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Archive for October 28th, 2018

Last night I was depressed.  Actually I have been depressed for a couple of weeks and last night it took a particular form.  The form it took last night was “My life has no meaning” – or more specifically “I’m doing nothing that has any meaning.”  As I examined this further, I realized it’s not true that my life has no meaning – rather, I’m not doing the things that give my life meaning.  Caring for animals gives my life meaning, but my dog has died and right now I have no active dog walking or pet sitting business.  I am a writer and writing gives my life meaning, but – for the last few days that I have not been writing – that source of meaning has not been there.  Funny how its absence for just a few days could have such a devastating impact on me.

Realizing all this is very helpful to me, but tonight there’s more.  Today, at church and at a memorial service downtown, has been all about the tragedy at the Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh.  When I tried to have my post tonight be all about dogs, I just couldn’t do it.  Dogs are a beautiful species.  I could picture a dog so noble that their death might even seem tragic. Yet for 11 innocent people to be killed because someone hates who they are – even my doggie’s death at a relatively young age, profoundly sad as it makes me, does not seem as important.

No, something in this is out of kilter.  I’m teetering awfully close to saying that dogs are not as important as people – and maybe they are not, I don’t know.  But I did feel profoundly sad when my dog died – and I’ve got a hunch that that grief opened my heart to the victims in Pittsburgh.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about parrots – and my next animal just might be a parrot.  In the meanwhile, I might volunteer with the local parrot rescue agency.  I can’t picture going through my life never having another dog, but I think there’s stuff I can learn about life from parrots.macaw

I think we need other species in our lives.  One of my favorite books is Kinship With All Life.  If we feel kinship with dogs and parrots and people of other races and religions – all of this stretches our heart, makes us more the person we were meant to be.  It can maybe even fill our life with meaning.

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