Jun 8, 2012

Photos From Cat World

Tabby Cat in Frame
I'm pretty sure that I'm the only person among my friends on Flickr, who has never gotten a photo displayed on Flickr's Explore page. It's the place where they put the best photos from each day. I don't know why that is, I guess there is something about my work that isn't good enough; pretty pathetic for someone who actually went to school to do this. -- It may seem like a minor point, and I suppose it is; it's just one little inadequacy among a million others that haunt me.

I think about stuff like that a lot. I have judged myself and found myself to be substandard. And I feel like others judge me, too. Some do, in fact, think that I've wasted my life. Far more don't think about it one way or another. At times I feel like I don't belong here, that there's nothing left but prolonging the suffering. At these times I feel like I'm just one more piece of human garbage, waiting to be picked up and tossed out.

The cats don't care, though, and I'm glad for that. I'm a scary human to many of them, but they still look forward to seeing me. I know it's just for the food, and that's okay: I've passed their test for acceptance. They aren't judging me for my failures. I try to remind myself of that when I'm feeling blue. Between me and the cats, I'm basically the only one who has to live with the thought of being unworthy of existence. And if I don't let that show, nobody has to know anything but me.

The cats don't think that way; they're happy to be alive. In Cat World, that's really the highest accomplishment. It's another day, another bit of food, hopefully some sun to lie in. What more could you possibly want? They don't know and they don't care.

For me, though, I can't let go of the past. My mistakes and miscalculations swirl around in my mind. I can stop thinking about them for a while and be happy. But then the sad memories come back, somehow. I can't escape. It's always "if only" this and "if I had known" that .... but there is no time machine to go back and fix things. And what kind of world would I find if I did?

You see, I believe that tiny changes in one thing, change everything else. If I could fix something in my past, who knows what the consequences would be - maybe good, maybe tragic. There's just no way to know.. It's the Butterfly Effect, another name for Chaos Theory: The idea that very tiny changes in one place can have a big and unforeseen effect elsewhere. I think that is true, even though fixing some things in the past would be tempting, for sure, I would also have to pause and consider the possible consequences. At least things in the here-and-now are a known commodity. And of course, it's not like I actually have a choice!

In Cat World, there is only the present moment. I DO think that cats grieve for lost friends, missing the companionship and the familiarity. They have long memories. Unlike humans, though, they don't seem to dwell on the past. They remember, but they live in the present moment.There is only right here, right now.

Maybe the cats are on to something. And I'd like to take their advice... if only I could....