Monday, September 22, 2008


My cat Basil and I were reunited about a week following my return to Brisbane. Bonnie, our Tibetan Spaniel friend, and I, however, had an earlier reunion by about four days.

I've had Basil for six years now and Bonnie for two and a half. They were both inside eleven weeks when they were brought home, both from pet shops and both purchased somewhat unexpectedly.

In Basil's case, I had gone to the pet shop hoping to get some goldfish. I left the store without goldfish and with the cheekiest little kitten (I'd been observing him for close to an hour).

The kids were thrilled as I expected they would be. You see, we were not allowed pets in the townhouse we were living in at the time and because I very much wanted my children to grow up around animals, pet goldfish seemed better than no pet! But, as I was to learn, the intelligence 'out there' does conspire to bring about our true desire and so Basil became the fourth member of our family.

Four years later, a similar conspiracy unfolded. Once again I was in a pet shop, this time looking for flea treatment for Basil. On my way out, despite my mind telling me not to, I wandered toward the big glass box in which was tighly nestled a litter of six white and biscuit pups.

One thing led to another and before fear had a chance to show up (I was in another house now where dogs were not allowed), I was cradling this tiny bundle while the lady at the store was putting my credit card through a test run to see if I had enough funds. I had warned her that there might not be enough and we had agreed that if it didn't go through, I wouldn't be taking the bundle home with me. Well, I'm sure you can guess the rest.

She cost me a return flight to Malaysia, It was a particularly painful time for me. My son had decided to go and live with his father and although I could see him everyday, the 'parting' hurt deeply. What made it so was the circumstances in which that decision was made. I was grateful for Bonnie's entry into our lives - mine, my daughter's and Basil's although I am sure I benefited the most from it.

My daughter has since left to live with her partner. My son is happy or at least happier. I am at peace, happy for both of them and for myself. Grateful for them. They are precious, as is every being. Yes, Basil and Bonnie too. The Zen Master and the Irrepressible Beauty!

Life is multidimensional theater enlisting an unlimited cast for a limited number of roles. Somehow, we each get a turn at each role for shorter or longer periods of time, depending. I suppose, on how quickly we master it or uncover it, upon which we are moved along to give someone else a chance.

I am enjoying my current role, still exploring it, still discovering quirks in my character, still stumbling in its shadows, still bumping into its unexpected and unfamiliar walls and forever drawn to the bright and brilliant curtain call, when at last the character is unmasked.

I wonder if Bonnie and Baz feel the same way. I wonder what they are really like unmasked...

The theatre, when all is said and done, is not life in miniature, but life enormously magnified, life hideously exaggerated.
H. L. Mencken at


  1. he, he - a lovely piece, it's lovely that you share these glimpses.
    I have a pet cat - Oscar - and he's very inspiring.
    Not that he does anything particularly, he's cute - but he doesn't play the violin or have much ambition to be an Olympic athelete - but that's precisely why he's so inspiring.

    He just is - a life of pure luxury, no stresses, no worries - and all of his life flows from within him.

    It makes me think that most of our distress comes from the fact that we don't trust ourselves - to make instinctive or reactive decisions, because we have been corrupted by everything that is sucked in to the vacuum created by the lack of awareness of who we truly are. A multitude of false identities that are complete junk - in comparison to the miracle of who we really are.
    Surely, that would give us such a strong, powerful faith - to trust ourselves - implicitly - and allow us to settle into that trust, like a comfortable armchair.
    Purring . . .

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Yeah, so conditioned into fear and effort are we that the tender stirrings of spontaneous desire are instantly and insensitively strangled! Life is not meant to be this easy, surely??? :-)

    Oh and I am so glad Oscar isn't driven by competition and victory!

    Thanks for your comment as always Tim.