When Zen master Fa-ch'an was dying, a squirrel screeched on the roof. It's "just this" he said, "and nothing more."
A Dashing Kitty Cat (Sharon Meloy)
A week later I am a week later into learning the wonders of meditating. I am still driving around baffled and delusional. I have not a clue how to quell these racecar thoughts of mine. At this particular moment I am coming home, going right and left through our narrow streets, and I’m in a rather negative, icky state. I’ve settled my mind on work and am having a replay of a conversation that did not go well for me. I am saying all the things I wish I had said, but of course then I would end up going to hell and who wants that. I’m on autopilot driving. Out of nowhere a white cat with orange spots zooms in front of my moving vehicle. Now this stuff happens to all of us, and it’s a big bummer. Especially for someone like me because I LOVE ANIMALS. I once stopped after hitting a frog and could barely look at the poor thing, but I laid it in the grass to die. But here’s the thing about the orange cat. It would have been flattened under my wheel if it had continued on its path to the other side of the street. I’m certain of it. What it does instead is to make a sharp left and continue its fleeing by running straight up the middle of the street, with me now tailing it. This was an uncanny sense of timing on the cat’s part. I had been braking since I saw the first blur of fur. By now, my truck had slowed enough that by trailing behind the cat I gave it the time it needed to once again, exit left and return to the side of the street. I’m sure it’s feline heart was going ninety to nothing. Mine, on the other hand, had soared from the baseline anxieties to the freaking out oh my god I almost hit a cat. Then wondrously I felt my heart rate slipping down to a calming pace, I was so happy and grateful to see the cat win. So next time I’m darting out onto the wrong path I hope to make like a tabby and exit at the right moment, the right time, the right place. Nothing wrong with going back to home plate sometimes and re-thinking things. Meow.