Thursday, April 12, 2012

Joy 9 year-old style

 I bought two fun passes…I hope to visit him soon.  East LA is very close and I think he will just about make my year when I meet him!

Friendly Feral

You never really know what its going to be like.  I mean you can expect, or predict, or surmise, but really, you are never going to know, until you are there.  I live in a land of cats.  Solitary, sleeping, languid, sultry cats.  I have much to learn from them, with their hours of gazing, sleeping, stalking, claw extending and curling while dreaming of, well, gazing, sleeping and stalking.  I have been at this game for more than 2 years now, this game of school, not working, thinking, running, yoga classing, chore-doing, blogging, not blogging, cooking, loving.  I have not amounted to much.  I have made a home.  I have started a new life, but there is little to show for it.  Except sleeping, lazy cats.  These cats are not my cats.  They belong to no one.  But here they are, on my deck, each morning, bounding onto the bed each night, purring, not purring, killing mice, scurrying away, pretending to be frightened of me, rubbing my legs, chortling at me, lining up for breakfast, treats, snacks, dinner.  There is a lot of action in the garden now, flocks of finches, sparrows, hummingbirds, residents, migrants, jays, mockingbirds, phoebes, doves, invasive species and welcome domestics.  THere are veggies and citrus trees and ferns and houseplants.  My stamp is everywhere.  And yet I feel so incredibly small, so incredibly useless.  Karen Miller has convinced me that my practice is in the details.  That my bed making, floor sweeping, dish washing, laundry folding is all part of my mantra, my zen, my love for this life.  Lately, it just feels like chores.  Most of it feels so incredibly boring, without meaning, without measure.  After the Ecstasy, the Laundry, indeed….

So now what? The path in front of me is long.  The joblessness, the chores, the plans, they are the same.  Where do I find meaning in what seems to mundane?  There was no creature, now he is here.  There was no being and he came into being.  THere was no food, or safety, no place to sleep, warm blankets, dry huddling spot.  I made that.  Their bodies have relaxed, no longer living in a crouch.  And this one, he seeks me out for love, affection, pets, snuggles, body slams even.  This boy that belongs to no one.  Where there was no life, now there is his life.  He even comes when I call him.  What on earth can I learn from these not so feral cats? That I read to much Mary Oliver? That I fret too much about missing out? That I haven't seen enough classic movies, or lived in a big enough house, or travelled to enough places? Or that I spend way too much time on Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit? That yes the list is long, and that life is short.  But perhaps my one wild and precious life doesn't have to be so wild, so precious? I spend a lot of energy yearning, searching, trying to find the meaning.  Where is the meaning?

He is right here. Asleep on my couch.  Dreaming of who knows what.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

That it will never come again

That it will never come again, Is what makes life so sweet. Emily Dickenson

I have spent almost two years in the company of Jack. I did not know he was to become part of my life. I had not expected to love him. He was the cherry on my sundae, the fortune in my cookie, the free gift with purchase. Jack is 1000 years old, and I am keenly aware of this. As I did not know I was acquiring a cat, when I found this new life, with my new love, his acceptance, nay love, of me, has been a sweet and welcome bonus. He is not a busy or demanding cat, preferring to find a "spot" and occupy it for days, stirring only for meals and bathroom breaks. But he does have two demands, my lap, every morning, during the coffee ritual, and my lap, all other times of the day, if I happen to open up a laptop or iPad....There was a period of time when he helped me make the bed every morning, dancing beneath the top sheet and correcting my pillow fluffing by jumping on top of each newly poofed perch and flattening it "just so". Then there was his idyll as "laundry cat" when fluff and fold was the game of the century, with bookies and side bets being made in response to his mad drawstring swiping skills. But these days, now retired from the action, Jack prefers the soft spots on the couch, the bed, my thighs, a box, and the toy swiping is a rare but well-celebrated event. Like me, like all of us, his days are numbered. While mine, hopefully, still number in the thousands, many thousands, his are in the hundreds, maybe only dozens. And every time he insists on my lap, however inconvenient, I offer it up gladly. Because next year, next month, sadly even, next week, he may not be here to insist, and my lap, and I, will be forever missing him. There are and most likely will be, other cats for my lap to enjoy, but not this one, not this fantastic and unimaginable combination of atoms and mystery, that found their way to create him, and then found their way to me. He didn't have to like me, he didn't have to love me, he didn't have to become the most glorious boy that he is, but in the supremely wonderful randomness that is this life, he did, and here we are, luckily, for this day, in each others company. He, purring, with his head on my thigh, I, smiling, with my hand in his fur and we, enjoying this fleeting and sublimely transient moment, together. I am fully aware of how few these moments are, and I intend to observe and celebrate each one. For they will never come again.

The last time I saw my dogs, I lied to them.  I told them I would see them again.  I told them I was not leaving forever, I told them I would be back for them.  I didn't know if it was true, but I could not bring myself to imagine that I would not see their faces again.  I had 10 years with them, annoyed, undone, smitten, smothered and in love, but I never once thought it would end, and I did not celebrate, or relish the moments as I should have.  I still have no idea if I will ever, ever see their faces again.  I regret every lost moment, every reverie I ignored.  For they will never come again.

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