To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
This very short story is from my upcoming book that contains short stories and poetry inspired by animals in my life. Not all of them are there and so, more stories will come.
This is one of the ways animals inspire our creativity. For me, they have been present in my life since I know about myself. I wrote about my first dog companion in one of my recent posts. By simple observing one daily moment, one can enter that spacetime reality of creativity. It is as if when doing your dishes, you observe the shapes of the plate, lines, colours, where two pieces are connected and how, how one shape turns into another, light that falls onto your hands while washing, foam that dances up and down, left and right, covers a part of the plate and withdraws itself like a sea tide.
Then, take a pen and paper and try to catch what you saw, felt, smelled, all the emotions and impressions. Draw, write text, create shapes, whatever comes to the mind. Stay open and allow it to rest on the paper. Nobody has to see it. Ever. Not even you. You can burn it, trash it, tear it down. Though if you keep it, it might become a book of wonders, reserved only for your eyes. It can become a toolbox of ideas, inspirations, just drawings, thoughts, feelings and emotions, quick notes or whatever you want it to be. Nobody has to see it.
Photo: Ivana Filip, 2005
Similarly, creativity works for me with my animals. One day it kicked into my mind that they were always with me. It seemed evident that they entered my art life since they were always collaborators, family members, kins in my other life, art life, life life, art is life. And I am constantly amazed by our relationships which keeps me curious and enjoying this journey.
Still, we have to be aware of the Other animals, wild and undomesticated, with whom we share our Gaia. According to The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species more than 37400 species are threatened with extinction. I am not a biologist neither an anthropologist so I cannot say that this has happened before in history. What is certain is that through the evidence of many organizations and institutions for the preservation of life, we witness the suffering and pain of nonhuman animals. Once we know it, how can we not see it?
In this short haiku story, I share my emotions about the loss of my dear dog companion. “If nothing matters, there is nothing to save”, writes Jonathan Safran Foer.
What are you doing to give respect to animals in your life?
When I was 13, we got a little pup and I named her Djana,
after a boy I liked.
She was a dachshund, small and cute.
She got sick, blinded and bumped into walls.
They had to put her to sleep. They didn’t know any better.
I cried and prayed for days every night before falling asleep to God to save her.
They might have told me she ran away but I knew she was sick.
I prayed and cried.
And cried and prayed more because I believed if my prayer was strong
enough, if I prayed
more, God would help.
Love and thanks,