6 03 2009
A rather unfortunate photo of Kato.

A rather unfortunate photo of Kato.

to me you are weightless.

The children are making a house for our dead cat, Kato.

Kato is, apparently, everywhere.

I shall be joyful

Kato died three years ago this month. Or, to clarify, we put him to sleep–for he had lymphoma that had rapidly metastized and was experiencing kidney and liver failure.

shall reign, or grieve

Despite the fact that our lives are still cat-filled (or vermin-filled if you are of that bent), I feel very sad when I think of Kato and his illness.


As an aside-(I am always stepping aside, eliding, if you will)–here is a recent piece discussing the ethics of saving endangered species by destroying invasive species. I have mentioned before,, my feeling is that we owe protection to endangered and threatened ecosystems and species but we also owe those species introduced by our own actions humane treatment (rather than eradication by any means necessary. This is not just an animal rights argument–the removal of an invasive species from a habitat often does not turn out the way we assume it will–the world is complex. It just is and any time we think we have a simple answer, we don’t.


Your turn will come.

Oddly enough, Kato was living with us during the Kato-invested investigation of the murder of Nicole Simpson. We did not name him after Kato Kaelin…and would not have. He was a wonderful cat and as close to approximating the embodiment of dispassionate compassion as any creature I have known.

Your turn will come.

The kids barely knew him, being four and two when he died, but they miss him.

Your turn will come.

I miss other creatures, and humans too..but that is something else.

and the sound of bells

I find the burgeoning spirituality (hate hate hate that word) of my children intriguing. Like something about the dawn of spirituality, if I can be so obtuse and ignorant. They desire ritual and sacredness–they move through the spaces of sacredness and holiness with ease. My son especially, for whatever reason, seems to have an inherent interest in the spiritual.

take this

I am trying to learn how to work with them in this space. I always feel a trespasser in the realms of the spiritual for I inherited, at least on one side of my family, a strong distaste for organized religion. What this meant is that, although individuals on this side are strongly spiritual beings, this practice was a very private affair–something about one’s own development. There is also, it seems to me, a strong, nearly Calvinist anti-iconographic impulse, at least for some. Although, you know, as I write this I realize how greatly I have simplified the situation.

no hands built

On the other side is a connection to something of the spiritual in Christianity–the kind that is lived through such things as the poetry of T. S. Eliot. But this side is also strongly practical and less sensitive to….I don’t know what the hell I mean here….

the small pigeons that rise

Anyway…growing up in a family suspicious of organized religion, in a community where the assumption was that one was either Presbyterian or Born–Again, I seem to have both developed a dislike and skepticism for organized religion of ANY form and a feeling of displacement from spiritual practices in general. Meaning, I do not ever feel that I am allowed to own, to take, to use, the spiritual approaches of any group because they are not the ones I was born into..that I will always do them wrong. I hate the mishmash approach–the new age shopping mart…but I am deeply moved by old Cathedrals, by the ecstatic paintings of certain artists, by the spiritual writing and notebooks of people such as Simone Weil by the statues of Siva. By the ancient nature of some things.

Take from me the incomparable circle

I believe spirituality is something about the way our own consciousness….does…something….not…sure…what.

I shall lead you as a guest

I recently read a book about the politics of Jung, Eliade and Campbell (by Robert Ellwood). Ellwood’s point that all three ultimately settled on a form of gnosticism that was deeply personal–about developing the individual and not the society–seemed to touch on it for me. He also (as does Wendy Doniger) make a case for the value of the approach to mythology these three took (esp. Eliade) despite concern about it overlooking cultural differences. An addressing of the accusation of essentialism in light of the modern concern about what Said called Orientalism. Which, is my concern about picking and choosing out of my cultural mileau.

from another country

Anyway, anyway….this interiority of spirituality, the neurobiology of it–the perceptual and cognitive meshing, the affect on what we feel is our conscious body. That is what it is to me.

to the Chapel of the Inadvertent Joy

but whatever.

I still miss Kato, and DG, and my grandma, and that person who once was but is no more.

but what I mean to say is


that chapel of stars, that refuge from evil,
where the floor is–polished by kises.

I told my son about sanctuary–about the idea of the church as sanctuary. Why did I tell him that? What were we talking about? Do you know?

you will rise up filled

About cats by the way

with wonderful powers

I am writing a ghost story about a little black cat.

There is a mummified cat that walled up alive, for the good luck or protection of the property, at Valle aux Loups, the Chateaubriand residence. The Valley of the Wolves.

How many little black cats and do you think they are good or bad luck? Or just each its own little black cat like the Kato my babies loved so very much and who was like a little sainted version of a cat…at least to us and to the other cats in his life.

I send to you my portion
of earthly dust.


quotes are from Marina Tsvetaeva




One response

24 04 2009

i am sorry for your loss even if it was 3 years ago it still hurts, from your post i can tell that you are very spiritual. Thank you for the outstanding quotes. god bless.

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