Jessica Williams, jazz pianist, composer


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A new life, a little French Bulldog

Hello Little Dog! Introducing, all the way from Atlanta, Georgia . . . Ruby, the French Bulldog.

Ruby the French Bulldog


How does it feel to grieve, to be inconsolable, to feel the cold blue steel blade of grief in your heart, to feel the ache in your arms and hands, the ache of emptiness, and, all of a sudden, to be confronted with new life, forged fresh from the engines of the Universe, smelling like only a new puppy can smell, and staring at you with big brown liquid eyes that speak to you of unconditional love and infinite forgiveness?

It feels great!

It restores your perspective, and makes you aware of a simple, profound truth; that death is a part of the cycle of life, and that everything is as it should be.

Sure, I felt guilty when I started to fall in love with her... my Watson was with me for 14 long years, and he'd only been gone for three weeks. My guilt lasted for about one agonizing day and night. Does that mean I'm somehow emotionally bankrupt? I think it means that I have perspective now; I'm so happy that Watson didn't suffer too greatly, that his spirit is at peace and starting a new life cycle somewhere and somewhen; I feel relieved that he has moved on, after a long and happy life with us (he never missed a meal or a walk); I feel finally resolved that my taking him to the vet when I did was the right thing to do at the right time.

Besides, you can NOT compare doggies any more than you can people. One can NOT replace another. All are different, from their hair and their skin, right down to the core of their soul. And I know that many humans believe that 'animals' have no souls. I just happen to be a human that believes that humans are animals too, and that every living thing has a soul, a splinter of divinity that is immutable and immortal. That's just me; but it makes me a good mother. I love my little friends with passion and full commitment. They're in my charge for all their needs, and I try to never let them down.

And I sure don't feel superior to them. I think that they're pretty amazing, and much more advanced than us in some ways. Well, at least more advanced than me.

SO, as I write this, with Ruby asleep in my lap (and she does smell like a puppy, and that smell can range from a musky-sweet bouquet to a stink bomb) I'm okay with the world for a while. This thing, this LIFE and DEATH thing, is the hardest thing we Westerners have to grapple with when it comes to philosophical questions. I know what the Dalai Lama would say, and I believe it, but it's a harsh truth when you're faced with it. And we all are. I think he said that if we embrace our death, we can more fully experience our life. And I guess that's true.

I know we're all going to die. Even a someone I once knew and worked with who fully believed that he was NOT included in that edict... I'd bet good money that he dies, someday, just like all the rest of us will.

The beautiful thing is that, right now, we're ALIVE, and that, when we die, a part of us lives on in our deeds, our Music or art or poetry or special gift, our acts of mercy and compassion towards others.

To live just to make money, or to use people for your own ends, or to 'work in the gray areas' in order to manipulate others to work for your own benefit... these are all a wasting of the gift of LIFE.

To live and die in the service of others, really improving their lives, making small or large contributions to other people's welfare, doing what you can do with what you have to bring peace and enlightenment and happiness to the world, now that's a life, that's something to really strive for!

I can't think of a better reason to play my Music for the good of my world and the healing of its people. It's a little thing, but I have a feeling that it's not about the sheer volume of the act... it's more about the intent and the act itself.

I know that little Watson left me a far better person, and that I will never, ever forget him. I will cry at times when I remember him, as I am doing now. The tears are good too if they are out of love and longing.

A few days ago I 'blew up' on the phone with a good friend. Later I said I was so sorry. And I realized how stupidly human I remain, and how far I've yet to go to get to where these noble animals, our dogs, are now. One thing I want to learn and learn well; that there is only love. Everything else, from territorial disputes to religious piety to unfettered bigotry to moral superiority, is horse-hockey.

There is only love, and life and death. And it is enough. - JW 2.26.05



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