The Perfect Life

The Perfect Life

Does anyone have a perfect life? What is perfection? What is life…?

Well if you ask me, then yes, I would say that there are people who have perfect lives. And not because they live in a continuous happiness, or because they were born rich and healthy and are popular.
Most of us think of happiness in terms of needs: the need for food, for shelter, for a partner to share the biological needs with, for support, social life, fame – on a smaller or on a larger scale, and some self esteem. Doesn’t that sound like a perfect life… to have all those? Is there anything one could ask more for? Sure, we would add: love, kindness, friendships, inner peace… And still, is that all we need to be happy? No, this is perfection…

What is life? Stupid question, ones might say. Well life is a fact. That’s it, you wake up one morning and your brain is developed enough to acknowledge that you are alive. And when that moment comes, you start worrying, you’re not a baby or a child anymore, to let others take care of your life and guide you; and that’s how real life starts, you feel responsible for what’s happening to your body, for how others feel about you, for your grades in school, for the deadlines at your job and for what your parents and friends might say if you stop following the unwritten guidelines of this journey. Day by day, you feel life.

Now let’s see. A perfect life is a life without worries. But there isn’t such a thing, is it? To have a perfect life would mean that you were not actually acknowledging the fact that you are living, you’d act like a plant: here comes the sun, let’s produce some chlorophyll so we can “eat”, wait for the rain, and get numb when the sun goes down.

But I was so convinced that there is a perfect life! So how should it be then? I’m thinking of “being satisfied with what you have would make you happy and live a perfect life”, but that’s just silly, as so many people are homeless and starve to death around the world. On the other hand, thinking that “you should always aim for more, never rest from chasing your dreams, so you can reach happiness and self satisfaction, never ever give up” might lead to a happy life in terms of being a strong ambitious person. But that’s also wrong, because people tend to have crazy aspirations, convinced that those would make them have a perfect life and they end up at that point where they can only see the past and the present, being so old and tired that the future means nothing to them, they live from memories and get to think “how I wasted my life, how stupid was I!”

About two years ago I went to a zoo and I was cheerful to see more than my natural environment could provide. The attraction of the season was a baby gorilla, recently captured and put in its new “home”. It lived in a huge cage, with plenty of food and water and green stuff, obviously put there to make it believe it was in its “dream house”. But it looked so depressed… tourists would try to take pictures and poke the glass to draw its attention, but the big brown eyes were wet and sad… So I thought that nothing would ever make that poor soul enjoy life again, that’s not perfect at all for it…

This year I got the chance of visiting again that zoo. On the way out, I remembered the baby gorilla I was telling you about and with a bit of nervousness I went checking what has happened to it. I was surprised to see a huge black creature, jumping around and literally making faces at the cheerful crowd. It couldn’t have been it… So I had to ask. It was that baby gorilla.

So I got to think about it… How come it was happy? Is adaptation what it takes to get a happy life? Well the only conclusion I got was that you don’t need to hold on insanely to things in the past… Sure, sometimes it is very hard. Letting go of your dreams might be close to impossible, but it is worth it, to hang on and stay sad? So I’m figuring that a perfect happy life is achieved when one is strong enough to accept reality, but also keep faith and follow the dreams which come close to what they have always wanted… I think that perfect life results from harmony.

Harmony flower

Otter and Kathy – A Story of Love and Forgiveness

“There are truly angels living among us and I met one recently while on a walk in my neighborhood. Kathy was walking her 3 dogs, one of which was physically disabled and needed a special chair to get around. She explained that “Otter” had been abused as a puppy and his hind legs were paralyzed. She is truly an angel and the love she shares with Otter is so pure and unending. This is a story of dedication, forgiveness and true unconditional love. ”

The Lost Dream

The dream

I finally saw my dream coming true. I didn’t win the lottery, as I was hoping, but my business was going well and after a few years of hard work I decided to follow my dream and go see the world. Now I finally made time to go on a ship crew…

Feeling like the master of the world, I packed my bags and headed to the ocean. It was going to be a long way and a lot of lazy days were showing ahead. Enjoying the water, the nature, relaxing and enjoying life. It seemed that I forgot how to.

Even if it was mid summer, the breeze cooled my face and made me stay on the deck for hours, staring at the seagles and the immensity of water…I was going far away, to see the beauties and wonders of the world. What I didn’t know was the fact that this trip would change my whole view over life…

Armed with touristic maps and guides, I tried to find out as much as possible about the exotic places I was going to get to. Clear blue waters, souveniers, wonderful animals and people with such different occupations from what I was used to! And I was going to see all that!

