You are my sunshine. My only sunshine. You make me happy. When skies are grey.
You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.
I whisper those words into a scruffy black neck and watch his eyes softly open and close as tears come streaming down my cheeks. My eyelids are heavy dams that are breaking to allow the release of the salty waters of my heart. With my nose nuzzled against the familiar slopes of his forehead, I wonder for the millionth time if he understands these words I sing to him. A lullaby that tugs so violently at the strings of my heart to match the sensations of having been saved by being so tenderly and unconditionally known and loved. Melodies delivered from my lips into soft ears in moments of swollen gratitude for the gift of being healed by connection…
with a dog.
It’s been seven years since I met Apollo. Somewhere just shy of 3000 days since he literally took a running leap into my arms and made the choice to form “us”. In the thousands of moments we’ve lived hand-in-paw since that day, I’ve never doubted that he indeed chose me to teach me about the healing power of being connected. One soul consciously choosing the other and forming a pact to bear witness.
Apollo Connetion Co. is a space for a lot of things. For consciousness and discovery and expansion and truth-seeking and intimacy and rap music and stories - stories as a pathway to all of it. But the true intention in creating this brand was to hold space for the kind of connection I first learned was possible from a sweet boy on four legs who mirrors me in startling clarity. A boy I can’t converse with through “language” but who understands me as clearly as any human ever has or could. In triumph he celebrates alongside me with a wagging tail and ears on alert. In sadness he hears the shift in my breath and comes over to kiss away tears that haven’t even hit my cheeks yet. In pain he presses himself against me and listens through the pores of my flesh, taking inhales and exhales that are deep enough to soothe the ache in my own lungs when they’re tired. The less I say, the more fluidly he seems to know what I’m saying.
Somehow without words, we know each other. I’ve missed moments of love and healing with actual humans with whom I can exchange a dialogue that we’d both basically understand. His non-verbal communications embody the clearest conversations I’ve ever had. Apollo taught me that connection occurs in the language of the soul, and that language doesn’t have words. I'm astounded by watching him love people so well. Animals are gifts that reveal to us what it looks like to be known by another being when there is no ego present, because they can do nothing else but tell the truth and love with ferocity.
This is the dream for this platform: to do nothing else but to tell the truth and love with ferocity. To teach people how to do the same for the person that the mirror reflects. For the people with whom their stories collide. It is in this intimacy that we heal the fearful narratives that said we couldn’t just be ourselves. Connection does this for us. Being seen and heard and known and loved without ego - that is where the light starts to bleed through the cracks. There are humans all over this planet suffering from the invisible syndrome of terminal uniqueness - the real belief that they are alone in their trauma and pain and insecurity and fear. My prayer to The Universe is that this space be a reminder that there is no such thing. As alone.
We do not need words to step into witnessing. Without language we still have blood that pumps and hearts that beat and lungs that breathe. We just need to choose to be here. Right here. Witnessing and being witnessed in moments of truth - from pain to uncertainty to triumph to rapture and back again - without looking away or being looked away from. We need stories. We need community. We need connection.
Last night I breathed deeply in the folds of Apollo’s neck, knowing that if I sang to him, he would hear me. That he would close his eyes softly and lean in. I knew that I’d cry (like I do every time I sing this song to him) as he allowed me to be there. Right there. Healed and healing and flawed and perfect and - honest.