Monday
Oct152007

« Entrepreneurial Canine? »

Buber the Dog suggested the other day that maybe he and I fight the boredom of unemployment together. Usually, he just likes to sit and be petted for hours. But then it was clear that maybe someone needs a dose of Buber's patient demeanor. I swear he used to be owned by a senior or someone more or less unambulatory. So far he hasn't told me outright, but that is my hunch.

So I was thinking of an older idea I had some years ago back at the Clairemont senior center where I delivered meals to seniors in their homes. At that time, I thought about recording these folks using some of the gear I had. I thought it would be a good souvenir for families, interesting and unfiltered research material for me in my writing capacity, and just a neat way to encounter people, and to get an idea of life and values as they were understood before my time.

I may have said it before on these pages, but there has been a great regret that for a few overlapping years when my studio was at my grandmother's house, and I was in my creative peak in audio work, I never once took anything from one room to another (immediately adjacent, moreover) to record a word from G-ma. My experience delivering meals to seniors pointed out that it is not at all uncommon for seniors to be alone at home with no one to talk to, and sometimes, their families can be the hardest to talk to. I hate the thought of all the accumulated stories and wisdom being let to die with these people. Certainly some have families who record their every move, and so I am not needed, but maybe for some who don't have such options. There is Buber and me.

I had this idea that since Buber is so patient and all, maybe he would be an icebreaking catalyst to start talking. For people who like dogs, he is the perfect dog to get people talking, and he's a good recording dog too—he's almost perfectly quiet except when he deems it mealtime.

So I put up a cursory first shot ad on Craigslist which introduces the idea. I pitched it as a dual purpose deal which can obviously provide the family souvenir, but also would provide me with original and unfiltered material which would prove handy for any writing I could do. The additional dimension would be that it just helps a person feel that their story is important enough to tell, and maybe there is meaning in that alone, but a marvelous speculation on what it could mean to someone else. Maybe it is just me trying to reclaim what was lost in not recording G-ma those last years of her life, when I had more than enough chances to, but didn't think it was worth it.

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