Paying attention when it really matters

On the fifth day of the month, I do a semi fast. Tea is allowed, as are fruit (just enough to avoid hypoglycemia!). I do this to commemorate the June 5, 2009, death of my calico, Gingy.

She was a major part of my life for almost 15 years, and I’ll always remember her challenging gaze, her harlequin face, and her “I’m hungry” meow. But I know that my memory will grow blurry around the edges.

I look at photos and videos to bring her back in crisp vivid color, while I also try to remember her more consciously once a month. To remember the details of her presence.

(Why fast? you might be wondering. In fact, considering what Gingy craved (and I withheld), I might best honor her by eating a can of tuna straight up, plus fresh cantaloupe, gnawing on the rind. Stay tuned for more on why I fast in moderation.)

A writer pal, 15 years my senior, once advised me to keep a journal recording nuts-and-bolts details of my life, not only my emotions. “You’ll easily remember what you felt,” she said. “But you’ll forget what you did or how you lived.”


In any case, I’m trying to commemorate my kitty, while realizing that I’m doing so for my own benefit, not hers. She’s gone. Instead, I should’ve paid more attention to Gingy when she was alive.

In asana, as I discussed in my prior post, “On paying attention,” one should pay attention in class. Of course, such “training” should ultimately apply to the rest of one’s life. To be present, in our bodies and in our relationships. When it really matters.

Image: Kaua‘i-grown ranges and star fruit

1 comment

  1. This post is so touching & thoughtful. I’m sorry your cat died. You did take good care of her (tuna & treats).

    maybe it’s time for a new kitten?

    one time i tried to fast, but I got hungry at lunch…


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