem. I walked happily next to my dog. And when we returned, I completed the job with ease, while my dog lay calm and content next to me. Did he know what I needed? It’s tempting to think so, but it doesn’t really matter, because what matters is that it happened that way. Sometimes you have to go away first to see what you were starting from.