A Short Anecdote and a Poem

As well as a few lumen expsoures


sonny rosenberg

8/14/20232 min read

Because I'm a sentimental idiot, I have to recount this brief story of my long departed big orange cat Dodie.

This morning I was re-reading the Mary Oliver poem The First Time Percy Came Back and it made me cry, because it always brings back thoughts of Dodie and a dream I had about him. Here's the poem:

The First Time Percy Came Back

The first time Percy came back

he was not sailing on a cloud.

He was loping along the sand as though

he had come a great way.

“Percy,” I cried out, and reached to him-

those white curls-

But he was unreachable. As music

is present yet you can’t touch it.

“Yes, it’s all different,” he said.

“You’re going to be very surprised”.

But I wasn’t thinking of that. I only

wanted to hold him. “Listen,” he said,

“I miss that too.

And now you’ll be telling stories

of my coming back

and they won’t be false, and they won’t be true,

but they’ll be real.”

And then, as he used to, he said “Let’s go!”

And we walked down the beach together.

-Mary Oliver

Dodie, as I've mentioned before was a big (slender, but very tall, he could look over the kitchen counter when he stood on his hind legs) orange cat, he found us when we were living out in the country by a river. He was in many ways as much like a puppy as a cat. He would follow me around all day, on my heels like a puppy and when he was out hunting in the fields (he hunted in the the daytime) he would come bounding over the hills and jump into my arms when I shouted "D-O-O-O-O-O-D-I-E" at the top of my lungs, an orange flash streaking over the golden grass covered hills. I taught him to do this, because our place was on a coyote trail and at dusk they would hunt in their large yelping packs. They knew how to surround a cat and corner it. Dodie even used to walk on a leash when we lived in NYC and seemed to like it. Literally everyone who ever met him said there was something special about him, that he had an intelligence, an oldness, even a wiseness in his eyes.

For a long time after his death, my one wish was that I could hold him in my arms just once again. One night, a few years after Dodie had passed, I had a dream that I was at the high school I used to teach at. I was often there on the weekends when no one else was there. I was walking down the empty hallway when I saw Dodie come bounding down the hallway towards me. He jumped into my arms and we played and hung out for the rest of the day, and finally he had to go, then I woke up.

I can't help it, at this time of year my thoughts always drift towards remembrances of him. He died on August 15, 2007. We had 15 wonderful years with him, he was likely around 18 when cancer took him.

To soften the blow of inflicting my story on you (you didn't skip straight to the photos did you? Cheater.), I'm also posting the last Kodak II exposures from the Cadobo XL. I really soaked the paper for these shots, and luckily, they didn't seem to actually burn at all. These exposures range from just over an hour to two hours. Now i'm completely out of Kodak II, which is actually a good thing, as I have to cut some Kodak IV now.

Oh, I've been so inspired by Alan Withington's lumen photos that I'm making progress on my field paper changing kit, so I can hopefully take the Cadobo cameras to some interesting locales in the near future.