Callin All Angels

I’m going to post some of my assignments on my blog and on Facebook. There’s quite a lot of writing and it’s good exercise.

Callin All Angels

The loss of one of my dearest friends, strangely wasn’t on my quick list of watershed moments, but when I stopped to think about the many many things that have changed my life, usually, but not always, for the better, I had to think about my cats. I’ve always had cats and I’ve always been, some would say, abnormally attached to them. I was even told I’d love them less after my daughter was born, but I think I love them more because of the more than human understanding they’ve always shown her, from the time of her infancy-either by leaving her alone until she understood not to yank their tails or by gently keeping watch over her in the bathtub, on the changing table or in her crib.

As a child myself, I faced many difficult, sometimes frightening times, and I always had my cats with me. As an adult I had three very special furry folk I called the triumphant triumvirate. Hotspur, Mister Newguise and Miss Ninny spent 15, 16 and 18 years with me. They padded through my undergraduate degrees and helped my claw my way through a divorce and a graduate degree. They sat close by as I built my first ever computer in 1988 from dumpster dived spare parts and pushed a screwdriver over when I rehabbed another machine last year to give to my daughter. I’ve cried in their fur and danced in circles singing each their own song, something I won’t subject you to here. I’ve had to face losing each of these three long time friends, who I’m sure carried some of my soul and memory with them when they left.

It’s so hard to call them pets, when really they were friends, the kind that actually does love you unconditionally. In 2003 I lost Mr. Newguise, who is named after a character in Mankind, one of my favorite morality plays. There is even more behind that funny moniker, but that’s yet another story for yet another day. His illness surprised us and his vet. He was a healthy dapperly attired tuxedo gentleman, who we thought would be with us more than 20 years. When Dr. Rovner told us Mr. Newg had a fast growing fatal form of cancer and had about a month to live we were crushed. There was nothing to be done and in the next three months, because he was just that determined of a catguy, he ate all the tuna and chicken he could have dreamed of. We made sure he had pain medicine and he was never left alone. When he couldn’t eat we gave him tuna water, when he couldn’t drink even water anymore, we took him to Dr. Rovner on his favorite blanket and encircled him in our arms while he passed peacefully from the world. Even now, as I write this I can’t help but cry. He was the kindest fellow I’ve ever met and the court jester of our household. He was a hat for my daughter that purred her to sleep and a sweet friend who let me cry on his shoulder at any time of the day. Each time I lose one of my furry folk to age or disease I think I’ll never want another friend who I know I’ll outlive. Then I listen to this song and know that even though I still cry six years later, he was the best example of an angel and I’d never “trade in all the pain and suffering? /ah, but then you’d miss /the beauty of the light upon this earth /and the sweetness of the leaving.” As hard as it was to let him go, we were able to be with him completely. He was never unloved for one moment from the time he and I met on that sidewalk in San Francisco until his last breath. And he is still loved. I’m not sure about the existence of angels, but if there are I know one is wearing a red collar.

Jane Siberry and K.D. Lang

santa maria, santa teresa, santa anna, santa susannah
santa cecelia, santa copelia, santa domenica, mary angelica
frater achad, frater pietro, julianus, petronilla
santa, santos, miroslaw, vladimir and all the rest

a man is placed upon the steps, a baby cries,
and high above the church bells start to ring
and as the heaviness the body oh the heaviness settles in
somewhere you can hear a mother sing
then it’s one foot then the other as you step out onto the road
how much weight? how much weight?
then it’s how long? and how far? and how many times before it’s too late?

calling all angels
calling all angels
walk me through this one
don’t leave me alone
calling all angels
calling all angels
we’re cryin’ and we’re hurtin’
and we’re not sure why…

and every day you gaze upon the sunset with such love and intensity
it’s almost…it’s almost as if if you could only crack the code
then you’d finally understand what all this means
but if you could…do you think you would trade in all the pain and
suffering?
ah, but then you’d miss the beauty of the light upon this earth
and the sweetness of the leaving

calling all angels
calling all angels
walk me through this one
don’t leave me alone
callin’ all angels
callin’ all angels
we’re tryin’
we’re hopin’
we’re hurtin’
we’re lovin’
we’re cryin’
we’re callin’
‘cuz we’re not sure how this goes