Under the Bo Tree

eddie mandalaI am a sometime artist (although I always think of myself as primarily a writer), and I  was rifling through some boxes of prints and stuff today looking for a pen and ink drawing I did of another author some years ago.  Didn’t find it, dammit.

But I did find more than I bargained for: some drawings I did of a beloved little Dalmatian of mine, a difficult little d*ck, always cranky, very sensitive.  At one time I had five Dalmatians, they “run” in the Langstaff family (in the old days between the horses’ legs under carriages–it goes way back).  Anyway, I also had a full brother to him, Booger, who was stone deaf, but hugely beautiful, absolutely stunning.  They both lived long and full lives, 17 and 18 years respectively, and both are buried under a Leyland cypress tree I planted long ago on this little farm.

Eddie (in the mandala above) was always a challenge; I felt I had to cheer him up all the time, tell him life wasn’t all that bad.  He was the absolute inverse of his larger bro, Boog (down there, on the right, “Booger & A Burger”), who was resolutely sunny and very funny, a real comedian. Booger and a Burger More than once I ran out into a busy street and interposed myself between oncoming traffic and his sweet self–and he always thought it was hilarious–what a cool trick he had played on me yet again.  When would that idiot ever learn?

Well, I never did.

But these two drawings of Eddie brought them both back to me and tonight they both lie planted underneath the cypress tree I planted.  I guess I planted everything.  Elvis, my big green cursing parrot, is somewhere in there too in an old cigar box, his little bird bones mixed up with–God forfend! Dalmatians!  I can still hear him squawking, outraged, indignant at the declasse’ of it all.  He hated dogs.  Oh how he did and how he derided them.  One got perfectly sick of it, all the noise and insults,  one day and that was THE END for Elvis.

eddie the buddha

They all deserved so much better. Convinced me, anyway. Don’t we all, though? Deserve better?  Maybe, maybe not.  I walk by that tree every day and think of all of them.

For some reason Eddie’s crusty irascible temperament inspired me for years to try to render him through art as peaceful, placid, at home in the world, comfortable.  These are a few of my feeble attempts to transform him into a state of bliss.

The love somehow does not seem lost, even though they are gone, having turned into fertilizer at this stage, not gone, still living,  as long as we have the memories and vivid sensations of caring so much.

buddha-under-bodhi-tree       Thoughts for a Sunday.

About Margaret Jean Langstaff

A lifelong critical reader with literary tastes, a novelist, short story writer, essayist, book critic, and professional book editor for many years. A consultant to publishers and authors, providing manuscript critiques and a full range of editorial services. A friend and supporter of all other readers and writers. A collector of signed modern first editions. Animal lover and tree hugger. Follow me on Twitter @LangstaffEditor
This entry was posted in Art, Humor, Literature, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Under the Bo Tree

  1. So touching, Margaret, and universal. My mom has just lost her lil pal of 10 years and is mourning like a widow. At least the dog can be faithfully represented by a little stuffed version my sister got for her.

    But, on the larger level, it’s the day-to-day that’s really the most precious. Long live the small stuff.


  2. Thanks, Kevin. I feel for your Mom. BTW, I now have six super-sized rescue dogs–all half Dalmatian, the 3rd and 4th generation upshot of the Disney travesty “101 Dalamatians” that led people to think that dogs are cartoons and, when shocked to find they weren’t, dumped them quick. “To the rescue!” Boog taught me that trick.


  3. I remember Booger and Eddie! What great memories. Love the artwork.


  4. And they loved you, Jen–AND MATT, BEN & STEF. Yeow. What times we had.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s