Feeling enthusiastic like a child, after the sun tanned my face for so many days, I was told that we only have one more day left on the water. I felt a little disappointed because I didn’t see the whales swimming, as they promised, but I was still hoping for dolphins. And they didn’t fail me! Being the last day on the ship, I decided to wake up early and takes pictures of the sunrise. Boy, what spectacular framed memories will these make in my office!

I was getting a bit chilly when something popping out of the water made me forget about it. It was indeed a dolphin! No, wait, there are more! And there is a little one! Must be a baby. I was over my head with joy, trying to take pictures as they swam along with the ship, jumping out of the water and playing. Very curious, I was following the baby’s moves and I saw him approach a floating…thing. It started playing with it, throwing the object in the air and making circles around it, after it landed on the water again. But the trick only lasted for a few seconds, because when the object hit the water for the third time, a black substance spread from it, on the tiny dolphin’s head. Then I heard a squeeking sound and junior was gone into the deep. All the other followed in a rush. “They act like humans”, I said to myself, disappointed that my show had ended.

Alone in the cold morning breeze, I completely forgot about my sunset…maybe because this morning the sun never showed. I was busy admiring the dolphins and didn’t see the clouds on the sky. And I was so busy that I didn’t notice that there were more floating objects on the water’s surface…They were mostly plastic bags and can with industrial oil.
Outraged at the people, myself and the whole world, I demanded to see the captain or someone who could answer my question. The money I had paid for this trip proved that even the captain is an ordinary man…I was promised whales! Where were they? The agency said that in so many weeks spent on the ocean, you can see whales almost every two days or so…

But the agency doesn’t know or care, explained the captain. For a moment I thought that he was amused, but then I saw a sad look on his face. The whales disappeared for about 2 years now, since the number of harbours increased and since the rich people decided that they want to become more rich, installing huge iron cranes and mechanisms on fake platforms in the ocean, for getting all the oil…Even the dolphins are seen more rarely and often the natives find dead animals on the shore…It was even in a local newspaper that a fisherman found a dead dolphin with a plastic bag on its head and some algaes, which were assumed to gotten it stuck there…But of course that it never crossed the borders of the small island, as the newspaper was bought by a rich white man, and then dissolved.

I had nothing more to say…I couldn’t say anything more. Each passenger received as souvenier a shark tooth. I didn’t want mine. I could only spend a few days on my exotic dream island, as the stories that I heard every day only ruined my vacation. Some were told, some were seen…The commerce with everything that can be found alive in the ocean was flourishing and all the excited tourists paid great deals of money for them. But I only had one word in my head…POLLUTION.
Why can’t people see what they are destroying? The waters, the animals, the plants, the life…their lives! Maybe not theirs yet, but what about their children and grandchildren? Why are they so greedy and stupid? Why do they do harm to what keeps us alive? The water…the Earth.

So my trip brought only sadness and frustration of being able to do nothing about it…The modern newspapers talk about it, the factories recieve fines, we invented a Green Day for Earth and we like to debate it for ever, but we don’t actually do something…So instead of filling my office with beautiful clear ocean pictures, I framed the following:

The Nightmare

A Puppy’s Story

A Puppy's Story

The bell from the petshop door rings for the 35th time today. A 7 year old girl, all dressed in pink, with curly hair and ribbons walks in, with her parents. She’s wearing a girly purse, far too big for her arm, but all shiny and with a spoiled child’s attitude, drags her dad’s hand to hurry up. Her mom is a skinny woman, in a a business outfit and her dad holds the keys to a Mercedes Benz. I smile, thinking of a new opportunity for Soul.

“We want a pet for our daughter”, the man said. This is our chance! I walk them politely to the small shelter where the puppies are. Only three left. The girl already spots Soul and tries to pick him up, while the other two puppies joyfully walk to the small hand, waggling their tails. But Soul looks special, with his brown nose and blue eyes…too bad that those baby blue marbles don’t function well…Then I told them that the puppy is blind. The girl immediately puts it down with a “getting rid of” gesture and the mom wrinkles her nose in disgust. Soul tries to find his way back in the corner, sniffing around, taking small insecure steps. He bumps into another puppy, then finally finds the way back. My eyes get wet at the scene, because I saw it too many times…When will I learn my lesson? Rich people want perfect pets. But Soul is perfect…he offers more love and tenderness than any other puppy we had.

