12 June

The Power Of A Donkey’s Eye. They See Souls

by Jon Katz
The Power Of A Donkey’s Eye: Lulu

I’ve lived with donkeys for more than a decade now, once there were four, now there are two, Lulu and Fanny, sisters. I’ve seen the spiritual and mystical powers of donkeys first hand, and I believe in the power of a donkey’s eye. I believe they see right into souls.

Donkeys are profoundly spiritual beings. They are one of the most mistreated and abused animals on the earth, they have been with people forever and know them well, good enough to never completely trust them or eagerly do everything they ask.

Unlike dogs, donkeys have evolved into a place well beyond unconditional love and instant obedience. Donkeys are thoughtful creatures, everything has to be their idea, they don’t give love away or give it without condition. Donkeys are aware that many things human beings might ask them to do can be harmful or hurtful to them, so they watch carefully and give everything some thought.

Donkeys never forget a slight or a hurt. Nine years ago, when my life was coming apart, and I fell into a dreadful panic, I sent all of my animals away to a farmer friend in Vermont.

I remember getting halters on them both and pushing and pulling them out of the barn and into a carrier  truck. They didn’t want to go and brayed piteously.

They were gone for a year until I was well enough and  strong enough bring them back. During that time, Lulu was attacked by a  dog and injured and Fanny was lonely and morose.

Donkeys bond powerfully with people, even if they don’t always show it. When they came back, Fanny forgive me right away.Lulu has never completely forgiven me and certainly hasn’t forgotten. If I even look at a halter, she backs up, looks at me reproachfully and runs off. Maria has to put it on.

Two or three years ago, she let me brush her and lately she has been cuddling with me and standing near me when I am in the pasture, a sign of donkey love. They love to bump the people they love.

Lulu’s eyes are piercing and deep, I believe donkeys can see right into souls. I’ve had many people come to the farm, and some she likes and some she doesn’t, and in my experience, she usually has good judgment. Sometimes, she looks at me, and I hear her say, “are you ready to be loved.” And she can always manipulate me into giving her a cookie or carrot.

They smell moods 100 yards away.

Lulu loved Maria from the moment she saw her. She has good taste in people. Fanny has always attached herself to me, we bonded in the  way back and have stayed close. Once in a while, she even does what I ask. Donkeys have a wisdom and intelligence that is deep and profound.

They see right through us. And they make their own decisions.

12 June

Eighth Anniversary: Miracle Upon Miracle

by Jon Katz
A Happy Anniversary, Cont.

It was very much Maria.

When I came outside to help with the chores, she was out in the pasture, cutting a wildflower bouquet for me as an eighth anniversary present. Maria is deeply connected to the natural world and to the world of animals, they have helped her heal, as they help all of us to heal.

I sometimes see Maria as a mystical guide, she has led me deep into the world of trees, flowers, shadows and the secrets of the natural world. She has opened me up to the bright side of the world.

I think of her often as a woodland spirit, perhaps an elf or delinquent goddess. She is as open as I am closed, as trusting as I am  wary, as enthusiastic as I am suspicious. She is good for me, to say the least.

She has taught me so much about how to talk to our animals.

Our home and our life is filled with rocks, skeletal art, crystals and now, all kinds of beautiful flowers all over our house. She sees beauty everywhere, and has created a beautiful world around her, and around me.

Every morning, I wake up and look at her and stroke her hair and kiss her somewhere as she mumbles and grumbles and tries to wake up. It is a miracle, I think. I think that every morning and many times through the day. Is this really my wife and lover and partner? How did this happen to me? How did I hit this great and boundless jackpot?

And you know what, it is a miracle.

I remembered this morning what life was like in the dark days before we met. I see it all in gray, it was lonely and unhappy and empty. I had given up on life and love, I was just waiting out my time. When I was 61, a wary analyst warned me that I was undergoing a lot of change for someone my age. Most people give up and accept their fate in their sixties, he said.

I would rather die, I said. And that was true. In a sense I already was dying.

Our world is rich in life and mystery. I was living in a remote place, hiding from the world, it was a place you go if you want to make certain you will  never meet anyone. and there she was popping up out of the mist.

Maria and I have had much fun, we laugh so often and happily discuss and digest the news of our days.

We are both complex people, often unlocking the secrets of the other. We have helped one another to climb out of the dark spaces were were both in. We have cheered one another on as we each make our stumbling but unstoppable progress.

We are both prickly and sensitive, lots of wounds, scars, triggers and sore spots. Sometimes, I like life if like a minefield with us, all sorts of dangerous things to step. We navigate them, talk about them, we heal one another’s wounds, and lift up each other’s hearts.

In the other, we each found a partner to share in our deep obsession with creativity and encouragement.

We started out as broken people reaching out for a life raft, we have turned into a team, a partnership in the best sense of the world. Every day, I revel in Maria’s newfound strength and confidence. Another miracle. And she revels in my growing strength and confidence in my ability to manage my life and grow and learn and change.

So this is a day working marking, even if we are both at our desks pretty much all day. That is also what we are like.

We are both agents of change and warriors for love. I am happy to celebrate the miracle that is our anniversary.

12 June

Done. Maria’s Car Comes Home. On To The Next Chapter….

by Jon Katz

Well, it’s done. Found, checked out, bought, paid for, brought home. We are pretty pleased with ourselves, the doomed Yaris, is heading for the cruncher, Maria bought a Hyundai Accent, four years old with $93,000 miles on it for $ 6,650, the asking price was $7,500.

Maria did an impressive job of checking out the car, getting it examined by a mechanic, getting new brakes put on it, and negotiating a good  price. I did spot it in the lot when I drove by but that was about my only contribution. I just took it for a drive around town and I like it a lot. Plenty of headroom, it ran smoothly and quietly, the dashboard is well thought out and logical and easy to use.

I was never comfortable driving the Yaris, just too tight for me, but this was fine, I’d be happy to drive it anytime. And I will not bitch or complain about it. We bonded. When my car is in the shop, I can drive this one.

I am happy we had enough money saved up for an emergency to buy it, this is not something I would ever have thought to do (or even needed to) in my prior life. It feels good to be responsible for my money. That isn’t something I would ever have done my prior life either.

I like that we have no payments to make and Charlie our mechanic says this car can go another 200,000 miles if well maintained. From  Friday to Tuesday isn’t bad, and we never even left our small town. I learned again not to generalize about people or things — Jerry Simon is honest and easy to work with, and he sold us a good car at a very reasonable price. You can’t really ask for more than that.

It’s a Maria car, no frills, easy to drive, good gas mileage, long life span.

Okay, this feels good. It’s good to get on our anniversary, once she gets over her attack of nerves (she does not like to spend thousands of dollars) she’ll be happy to have it. Lots of people tell us that the police love to pull over red cars, sounds like an urban myth to me. We’ll see soon enough.

Maria doesn’t go far and never goes fast.

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