Friday afternoon, I had four Portuguese Water dogs in my living room. It was a very busy room–dogs chewing bones, squeaking toys, trying to open closet doors, looking for trouble. I had gone for a walk at Lewis Lake with my friend who has three of the dogs. They are an energetic breed so sometimes it feels like the point of many days is to wear the dogs out. The good side to that is I get lots of exercise.
So after the walk, we were talking in my living room as our dogs played. The conversation somehow turned to funerals. She commented that she goes to a funeral to comfort a friend or family member. The person who has died is gone. I had mentioned that I hadn’t gone to a celebration of the 25th anniversary of my Buddhist teacher, Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche. He’s still very much with me, a part of my life even though I am no longer involved in the community or the practice. My Buddhist practices were very important to me as was the teacher. I’m just doing something else now.
So that led to her comment. Then the phone rang, a friend calling to say his brother, who has cancer and is living with him now, was probably dying soon. It seemed strange, to be talking about funerals, our relationship to friends and death, and then to have the reality of it so present. The coincidence of such events happens often for me. It probably does for many people, sometimes noticed, sometimes not.
I could get poetic here and talk about the synchronicity of the experience of making art, the happy (and unhappy) accidents, the way unimagined things come to the surface, the differences of perception for different people along with the underlying universal current of shared humanity. But all I’ll say here is, I really enjoyed the afternoon, and it is sad my friend’s brother will not be physically with us much longer.