How do we live with our hearts open? How do we use what is within us to bring together all that divides us? How do we, like the fifth verse of the Tao Te Ching suggests, “…offer our treasures to everyone”?
And the Tao means everyone, not just those we love/like, for living with an open heart is all-encompassing. It is difficult to open ourselves to what a person feels when that person’s beliefs are so separate from ours yet abundance knows no separateness only wholeness.
It requires a larger vision whose origin may be right in front of us.
Often I offer the thoughts of Mark Nepo and Wayne Dyer but honestly, when it comes to abundance and unconditional love, I turn to beagle Cooper James and EmmaRose, a grey-blue dilute kitty of 5.5 pounds whose one word name was decided by a paw-press on the “Enter” key.
The three of us are an illustration of what was separate that is now whole.
How we lived before does not define us nor does it measure who we are. Those are years separate from us, now. As a feline, EmmaRose is 44, canine Cooper is 57, and as the human, I am sixty; what we measure is what we are together, and in that, our differences are minute.
Our one-bedroom apartment is all we need and in some ways, more than we ever had. EmmaRose moves about the apartment most, rearranging throw rugs, curling up in what have become known as the Blanket Mountains of the living room, playing pine cone shuffle with cones Cooper and I brought her from one of our fall outings. EmmaRose is not a traveler outside the apartment–she enjoys her solitude–Cooper and I provide her her time on a daily basis.
We all share the bedroom—the adjustable, queen-sized bed supports canine and human arthritic joints—EmmaRose’s preferred spot is on the computer modem that rests on the round, wicker bedside table, darkening with age. The table provides EmmaRose the perfect distance to meow in my ear—at least a couple of hours before dawn–if she has seen her reflection in the bottom of her food dish in the dark.
Like many canines, Cooper is food-motivated and as a beagle, he is indiscriminate in what he eats, resulting in a daily antacid prescribed by Dr. Mac.
When the three of us could still eat tacos without major digestive upset for the human and the canine, we each had our favorite ingredient: Cooper scarfed cheddar cheese shavings; EmmaRose preferred powdered corn tortilla bits; meat and lettuce were for the human.
EmmaRose has never noted the absence of our taco dinners but it has been hard on Cooper and me. About a month ago, we gave into our cravings and purchased one taco; Cooper wanted more, as always; EmmaRose was not in the mood for tacos that night; as for me, I cannot imagine a time I will want another taco ever.
Having food and shelter is something we have always shared amicably, perhaps because all three of us have been as close to homelessness as we ever want to be. For Cooper and EmmaRose, euthanasia was near; for me, life was a series of question marks for some time.
We learned to re-frame our lives, not looking back at what we no longer have nor looking to what we fear but rather through it, moment by moment—together. Cooper and EmmaRose seem better at facing fear than I but in watching what they give to one another as well as to me, reciprocating is effortless.
Every vision starts somewhere.
I suspect the force that is all life, whether the form is matter or antimatter, sees wholeness not separateness, offers treasure without condition—imagine.
ROW80 Wednesday Word Marking
I am re-framing my writing goals. This round, I am concentrating on revising the original draft of my novel, based on the kernel idea I developed in a writing workshop. You can view what I have to say about that here.
I did manage to write a little more than a thousand words (1,068) on how the new version of the novel will read, in particular what it will mean for many of the characters. It is a fascinating process, for me.