As I sat at the breakfast counter this morning scoffing down scrambled eggs, sausages and my much longed for mug of strong coffee, it was no surprise, yet again, that the skin on my upper right side thigh would start feeling damp and dewy. Every morning as I eat my morning meal, this almost disconcerting occurrence repeats itself. That soggy spot, can grow abnormally large and wet depending of how much control I want to perform to stop it. I have tried ignoring the problem, nudging the problem and even sweet talking the problem away but no luck, Diva dog insists on dribbling all over my leg. Pavlov would be so appreciative.
Now I am no dog expert but I would like to claim that I know a thing or two about dog behavior especially when it comes to my own beloved mutt. I reckon that the reason why Chloe Maloey slobbers so much over food, particularly my food, is because she has an innate desire to partake in a shared experience with me. Because out in the wild when pack animals like dogs hunt, they would collectively ‘share’ in the feast. So when I eat my food, she wants to eats too. May also mean that when she eats her food, she wishes deep in her hearts of hearts that I would get alongside her bowl of chow and dig in. No. Thank you. It is really about partnership, companionship, connecting, bonding.. It is about playing a part in each others life. Much like family really.
Yann Martell in The Life of Pi said, “To lose a brother is to lose someone with whom you can share the experience of growing old, who is supposed to bring you a sister-in-law and nieces and nephews, creatures who people the tree of your life and give it new branches. To lose your father is to lose the one whose guidance and help you seek, who supports you like a tree trunk supports its branches. To lose your mother, well, that is like losing the sun above you. It is like losing–I’m sorry, I would rather not go on.”
C Joybell quotes, ““There is no such thing as a “broken family.” Family is family, and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers, and adoption documents. Families are made in the heart. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. If you cut those ties, those people are not your family. If you make those ties, those people are your family. And if you hate those ties, those people will still be your family because whatever you hate will always be with you.”
Family. Clan. Tribe. Folk. Bonded together by something special and truly unique. These past few weeks, my family and I have been praying, wishing, hoping and questioning the tragedy of the missing MH370. Looking through the photographs posted on-line of those on board and now missing, it is very hard not to feel an association. Association not because I personally know them but because of that common familiar alliance we all have in common. We all have a father. We all have a mother. We all have a sister. We all have a brother. We all have a son. We all have a daughter. We all have a friend. We all came very close to loosing someone we care dearly on that day MH370 took off. Even though these people may be unknown to us, we are emphatically connected. There exists a shared loss. Herman Menville describes it best when he said, ““We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”
Perhaps in times like this when catastrophe hits people around us, recognize the fact that although it is not us who have lost a loved one, that it is not us who have had our hearts broken into a thousand pieces, and that it is not us who have to spend nights laying awake, we are not unaffected or unaltered. Shared experience. We partake in the good. We partake in the bad. Just like diva dog’s insistence on staring me down drooling, we must also take in life around us and let the experience move us. That is the reality of life as I see it.
“If freckles were lovely, and day was night,
And measles were nice and a lie warn’t a lie,
Life would be delight,–
But things couldn’t go right
For in such a sad plight
I wouldn’t be I.
If earth was heaven and now was hence,
And past was present, and false was true,
There might be some sense
But I’d be in suspense
For on such a pretense
You wouldn’t be you.
If fear was plucky, and globes were square,
And dirt was cleanly and tears were glee
Things would seem fair,–
Yet they’d all despair,
For if here was there
We wouldn’t be we.”
– E. E Cummings