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I saw your face

It was a dream

It was real

I don’t know

I saw your face

You were here

I missed you

Until the next time

When we are both cats…

boy-with-a-cat-by-pierre-auguste-renoir

Art: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Boy with a Cat

 

 

 

wanda-wulz_io-gatto-cat-i_wa

she walks alone

surrounded by many

who do not see her

and those who do

tied to leashes

locked in houses

alone among strangers

who look different

and act different

and who are painfully indifferent

to that profound aloneness

that cannot be expressed

like kindred souls

she shares touches

nose to nose

with the four-legged

tails and paws

whiskers and purrs

are her reward

she walks alone

in but not of this world

photographs-of-wanda-wulz-are-extremely-rare-as-in-the-late-1930s-she-turned-to-portrait-painting

 

Photography: Wanda Wulz

 

 

 

 

The Boy with a Heart of Gold

In a faraway land, on the edge of the world, lived a boy named Chen. He was no ordinary boy. Chen was born with the gift of seeing into people’s hearts.

He himself had a heart of gold that made him want to help anyone he could, and very soon the legend of Chen-the-kind-hearted spread far and wide.

He was a beautiful boy, with laughing eyes, and he spread joy to every person he encountered. Since he could read people’s hearts, he saw a lot of pain and sorrow, and with his loving nature, tried to help everyone.

As the years went by and Chen grew into a splendid young man, that wonderful glow that emanated from him began slowly to fade. Burdened with the sorrows of so many people, he was losing his life force.

Not many noticed. Only his beloved Grandmother saw the change in her cherished grandson who, she always knew, was a gift from heaven, and whom she had to protect at all costs.

One evening, before sunset, she walked into his room. She could barely see his silhouette against the fading crimson light. By now Chen had become almost invisible. He stood by the window, his hand on the head of his faithful dog, his greatest friend and companion, Kita.

‘You must go into the forest’, said his Grandmother. ‘If you don’t, you will disappear and all the love you have to give will be lost. Go deep into the woods and do not be afraid. Take Kita, she will lead you.’

Grandmother held Chen’s hand and carried on speaking: ‘Pay close attention to everything you see and hear, and when you think you can speak the language of the woods, it will be the time of your healing.’

‘But before you return home, you must find the wise woman who will appear to you in the shape of a white owl. If she does not, it will mean that your gift cannot be restored. If she does, you have been blessed forever.’

‘I will wait for you my dearest Chen,’ said his Grandma and left the room.

Alone, with Kita’s head on his lap, Chen fell into deep thought. He felt the ticking of time and the murmur of the forest that surrounded the town.

When night came, Chen left, wrapped in his Grandmother’s love like a warm shawl. Kita was close by, eager to begin the adventure. She was a big, strong dog and her confidence was all Chen needed.

Before long, he found himself among the trees.

He stopped for a while, and remembering his Grandmother’s words, listened to the forest. The leaves rustled and swished but to Chen it sounded more like whispering. And the more he listened, the more he understood what the trees were saying as they carried on their quiet conversation.

The moss under his feet was soft and silky, and it felt as though he was walking on a magnificent carpet. Kita, too, seemed fascinated by her surroundings, and keeping close to Chen, she twitched with excitement.

With each step he took, Chen felt stronger and stronger. And the farther he went into the forest, the more voices spoke to him.

And then Kita growled and Chen froze in his tracks. A dark shape was making its way towards them. It was approaching very slowly, and Chen blinked a few times to make sure he was not seeing things.

Kita took a step forward, her ears close to her head, but did not leave Chen’s side, as the strange shape approached.

And then, emerging from the shadow, it spoke in a raspy voice. “Welcome to my kingdom,” said the wolf, for that’s what the dark shape turned out to be.

Kita stopped growling. Chen patted the wolf’s head gently and asked him if he knew where the wise woman lived.

The wolf closed his eyes for a moment and then turned, beckoning Chen to follow. But as soon as they stepped into the shadow of the trees, the wolf disappeared. Uncertain what to do next, Chen thought again of his Grandmother’s words. “Kita will lead you,” he heard her say.

As if reading his mind, the dog tugged at him, and they continued on their journey, unaware they were heading home. Without knowing it, Chen had ventured into the very heart of the forest, and now there was only one way out, and it lead straight to his Grandmother.

The trees whispered encouragement, and the forest creatures accompanied Chen and Kita from a distance. They walked for a long, long time, and Chen was getting very tired. But Kita would not let him rest, urging him on.

And then a rustling came from high above, and leaves showered down on Chen and the dog. With a great flutter of her enormous wings, a beautiful white owl alit on a branch, her golden eyes fixed on them.

“Can you hear my thoughts?” she asked Chen, and her voice was as clear as crystal. He smiled in response, that same beautiful smile that brought so much joy to so many people, and nodded.

Without another word, the owl rose in the air and was gone, and at Chen’s feet lay a single white feather.

Suddenly, he could see the path that led him into the woods, and filled with incredible energy, ran with Kita all the way home.

The sun was just rising, painting the landscape in mauve and pink. Chen’s Grandmother stood in the doorway of the house and Kita was the first to reach her, jumping and yelping with happiness. Behind the dog, Grandmother saw Chen, his eyes sparkling with joy, his beautiful heart shining through, spreading a shimmering aura around him.

He hugged his Grandmother with all his strength, and then handed her the white feather. “I am back,” he said.

And everyone far and wide rejoiced.

 

The End

owl

What horrors will our off-spring see

in the miasma of futurity?

Their prospects go from bad to worse

as degradation runs its course.

When hope looks like self deception

and positives like mad delusion,

how to stem the lemming crush,

resist the tides of mass confusion?

