🦊 Grief is the Price of Love
The skies are gray. The grass is wet. The air is cold. I stare at the soil and think of Scooby’s meow. I struggle to accept that my beloved cat is gone. The bitter chill of wind seeps through the gaping hole in my heart.
I thought about finding a book to help me through the grief. Jane Goodall's book, A Book of Hope, came to mind. I figured her wisdom would be apt in this moment, as she has spent her lifetime understanding and supporting animals and nature.
But I’m hesitant to start reading the book. Do I really want to hear more about the suffering of animals? I’m not sure I can bear it. Humanity can be so cruel. We erase species, pollute oceans, burn forests, crack skies. Who wants to read about that?
Then again, the book’s title tells me there is hope. And surely she has found it. How else would she keep going, after all these years?
I thought about how many Scoobys that Goodall must have mourned over the years. Not one stray cat, but countless animals she has befriended, loved, and lost.
She bears the pain because she can handle it. Because she knows it's for the greater good. She understands that grief is part of the puzzle, the price to be paid to counter the crimes of her fellow humans. Her life is an inspirational reminder of the power and importance of loving others, despite the cost.
Taking care of Scooby was always a risk. He was an outdoor cat, and anything could happen. But that didn't stop me from loving him. And I have no regrets. I wouldn’t give up those two beautiful years I had with him for the world.
As Tennyson wrote, “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
Today I feel weak and numb. But perhaps some day, I'll wake up with the strength to take care of more Scoobys. They too deserve love.
Modern Fables Podcast
My latest fable, The Newt Who Knew, is now available in audio format as part of a new podcast, Modern Fables. You can find it on Spotify and Apple Podcasts (if you can’t find it in your favorite podcast directory, please let me know so I can submit it there as well).
The Astonishing Recovery of Redwoods — A rare story of hope: “Ancient redwoods recover from fire by sprouting 1000-year-old buds. After a devastating conflagration, trees regrow using energy stored long ago.”
The Boy and the Heron — In case you haven’t seen it yet, Hayao Miyazaki‘s latest Studio Ghibli film, The Boy and the Heron is out in theaters. I actually had a chance to see the film over a month ago, thanks to my friend Asad who let me know it was premiering at the Mill Valley film festival. I was so excited to get a last minute ticket to an afternoon screening. I am truly grateful—I never thought I’d get a chance to attend a Ghibli premier in my lifetime. The film is a little different than your typical Ghibli fare, a little more thematic in nature with less of a clear narrative. Nonetheless, it is breathtaking. If you’re a Miyazaki fan, you’ll definitely enjoy the film. I can’t wait to see it again in theaters soon.
Committed & Unattached: A Powerful Way to Work — I remember reading this piece a year ago, and highlighted a bit about being committed yet resilient despite changing plans for my upcoming book. I believe this combination is incredibly powerful of you can master it. Care without over-caring. A verse from Tao te Ching on opposites (duality) comes to mind:
Being and non-being create each other. Difficult and easy support each other. Long and short define each other. High and low depend on each other. Before and after follow each other.
Therefore the Master acts without doing and teaches without speaking. Things arise and she lets them come; things disappear and she lets them go. She has but doesn’t possess, acts but doesn’t expect. When her work is done, she forgets it. That is why it lasts forever.
I recently discovered the art of Tony Jagas on Instagram. His work is so remarkable and unique. I’ll leave you with a few pieces from his profile, but be sure to check out his account @tony.jagas for more: