The Possibility of Cheese

 

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells… it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” -Dr Suess.

We have two little black dogs. They are noisy, smelly and annoying, but they make us laugh.

The truly remarkable thing about our dogs is their laser focus. For such lazy and indolent beasts whose main preoccupations are sleeping, scratching, eating and excreting, it is remarkable just how quickly they can go from being completely unconscious to fully alert and nearly hysterical with the delights of duty. By comparison, it takes me a good two hours to fully wake up every morning.

And then there’s the possibility of cheese.

Nothing makes them sharper, more alert, more mentally disciplined and focused on the task at hand, then the possibility of that tiny morsel of cheese being thrown down for them by Greg every morning. They sit there, facing Greg as he eats, fixing him with their dog-stare-telepathic-command. If Greg took an hour to eat, they would sit transfixed for the duration. All for the mere possibility of cheese.

I’m faced with so many more exciting possibilities than cheese, every single day. So I ask myself, why can’t I have THAT kind of laser focus?

I’m not asking for much, just the mental discipline of my dogs.

But it seems that laser focus is not mine to have. I have the wide beam focus of a cat. Given the chance, I’d sleep wherever I pleased, completely ignore everyone who walked in the door, walk around yawning and giving orders to my minions, curl up in a warm lap and purr contentedly as my long furr is brushed for me.

I have, however, two things in common with my dogs. We are both hairy (the long, black sort, that sheds everywhere), and we are grateful.

Like my smelly, furry hounds, I really do appreciate the little things.  And the older I get, the easier it is to add to my gratitude list. There are days when it takes every ounce of me to to drag my thoughts away from sad things, (there are so many sad things), but I still manage. I’m told that having an ‘attitude of gratitude’ is good in all kinds of ways. It will make me a happier and healthier and who knows, probably get the dishes done faster 🙂

So, in no particular order, here are just some of the things that I’m ever so grateful were part of my life this year:

Greg climbed so MANY mountains, including a real one!

My paintings were shown in New York City!

Sharing creative journeys with hundreds of new folk – including these lovely peeps in the remote wheatbelt town of Mukinbudin

I turned 50 – and I was ok with it!

What beautiful friends and family I share my life with!

Greg pulled off a sellout performance of ‘The Servant’ and I was proud to be part of it!

Oh my lovely, lovely students 🙂

A new friendship formed across the country, with the beautiful Liza Zeni Baker, architect, artist, and angel

My students’ art filled my life with joy and colour

My daughter’s photography rose to new heights – here’s one of my personal favourites of her hauntingly beautiful images

I found renewed joy and life in my own art-making

26 years. And Greg is still by my side.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments 38

  1. Wow! What a year you’ve had! I love looking at all of your wonderful photos and from our family to yours we wish you a simply wonderful and meaningful Christmas and an awesome New Years!

    Much affection,

    Samith & Co. XD

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      Hello Samith,
      I have a feeling that YOUR year has been completely awesome! Thank you for forgiving me for not cooking for you and your lovely family this year 😛 May a wonderful festive season and new year be shared by us all 🙂 And thank you for stopping by…

  2. Malini…beautiful post. I’m crying 🙂 I hope to get to meet you soon. I hope to be in Perth April..as a good friend is getting married. I will keep my eye out for any art courses you might be facilitating 🙂
    Fi xX

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      Oh, I’m sorry you’re crying, it was meant to be a mildly amusing post 🙂 I hope to meet you too one of these days, thank you for taking the time to stop by in cyber-space! Happy New Year xx

  3. What an awesome year! Focusing on the positive things, even the smallest ones, and being grateful for them makes life so much brighter and meaningful (AND I’m starting to think it’s good for the skin too! I always assumed you were in your 30s…) I wish you an wonderful year 2013!

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      Oh, thank you thank you 🙂 The wonders of good photography – I recommend having an awesome photographer for a daughter to EVERYONE! By the way, I love your art, it is just wonderful. Thank you for stopping by from the other side of the world… I wish you a wonderful year ahead too!

  4. Your post is filled with love, hope and so much beauty and laughter. Happy 50th Birthday Malini. I totally agree with LalyBlue I would have thought you that you were in your early 30’s. Thank you for sharing your year with us. I feel so blessed that our paths have crossed online. I hope that one day we can meet. Wishing you an amazing and blessed 2013! xo

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      Suzanne, you are so sweet! I too hope that we will meet one day, I feel sure that we will have much to share 🙂 You have had such a difficult and heart-breaking journey, but all I sense from your communications is peaceful radiance. I hope 2013 brings you so much joy and happiness xx

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  5. Oh Mal!! you made me cry…again!! I sooo love your blog – the things that happen, the joy and wonder in everything you seem to be involved in, and yet there is also (must be!) down days. Thnak goodness the joy and wonder you bring out-weighs anything else. And Mary’s photography is simply stunning! Hoping this wonder and deligt continues and that all our prayers keep carrying you and that gorgeous man of yours along for a long time yet. The last 26 years have just been a starter, I am sure!
    Much love to you both and see you in the middle of 2013.

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      Robin you sook! You are too kind 🙂 Thank you for being such a loyal reader and for saying such lovely things. You are staying away from Perth for far too long! Hope you’re having a great time, and may 2013 be a wonderful year for you and yours xxx

  6. I have no business being here when I have so much to do before Christmas. But I’ve had the most delightful little break from the chaos by coming to your site. Your work is beautiful ( I’ve told you before 🙂 …but I’ll say it again. I look forward to sharing more of what you do next year …

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      I know… everyone is SO busy I feel almost guilty for posting at this time of year 🙂 But I know that I enjoy the little distractions when I’m super busy, so thank you for letting my post distract you, and for your kind comments, Sandy! Here’s wishing you a less frantic than usual festive season…and a wonderful, love-filled New Year 🙂

  7. once again Malini you inspire so many people…. I have been a bit quiet over the last few months but am slowly getting my painting mojo back… I just think of the wonderful times I had when painting and how I felt when I painted, seeing something evolve in front of my eyes and I look at it and go “wow, I did that!”
    Thank you again from the bottom of my heart – you are truly an inspiration and I thank you, thank you, thank you!

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      Hello Maria,

      you have been such a wonderful student and friend 🙂 Thank you for your kind words.

      Don’t worry about losing your painting mojo, it’s like riding a bicycle!! Every artist of any description has gone through that. It’s good for the soul – makes you appreciate the delights of creativity all the more when you get back into it!

      much love to you and all the VERY best for a wonderful, creative 2013!

  8. Malini, It was a complete joy to read your beautiful post. And I’ve especially enjoyed being a part of some of your year through Flying lessons! I’ve been blessed through your blessings!!
    HuGGs!
    Debi

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      Thank you Teresa 🙂 My daughter, Mary is a wonderful professional photographer – it helps!! Thanks for stopping by, and all the very best for your art, imagination (that will take you EVERYWHERE!) and creative life in 2013 🙂

  9. Thank you for your beautiful post! So nice to be reminded in this hectic season to slow down and give thanks for the many blessings we have. Thankful for this inspiring blog of yours! Your work and writing is beautiful!

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      Lisa, your kind comments are so appreciated! I feel a bit guilty for taking up anyone’s time with my ‘stuff’ at this busy busy time of year, but hoping that the distraction is a mildly amusing and welcome one 🙂 So happy you stopped by, and wishing you a love-filled festive season and new year!

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  10. Once again a great post Mal! Have you ever thought of becoming an author? You have such a way with words.
    I have really enjoyed reading all your posts throughout the year and I am glad you have had some really great moments this year. I hope 2013 is full of more great moments and achievements.

    Love
    Niloufar
    xx

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      Niloufar, thank you so much for those very generous comments from your enormously big and kind heart 🙂 So glad that you have enjoyed sharing these moments. I hope that you and your lovely family have a simply wonderful year ahead xxxx

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      It has been quite a momentous year…that has just vanished into thin air! Thank you for stopping by, Amy, and saying hi – and for your kind words! I hope you have a marvelous festive season and the new year sees you realise your dream of becoming a life coach 🙂

  11. Wow mal u have excelled with this gorgeous anecdote of the canines, leading as usual to life’s bigger matters. I couldn’t for the the life of me see where u would go with it. One of your touchingest and funniest so far:) sent with love from the Wellington library. See u soon.

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      Oh Yay! I just tried to call you! thank you so much for reading my post from the Wellington library!! and for your very nice comment, my big sister who taught me to read!

      See you in New Zealand very soon!

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