What chances do our children have

to right the wrongs of history,

to find an unobstructed path

from the charnel house of destiny?

What wonders of the great wide world

will be denied our progeny,

the English Elm, the western Pine,

the elephant, the honey bee?

What poisoned remnants will remain,

what maladjusted misery?

What might they blame for what they see,

where lies responsibility?

We’re un-accepting of the truth

of how it starts with you and me.

How else might we stagger on

in the stench of such perversity?

We’re satisfied with leaders who

confess they don’t know what to do,

that wouldn’t dock our bank accounts

of un-acceptable amounts.

And thus tomorrows loom ahead

with promise overwhelmed by dread;

with life and beauty sacrificed,

our children’s futures overpriced.

 

Poem by Michael G. Hawkes

English elm

honey bee

Elephant-and-calf

western pine

 

extinction-is-forever

They are all dead. All. One by one, and en masse. Dead. The whole lot. Only one left. The human. Now all alone and quite insane, it still survives. Not for long. It roams the barren landscape, breathing acrid air as its lungs slowly shut down. Once standing, it is crawling now, retracing the path of the other animals, oblivious to its own murderous instincts. It still believes it can win. Win what? Soulless and heartless, it continues to think but there is nothing left to think about. And once its mind is completely gone, the human, too, will die. Any moment now. And no maggots left to dispose of its corpse…

Handout picture released by the town council of Chalchicomula showing one of the two mummified corpses found near the peak of the 5,636-metre Pico de Orizaba, also known as the Citlaltepetl volcano, on the border between the states of Veracruz and Puebla, on March 5, 2015. A team of Mexican climbers searching for a frozen body on the country's highest mountain -- and North America's third -- stumbled onto a second mummified cadaver during their expedition on March 5. The 12 local civil protection mountaineers had embarked on their mission after climbers reported seeing a frozen skull 310 metres (1,000 feet) from the peak of the Pico de Orizaba on Monday. The second body was found 150 metres away, and it was also frozen and mummified, said Juan Navarro, mayor of the town of Chalchicomula de Sesma, near the mountain.  AFP PHOTO / CHALCHICOMULA TOWN COUNCIL / HILARIO AGUILAR   ---   RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / CHALCHICOMULA TOWN COUNCIL / HILARIO AGUILAR" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTSHILARIO AGUILAR/AFP/Getty Images

Handout picture released by the town council of Chalchicomula showing one of the two mummified corpses found near the peak of the 5,636-metre Pico de Orizaba, also known as the Citlaltepetl volcano, on the border between the states of Veracruz and Puebla, on March 5, 2015. A team of Mexican climbers searching for a frozen body on the country’s highest mountain — and North America’s third — stumbled onto a second mummified cadaver during their expedition on March 5. The 12 local civil protection mountaineers had embarked on their mission after climbers reported seeing a frozen skull 310 metres (1,000 feet) from the peak of the Pico de Orizaba on Monday. The second body was found 150 metres away, and it was also frozen and mummified, said Juan Navarro, mayor of the town of Chalchicomula de Sesma, near the mountain. AFP PHOTO / CHALCHICOMULA TOWN COUNCIL / HILARIO AGUILAR — RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY CREDIT “AFP PHOTO / CHALCHICOMULA TOWN COUNCIL / HILARIO AGUILAR” – NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTSHILARIO AGUILAR/AFP/Getty Images

“Compassion is most important for happiness. We must treat fellow human beings as equal, that is very important, but also all beings who have capacity for feeling. So the innate desire for happiness that is the basis of human rights extends to all sentient beings, including animals and insects. There are now some individuals and organizations who care about animal rights and are showing concern about the suffering or torture of animals. I have noticed among ordinary people, out of their love and compassion, growing efforts for promotion of vegetarianism. These are the right kinds of expression of compassion, very positive and encouraging signs.”—His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Lynxes

All the omens were good.

The moon was rising slowly, robed in golden sheen. The birds were loud. The cat was happy. My dreams had stairs going up.

Yet I felt dreadful.

Fearful.

Apprehensive.

So I took to bed. That was the only solution, for how was I to fight something that was not coming?

.

©aother

Art by Julie Oakes

I saw a woman with snake’s eyes today. They were pale, and quiet, with the black point of the iris… She was calm, with a dreamy expression; the eyes spoke for her, spoke of peace and strength, of another world to which she belonged without knowing it. Her eyes led her and shaped her, they lay quietly under her half-closed lids, patient, certain of their power, over her, over everything… I saw a woman with snake’s eyes today.

 

©aother

 

It happened again. A harnessed horse – this time one pulling a carriage with tourists in the old section of town – bolts in the middle of traffic and terrified onlookers; its frantic gallop captured on ubiquitous mobile phone cameras… A reminder of an equally panicked animal galloping beside the carriage carrying  the newlywed Prince William and Kate… again, caught on camera by the few that spotted the frightened rider-less horse. Who are those that will see the drama taking place on the sidelines, of both life and conscience, in the midst of chaos and society’s frenetic pace? Counting myself among those that do, I frankly bemoan their/my lot. The suffering of animals, both wild and domesticated, with a poignant bow to those relegated to the food ‘industry’, has been the bane of my existence, and could very well turn this blog into a litany of anguished recollections, images preferably erased from my memory, yet lodged there forever. And this is but a prelude to the damage we humans wreak on each other… The latest scientific discoveries point to a genetic predisposition towards empathy and kindness, as previously they linked genes to criminal behaviour. A slippery slope…Who knows…I still believe in the  innate knowledge of right and wrong, but as Bertrand Russell said, I would not die for my beliefs, because I could be wrong…

Leaving the philosophical discussion to others for now…  here are a few beautiful images of horses by French artist Léa Rivière…

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