Saturday, March 14, 2009

Caution: Flying Puppies!

Various dogs who've taken part in our lives!

So around here we're dealing with various bureaucracies and other entities getting the house accessible for HP who is scheduled to be either a) here at home or b) at another hospital getting a heart procedure week after next, and eventually home, in a wheelchair in any case.

The heart thing has to happen, but the spinal surgeon wanted it delayed at least a month from the surgery, which will be March 19th, and the cardio wants it as soon as can be done. It may be that they spring him from the rehab directly to the heart place, which is up the road a few, but we won't know that until the cardio, a lady with a heart of gold, sees what she can do to make it easier on all of us, transportation of a person in a wheelchair into and out of a regular compact car being a major undertaking for a lady of advanced years, i.e. me!

Hardest thing in the world for Me, the Doer, is to wait on arrangements, rather than running the show myself. Which is where one of the lessons of the shakuhachi flute comes in: in the traditional shak. music, any other sounds, cellphone, truck outside, oxen lowing, whatever, is not considered an interruption of the music, but becomes part of it. It's just another feature of the moment.

This is a huge and wonderful metaphor for our current lives, that the cascade of misfortunes that have befallen HP is not an interruption of our "real" lives, but a bumpy part of it. Zen-like insight. To live as the moments come by, not put everything on hold till things "get better." and to see that waiting on arrangements is not an interruption of fixing things, but a part of it.

The Buddhist monks in Tibet used to make their mandalas using crushed precious stones, but once they had been driven out and had to take refuge in India, no more supplies of precious stones. So they calmly switched to colored sands instead. One explained to me that the meaning is unchanged, doesn't reside in the materials. Very fluid approach to life which I like a lot.

Which is where the Flying Puppy comes in. Other night, I was going around with a yardstick measuring openings and doorways to allow for wheelchair, and thought it would be good to check the front door (duh!) and the storm door, too, since it opens a bit less wide than the front door. Swung open the storm door into pitch dark, and a furry grey and white totally silent figure hurled itself into my arms!

At first I thought it was a neighboring cat, since we often receive requests from cats to let them move in. I think there's a sign on any place I live saying: Apply here, especially if you're a cat...anyway, fended him off with the yardstick, not wanting a major catfight in the living room if my own cats got wind of this interloper.

And realized it was a dear little fluffy pup. Collar, no name tag. I only know of one dog like this around, and went next door to ask them if she was theirs, not having seen her for ages, not sure.

They were almost in tears of gratitude when I handed them the dog -- she was last seen out back on the patio, had evidently dug her way out, being of an adventurous frame of mind, and must have found her way to the end of the block, right round the building and close to her own front door. They didn't even know she'd gone! she's now restored to her family, and I keep cracking up at the Flying Puppy Caper.

Dogs are the ultimate example of living in the moment, as Appy showed me. She kind of knew me, didn't care if this was the right house, it was a house with lights and warmth and a friendly human, and that was good enough to leap into the human's arms. never mind if all her requirements were filled or not! and when I handed her back home, she went happily there, too. No worries! this is good to remember.

I became briefly an interesting feature of her life, and she of mine.


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