The following is from my book Share My Insanity (release date – Autumn 2011) and was written maybe 2004 (I take years to write a book). It is dedicated to my beloved cat, Ganesh. May he rest in peace. He was the most joyous being I ever met. “Look, wow, isn’t it amazing? I have a tail. Wow, look, I have a paw. Whoo hoo, I knocked over a vase, isn’t the water running from it cool? Wow, Francesca’s mad at me for spilling all that water, cool!” His joy was a gift to me and my other cat Teenie. And with that:
The tale below illustrates the beneficence of the jumble, tumble, and bumble of life’s events.
Recently, at about 11 p.m., I decided to proof some typing. Ganesh, my cat, started meowing—that awful, loud, and insistent yowling that cats know drives you to distraction. Sure enough, I couldn’t concentrate. I chased him off repeatedly, to no avail.
Finally, I said to my older cat, Teenie—Ganesh is, let’s say, college freshman age—”Would you please take care of him for a while so I can work?” (Ignore the fact that I talk to cats.) Teenie came over to my table and—oh, lawd—promptly settled down onto the document I was trying to correct, completely covering it.
I looked at her and thought, Okay, I surrender!
I should’ve known better than to try to work when one of my cats was interfering. They do it for my own good when I need a break but am workaholically plugging away.
A friend expressed it perfectly when I called to tell her this true-life parable: We need to listen to our betters.
Sometimes, those superior beings are pets, but myriad other forms can manifest. For example, another time the wind may whip a hat off because it looks silly, thus sparing you a fashion gaffe. A superior being might also be the god within you, who’s telling you to do something other than what you are engaged in right then.
Whatever those helpful entities and traits are, they’re often part of life’s beneficent chaos—chaos that we resist, thinking we need to cling to some everything’s-in-its-right-place-and-time plan, and/or some “appropriate” order we imagine to be the underpinning of happiness and even of life itself. Sometimes, of course, it is good to cling to order, and there is an orderliness to the cosmos that guides us, nurtures us, and sets us free. Chaos, too, however, is one of life’s underpinnings, and not always a bad one. Often it acts like my cats, lovingly guiding us to the happiest possible conditions. Besides, chaos is simply part of the order that we can’t see the logic to. Doesn’t mean it’s not there. When the chaos of life interferes with our plans, it reflects a truer plan, one in accord with our real—but possibly ignored or even unknown—needs and longings. Nanao Sakaki, the renowned poet, said, “Listen to wind.” And me, I’ll also listen to cats. An odd form of Divine guidance? Odd is good.
If you enjoyed this excerpt, Share My Insanity portrays my chaotic life as a mystic and just plain ol’ human, in-depth. Available on Amazon.