I know I keep saying this but I am slowly seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and soon! Soon! Soon! I will be back on top of things. But, it has been an amazing revelation of self-discipline to have paced myself the way I have been and keep going to get everything done.

On my in-between of living in the café, writing madly, sporadically having people drop in for conversation, consultations, meetings and chance encounters  – I am also teaching two writing workshops and GO, plus helping run a Zen meditation group. It is the GO, the Zen and the conversations that are making this all possible. And I find that what I am learning from their combined and continued presence in my life is illuminating dark corners like someone lit a string of fire crackers and threw them into an attack.

One friend came to meet me, who I have not had a chance to sit and talk with in almost a year, and she arrived on a beautiful day in the middle of the week with her new dog, Mona. The minute you see Mona, you want to touch her. She exudes sweetness, is a smaller –mid-sized dog with white fur and a darkened circle around one eye. She is some kind of Australian sheep dog, but, as my friend pointed out, those dogs are all mixed breed anywhere so I just introduce her as Australian.

Mona is from Tennessee, from a shelter. She was not abused but had a litter of puppies and abandoned. The shelter placed her with a foster home to get her ready for adoption and put her picture and profile up on what can only be the largest doggie dating service in the US – Pet Finder. My friend and her husband had lost their dog of 20 years 8 months ago and were feeling the need for another living presence in the house. They saw Mona and fell in love. Two months later, much paperwork and several home visits by Pet Finder volunteer – they were approved and they paid Mona’s transportation fee from Tennessee to Rhode Island.

Now…it turns out there is something called the Petabago that leaves about once a month from Arkansas and travels all through the south, collecting dogs from foster homes and shelters who have been adopted by people in the North East. It is a Winnebago type RV that has been gutted and kitted out with pet carriers and someone, someone with a lot of love and patience I imagine, drives this Petabago full of dogs and cats for weeks delivering them to their new homes.

My friends got the call at 10pm one night. “Come meet us in the parking lot of the Cranston Mall.” They went, and there in the empty parking lot was the Petabago under sodium light. They gave the driver the papers and the driver gave them Mona. She is almost 2 years old. Happy, sweet and falls apart still when my friend walks away for even a moment.

Last night, I started teaching the first “Art of Memory” workshop in Providence. As always, there was a reason that all of us came together. And this workshop I know will be life changing for me. When the woman asked, “What was it that was inside us that allowed us to do what we did and to survive what happened?” I thought of GO.

And I told her that the question is not so much what was inside of you, but what happened that opened that door that let that part of you finally come out and live? In GO they say don’t look at what you did to win, look at what your opponent did wrong that allowed you to make that move.

Find out what the opportunity was that arrived that you had never had before, and then go backwards and remember. Remember and see how your life has been affected by such a beautiful part of your self seeking to come out into the world and only finding these closed and locked doors. It will make you start to think of your past differently. It will allow you to look in the present and future for what paths lay with open doors so that all of you may come out and live.

And you will become able to get through anything. You will be able to survive.


c.2012. Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.


About cassandratribe

"There are few artists that can do what Cassandra Tribe does. Whether with her poetry, her videos or her blog, Cassandra examines the truths that most of us can never come close to realizing and shows it for what it is, both beautiful and frightening at the same time. She exposes our inner-most workings like the cross-section of a powerful but flawed machine, our gears and springs, nuts and bolts removed and laid out before us. She is a true artist. Her new video, Requiem for a God, is the latest example of Cassandra's willingness to tear open and examine the very things that make us human. Shooting the film entirely by herself, she also eliminates all the little excuses we come up with to keep us from ourselves and our truth. You see, even when she's not trying to be, Cassandra Tribe is a beacon of truth and humanity in this darkest of worlds." (Michael E. Quigg, The Culture Network, June 2009)
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