I remember a dog my human used to own a great deal many years ago when farm life was norm for one such as myself. She was a breed of dog that was best suited for herding. In fact she was a herding class dog, Shetland Sheepdog.
She was too big in standard size to show in the arena so she was gifted to my mate as a pet. We held a few cattle on the lot we took care of not our own and this dog without prior or proper training began to keep the cattle in a small tightly knit pack. Living in an area fairly close to the city with new houses and subdivisions coming the threat to wild animals was minimal yet there she stood rounding the cattle and keeping watch over them. I would awake early in the morning and be awed that she would be at the window sleeping lightly and with a sixth sense if the cattle moved her eyes would snap open and she would observe them intently. If they broke formation she would be out the door regrouping them.
The several years we had her at the farm she was nothing short of fixated on those cattle, her life revolved around it. We had other dogs on the property and none of them acted as her, they would frolic and play even at their scattered ages. Her social life was rare if any. Many times the both of us would sit and watch the cattle realizing that she and I were the same solitary figures in life. She would interact with the other dogs from time to time only because it was somewhat forced but her mind and her focus would be in those cattle.
When we moved several states over she did come with us, but her precious cattle did not. It was quickly ascertained that taking her away from her niche was nothing short of cruel and she was sent back to the farm where she would live out her days rounding the cattle and taking care of that pack.
I understood my dog, I found us to have many similarities concerning our social aspects in life. Although I do not sit in front of a window guarding cattle I find myself straying away from the gala, balls, social events in solitude creating my buildings while on occasion someone would visit and I would philosophize with them as I set prims. Once someone commented on saving me from my solitude getting me to become more involved in RP yet taking me from my environment was nothing short of torture and although I appreciate the gesture it perhaps wasn’t needed.
I have spent a great deal of my life learning of human emotions and especially the social aspects of individuals and persons as a whole making notes of my findings and writing them in volumes and releasing them in several books. This sort of mindset began in elementary as I would simply sit and observe through recess and this characteristic has not ceased but the activities have increased. SL is a window into a more detailed stripped view on socialites and emotional constructs stripped free of visual limitations with a base archetype of pure controlled socialism in which there is constant study in close quarters.
Simply put I watch the way people interact with great interest yet I am a social idiot. I still run and hide in situations that call for me to interact with strangers. Work used to be a real bitch when I was in retail.
I find religion utterly fascinating and have been a scholar of three that contains anywhere from atheist beliefs to monotheism. Without going into boring detail I found the best way to learn more was to become one of them. My parents purposefully kept from any religion so that through the years I would hunger for it and strive for it like a man dying of thirst. It is the reason for the extremity in faith in my later years. They also did cruel things like didn't feed me for a day so I could learn what emptiness truly was... but those are life's lessons I am glad I learned things like that humble you. But the most important lesson they taught me is...
Prepare yourself for what may come.
In the Himalayans ranges I apprenticed to a group of Buddhist monks that had taken a 15 year vow of silence. For a man who rarely speaks aloud I found out what silence truly was. My master of who has now become part of the life’s stream broke his vow of silence to tell me one thing… ‘You are not ready, you will never be ready’ I believe that perhaps this small phrase he whispered went beyond me failing him as an apprentice. To become truly enlightened I had to discard terra firma in all aspects. I found I was scared to die, so my mortal mind cannot let go of the world quite yet. So I indeed failed my task but his words never left me. You are not ready, you will never be ready… perhaps even he was not ready and for that I will never know. But for the ultimate end, to discard your life from this one, to prepare for the second coming, to rest your body and become one with the earth or whatever end you may believe in… we will never be truly ready even if we have prepared.
It snowed today a phenomenon that is rare in these parts. Living in Idaho caused me to remember to put sand in the trunk to give Tensai some leather gloves in the car and an ice scraper. Seattle was not prepared, many accidents almost crippled the city. Thousands of people freaked out for three inches of snow. I have traveled in the extremist of weather so me and Tensai were unaffected by such a trivial amount, yet the masses were not.
With wind and rain and snow comes power outages. One day Tensai and myself suffered an eight hour power outage. There are times and reasons when I feel truly and utterly blessed to have married such a woman. She hooked up some lights to our UPS battery back up and we had power, she has several small solar panels for backup and a hand crank radio she found in some second hand store and a hand crank light. It was my doing that we have a whole closet full of stored water. Had the power been off for two weeks, we would have survived off of old army rations I still have from my time served. Oddly enough, that stuffs rather good.
And never forget to breathe…
In my radical lama movement for enlightenment I remember walking a great deal up some cliffs and bluffs and places men in sheets and sandals shouldnt be traipsing. The thin air of the mountains caused me great headaches until I adjusted. The monks taught me to breathe in such a way to get the most oxygen into your lungs. Meditation was key to not only spiritual reverence but to recover your body from moving which at times was a damn chore.
I often tell this to people. Oddly I do not think they truly understand the meaning in which I perceive this statement. When a person is stressed they breathe in short pants, if you deprive your brain from oxygen you do not think clearly enough and your mind goes into a mild state of panic. So sitting down, calming yourself and breathing slowly regains your body’s lack of suitable oxygen your mind and body needs in order to function properly.
Still to this day as I look out to see another snowstorm coming our way I am reminded of a dog that is probably at the ranch staring out the window at some cows. I will never forget feeling sorry for the old girl at how lonely her life must be. Yet she chose that life as our choices dictates the direction in which our lives go.
No matter where you go or what you do never forget to apply what you learn to your life and never forget that there’s always something new to learn out there.
Prepare yourself for the worst. Even if you know how to drive in snow, accidents can and do happen.
And most importantly…