post

Farewell My Lovely

Creamy

Creamy

My badly neglected blog has been calling me to write for some time – but today it’s a sad post I’m finally writing.

This morning I am saying farewell to one of my beautiful Tonkinese cats.

Seven years ago Hershey and Creamy came to me as adults from a breeder, after they’d had their litters. Such different personalities, with different quirks and habits, both have been a wonderful joy in my life. Two furry mischiefs who have, with gentle paws and soft voices, taken their firm places in my heart.

But now poor Creamy has developed an inoperable cancer. Although several visits to the vet over the last few months gave no answers, now they can feel the large mass in her tummy. She has become restless and is obviously increasingly uncomfortable. She’s almost stopped eating and has lost so much weight so quickly, that she’s feather-light in my arms.

A Yin-Yang Snooze

A 'Yin-Yang Snooze'

So today it’s time to say goodbye – before she starts to suffer in earnest. It’s time for a last breakfast, a last ‘yin-yang snooze’, curled up with Hershey. And lots of pats and cuddles before her final visit to the vet.

Such a hard decision – and I am typing this through my tears.  But when our hearts are too full to find our own words, it can be comforting to find someone else has said it for us:

A Pet’s Prayer

If it should be that I grow frail and weak,
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then, you must do what must be done
For this, the last battle, can’t be won.
Don’t let your grief stay your hand,

For this day more than the rest,
Your love and friendship stand the test.
We’ve had so many years,
What is to come can hold no fear.
You’d not want me to suffer, so
When the time comes, please let me go.

Take me where my needs they’ll tend,
Only, stay with me to the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you’ll see it is a kindness you do for me
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I’ve been saved.

Don’t grieve it should be you who this thing decides to do.
We’ve been so close, we two, these years,
Don’t let your heart hold tears.
Smile, for we walked together for a while.

(Author Unknown)

post

The More Things Change …

For various reasons this  last week, I have found myself in a deeply reflective space.

I’ve walked again in an earlier me, revisiting events and experiences from 10-25 years ago.

I’ve unearthed diaries, letters and other mementos and spent time reading them. It is fascinating to have such a clear record of what I was thinking and feeling so long ago!

It’s good to reflect on how I believe I’ve grown, mellowed and matured over the years since then.  But it’s also true that some things just don’t change.

As an example, I thought I’d share a snippet of something I wrote almost 25 years ago – complete with the doodled sketches that graced (dis-graced?) those pages. :)

[Read more…]

post

Multiple Realities

Multi-direction signpostOne of the assumptions made in Appreciative Inquiry is that “reality is created in the moment, and there are multiple realities“.

The meaning of this assumption is sometimes a little obscure for folk when they first encounter it.

But there are many practical examples of this in daily life that help to illustrate what it means.

For example, have you ever tried to intervene in a quarrel between two children or teenagers? If so, you’ll know exactly what ‘multiple realities’ can look like. :) Those two kids have obviously been in the same place at the same time and experienced the same event when their quarrel started. But sometimes when you listen to their stories, you’d swear they’d been on different planets!

And in my experience as a family mediator some years ago, this phenomenon was equally apparent. When participants in a mediation session shared what had brought them to this point and their perceptions about what had happened, “multiple realities” were always at play.

Finally, here is a wonderful (and very thought-provoking)  TED talk from Elizabeth Pisani called “Sex, Drugs and HIV – Let’s Get Rational“. With clear logic, sharp wit and warmth, she shows us how different groups in our community have very different perspectives on what actually contributes to or helps to prevent the spread of HIV.

Multiple realities indeed! :)

post

The Storyteller

Unshaved, unkempt,
black nails, black teeth
and an old, tattered coat.
You’d dismiss him as derelict
and walk straight past.
Yet when he spoke
eagles soared,
mountains talked
and I glimpsed infinity.
“I’m a storyteller”
he said.
His stories wove spells
of dreaming and meaning.
The universe expanded,
and I felt for a moment
that I touched its limits.
Derelict,
Storyteller,
Spellbinder …
The essence of truth
lies perhaps in all three.

post

Dreaming of World Peace

worldpeaceWorld peace .. does that sometimes seem an impossible dream?

Maybe.

We’re all human. We get cranky and annoyed. People irritate us – their actions hurt or anger us. And certain events in our lives lead to feelings of devasting pain, grief or anger.

We’ve all seen the effects of these things, either in our own lives or those of others around us. Depression, illness, substance abuse, violence – the list goes on.

And on a larger scale, deep hurt and anger can infect a household, a community or a nation. The cost of this is immeasurable in terms of human suffering.

But imagine what it might be like if, individually, we could transcend those feelings? What if, one by one, we could somehow find our own peace? And follow that up by reaching out a helping hand to heal the hurt and anger of those around us?

[Read more…]