The title of this blog, Antepenultimate blog, is one of the very few times I’ve been able use that word since I learned it in 11th grade. As I recall, it means next to the next to the last. Ultimate = last, penultimate – next to the last, and antepenultimate – the one that comes before the next to the last. It’s amazing how useful some of the things we learned in school can be!
Of course, there are things we have to learn by doing. Tonight I’m needing to learn calm and comfort two very stressed, angry, and unhappy cats. Currently one is curled up in the corner of a dark, empty closet, having left the first dark, empty closet after I talked to him. The other one, my usual snuggle bug Seamus, is hiding behind the toilet – I can see his backside, only his head is truly hidden but as far as he’s concerned, he doesn’t see me and that’s good enough. Perhaps he figures if he can’t see me I can’t see him. My hope is that with time, patience, and their natural curiosity, they will relax and begin to explore their new home, and come out of the dark unhappy places where they’ve found their comfort. I’m trying a YouTube video “Extremely Soothing Cat Therapy Music – Relax Your Cat!” The music is working for me, maybe it will help them adjust to their new kingdom which doesn’t have their favorite comfy spots and snoozing spaces.
I’m becoming familiar with my new space and the area: I have found Target and the Wal-Mart, tomorrow I will go into the office at the church, barring torrential rains or flooding from the effects of now-Tropical Storm Ida. I will get keys, the internet passwords, and then Phase 1 of the move will be complete. Phase 2 begins when I go back to the house, and box up the rest of the stuff for the movers. Phase 3 is when the movers bring my belongings to the apartment and it becomes our new home, and all the logistics of the transition have been sorted.
A crucial part of Phase 1 for me is to have the cats a little more comfortable. It hurts my heart to see them so frightened and upset. On the other hand, their distress is causing me to think less about what I’m leaving behind and not to pay too much attention to the strange noises in this new place and new neighborhood. So there’s that.
Lotus blossoms grow out of the mud – beautiful flowers, their rhizomes are sunk in the mud and they blossom on the surface of the water. With all the rain forecast for the week, and having packed the car in the rain today, I’m very aware of the mud and muck in the world, as are those reeling from Ida, from grief, living in poverty or crippling heat, feeling stuck in addiction or anger. But I retain my hope that beautiful things will grow out of this swampy time, and we will come to see that our choices and acts of love helped lotuses grow and bloom where things seemed bleakest. And I hope someday to see Seamus’ face, not just his back and tail. There’s always hope!
Today’s Prayer Poem in honor of the Very Sad Cats who may one day be happy, is “The Tyger“ by William Blake
Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!
When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
Grace and peace,