© 2021 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Perspective: Clinging

BJ, Lola, Paula
Paula Garrett

Lately I’ve been thinking about clinging — holding on in all the wrong places. Like some of our clothes we’re trying to zip up after more than a year of comfort eating. Or that godawful food wrap that bunches up into a wasteful wad of plastic. But less literally, clinging as in holding onto a relationship or an experience that you know is winding down.


Lola, my sister’s dog, is eighteen years old. In the last year she had to have one eye removed, lost sight in the other one and is totally deaf. Although she is still enjoying her meals and walks, we know that at eighteen our time with her is closing in.

I asked my sister if she’s constantly aware of this and maybe starts to grieve even while Lola is still with us enjoying some joie de vivre and certainly giving us some. In her wise big sister way, she said she knew what I meant, but that she doesn’t want to cling.

Clinging like that, we project into the future and lose the present moment.

If, however, savoring is a form of clinging, count me in! Lazing on the beach, or the couch, with my sister and Lola tops my list. And then there’s getting lost in a good swim or a good book, a frothy cappuccino made to perfection and a generous piece of coconut cake for sure. But then there’s that darn zipper.

I’m Paula Garrett and that’s my perspective