Believe it or not, I don't know what it looks like outside yet. I am sure a unicorn meat eating cat will have me open the door before the blog post is finished, so just hang on.
I had an experience yesterday that got me thinking this morning. Always a dangerous habit, but useful for today's post. How do humans greet a profound experience? With silence. Our communication and tool-making skills are a hallmark of our species...although we have not gotten very far with communication with other species that we know can communicate...like chimps, dolphins, whales, etc.
I witnessed a moving moment between two people yesterday, just by chance, and the crowd observing it met it with silence. No clapping, no cheering, no noises that we make to convey approval, simply silence.
My thoughts then roamed to funerals, and death. Is the silence surrounding death an echo? Do we fall silent at profoundly moving events to acknowledge the silence that echoes back to us from the grave? Is this where the impulse to fall silent comes from? Is it the impulse that tells us that somehow, words fail us? Communication goes on. Silence is a communication of sorts, an affirmation of what existed before words...if that time did exist.
As far as I know, every creature on Earth communicates, at least, with it's own kind. Koko, the gorilla, communicated with her human handlers for decades, by sign. Is this how we communicated before words? By pictures, sign language, body language? We cannot know what existed before words.
But it's very depressing for a writer to realize that some human experiences, and animal experiences, too, surpass our craft. I have sat in a room with a dying Mother, and experienced the profound presence of Death. I can translate that silence, and did, in poems, and now, in this post, but, in that very moving time, found no words come to mind, none that I had read, that touched that deep chord that was sounded.
Of course, there is music as well, to communicate. When my Father died, I ran downstairs and put on Mozart's Requiem. I did feel an answer to the silence we had sent with his body, to be cremated.
It is not as if the silence is devoid of feeling, or shows a lack of something. Silence is not a blank, not an empty canvas. The silence attendant on death, or a profound experience, is full, we say pregnant, with too many words and emotions to be expressed coherently. Perhaps, that is my answer. Silence is pregnant with all the words English is not equipped to handle, with all it's subtle variations. As the language of Eskimos has 50 terms for snow, English has it's many words for various kinds of fear and love, depending on the circumstances: just look in any thesaurus to find them.
But are they enough? Will we ever invent the words that come in place of silence? Will we overcome the barrier that the deepdeepdeep past has imposed on us?
We are told that Silence is Golden. But I think of silence as a black cat, named Fudge, that I had the privilege to know for 23 years. I didn't even know cats could live that long. He was my own especial cat, Fudge was. My father tried to give him away one time. I got a panicked call from the recipient about midnight, telling me that Fudge had escaped his trailer, and the dogs were outside.
I promptly drove over the the guy's trailer, and opened my door, and was instantly greeted with "Meow?" Fudge had run to the sound of my car, and greeted me when I got out.
As he got older, he often took more comfort with my Mother, who was bed-bound for the most part. He love to sleep with his body under the covers, and his little black head resting on her pillow. The week that my Mother died, Fudge slept on her bed for several days, then woke and walked about the house crying. He died that day.
Oh, how I miss his stately presence! We nicknamed him, "The Dude" to honor his demeanor. In my mind's eye, I see him perched on the rail of the deck of the Old House, with the shadow of the November trees set behind him.
Which is why I have such a profound feeling about this new acquaintance, Loverboy. Fudge had a smaller, cuter up-turned nose, but Loverboy has all the makings of A Dude. His love for humans, his demeanor, the soul-moving eyes...he has them all. He was feral, which is hard to believe, none of his behaviors suggest his past life on the streets of this small city. He is love, itself, and I have included a picture and blurb about him.
I suppose what touches me about him, also, is the silence of animals, who are not silent at all. We simply do not have the skill to properly and completely interpret what they are telling us. We can guess, but who knows what complexities lie behind the sounds they make to us, and to each other? We have little enough skill in communicating with each other, much less, with animals.
There is a small, red barn in my line of sight every morning, a toolshed sort of place, really. It reminds me of the horses I used to ride, and the deeply moving experience that was. The trees are dark now, behind it, the leaves float in a random breeze. In the foreground are gladiolas, and the green grass that leads from my slate walkway. This is the smallish yard that the dog, the asshole, runs in, when he needs to pee, and to feel his freedom.
A set of cat's ears appear in the glass part of the door I look through. The cats jump in and out of the apartment by this door, and it's movable window, every morning but the coldest. The year and it's seasons seem to be moving more quickly than in previous years...is this aging? Or simply a measure of my acceptance?
The woods are to my right, as I look, with the field beyond. The birds have long been feeding in the field, and sing in the trees. A small part of sadness pervades my world today. I miss my Fudge, and the Old House. But I am glad he goes on, caught in the field that he loved. He had 23 glorious years at the Old House, with it's fields, woods and mountain. A forever part of my heart resides there with him, and roams.
But enough of nostalgia...the weather is still cool for this time of year, and this region, as we have come to know it. The heat does not yet, push in like a heavy, moist monster. The morning is still clear and fine. Clover dots the grass with small poufs of clouds, and my container garden gladdens the slate patio.
And the challenge from yesterday? The one I can't write about? The challenge was met and answered by me, in the best, most serene way I could manage. Oh, there is a lot of anguish that accompanies my actions, but it will pass, as more, newer challenges emerge from my decision. I wish I could tell you what I have done, and may at some later date. But at this moment in time, this year in my life, the decision impacts real, not fictitious people.
You may have guessed that this blog is not fiction, just fictionalized. I always seek to be truthful for you, hoping to help others. But I have actually been threatened with a lawsuit before, and so, the truth must be hidden in this case.
But what I bring to you here is not hidden. All that I am, and only me and the cats, are described here with total honesty. As every artist does, I cast aside caution, like throwing landlines from a vessel, to sail with you to previously unexplored waters.
I wish I could describe how I feel this morning with you, in words that do not fail. But, at the end, all words fail, and I am left with memories, and the new dawn, and the fields of the mind.
And as my heart roams to the end and back, let the memory of a black cat fill your heart with joy.
Here he is: Loverboy
Look! I told you! Minkins insists on going out, and now the gray dawn comes.
My name is Loverboy, and I want to live with my own person...
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), Feline acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (FAIDS)
Scientific name: Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
http://www.petside.com/condition/cat/immunodeficiency-virus-fiv-feline for more information. Loverboy is about 2 years old, neutered, and up to date on vaccines. He is in love with love...let him show you his.
Meet and greet with Loverboy can be arranged through me, just drop me a note. He is local to the Roanoke, Virginia, USA, area. He is the most deliciously laid back cat you will ever meet, and he has yet to meet the human he doesn't like. Extremely affectionate! And ready for a life that only love can weave...