The rough voice of the man brings me back to reality, from my deep thoughts: “We’ll take this one!”. Trying to smile, I suggest the best accessories needed for a puppy and charge. I want to see them out as soon as possible. Another disappointment.

All the people walking in this store pick up Soul first, because he is such an adorable puppy, but all put him down after they find out about his blindness…He is so young still, and can already manage fine by using his senses, he’s playful and loyal…And he has a low price, not because he is not worth even more than the other puppies, but because we want a real home for him…

Preparing to close the shop, the door bell rings again. It’s a young boy and a strange looking lady. Trying to look busy and let them know that we are closing, I start cleaning the front desk. The boy picks up Soul, and with a dry voice I just tell him that the puppy is blind. The woman tells the kid to pick the other one then, but the boy is holding Soul tight. I don’t even bother to look, because I am too familiar with the scene. I just want them to leave. But then something drags my attention…

“You think that only because some have small handicaps they don’t deserve to be loved? Or that they can’t offer love? This puppy is just like me, aunty, and I want him!”. The woman tries to say something, but the boy continues, while on his cheeks crystal clear tears roll over…”I know how it is to be abandoned because you’re not perfect. Maybe he doesn’t have parents either, maybe nobody wants him, but I do…” I found myself staring like a fool, with enlarged eyes and my cleaning products spilled on the desk…

They are approaching now to pay for Soul…I must pull myself together. Ok, here comes the smile…Good. “Are you sure you want this puppy, young man?”. Is that my voice? It is…As a response, the boy frowns at me, holding Soul tighter.

I give the sweet puppy a goodbye kiss, knowing that he is going to be loved. Walking out of my petshop, I finally have time to analyse the two strange humans…The boy was dragging a wooden leg, but his face was glowing and Soul was licking it with joy…

Unfair Revenge

Unfair Revenge

The crowd is heavily applauding. Look at all those rose petals again spreading the wonderful subtle fragrance in the air! And the happy glowing faces…All that emotion and excitement made them shine with sweat. “Oscar wins again!!!” a man shouts counting his earned money from the bets he placed in this race. And those flashing lights all around him and the fresh flower garlands around his neck!

Closing his eyes, the horse waited a moment for his usual treats of sugar and the soft pets on his wet neck…And he waited a few more moments…Then the memories disappeared. Looking around, he once again saw the dark empty stable. The other race horses were in the big sheds, being taken good care of, with excellent food and nice word and that pet on the neck, while he was having wet hey. Oscar’s glorious days were over, he wasn’t the fastest horse in the competitions anymore. In fact, he couldn’t even participate by looking because nobody took him out of there now. In the first few weeks after the incident, he was happy when someone remembered that he’s still alive and needs walking. But moving very slow and getting tired after a few steps, his “walkers” got bored and decided they had better things to do than looking after a handicapped horse.

And now he was alone with an almost blind pony at the other corner of the stable and two skinny donkeys. But they weren’t very good company, they couldn’t understand how it was to have everything one day, and the next to feel like you lost more than you ever had. He could endure the sufferings during the day, because pricking his ears Oscar could hear how the other horses run outside, how they graze and how their jockeys talk to them…And then he could dream that it was him out there, preparing for another winning. But at night…it was unbearable. That awful nightmare keeps stalking him, every night, every time he closes his eyes. After five minutes of sleeping, that man with a cut chin is there again, with his evil look and the long metal stick. Then that thunder that almost left Oscar deaf and then the pain in his leg and the red fluid! It all happened in a matter of seconds and he couldn’t understand why…but every time he tried to sleep he could live again those moments of real terror, with the strong pain and the same words, like an obsessing melody which meant nothing to him “because of you…my money…all the bets…pay for it”.

Then he opens his eyes, but the surroundings don’t get less darker. And that silence is almost hurting his ears and soul. He could never understand what humans are able to do for money, he could never understand why he was abandoned when he was ill, he could never understand what revenge is. His calm round eyes still got wet when someone came to bring the poor food and give some water and he was still hoping for a change…He was hoping that one day someone would talk to him again and feel the encouraging tone once more…But after his leg got infected and cut off, the only words he heard again were: “ Come on boy, we need to move more ponies here, kids will enjoy the rides…Your time is over.”

And then he felt a sting in his neck and the nightmares and memories were gone forever…