The first time I saw this picture, I got choked up - and the second time, and the third, and the fourth. Innocence, unwavering loyalty, sadness at the shortness of life, all from one image. It was love at first sight.
I will love you all my life.
Lovers say it to each other. Christians, Muslims and Jews say it to God. Narcissists say it to themselves. Materialists say it to their possessions. Vegans say it to the animals. Environmentalists say it to the earth. Bodhisattvas say it to all sentient beings.
It's possible to get bogged down in nonduality (Gazing at the Ox - Solipsism: Trapped in Tozan's First Rank), but wherever "I" and "you" appear, so can love. What an absolutely marvellous fact!
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians: 12-13)
It's also possible to get bogged down trying to define love. A many-splendored thing? That which makes the world go round? The only thing that there's just too little of? All you need? Perhaps love is like a window. Perhaps an open door. I fear we're straying into koan land.
Never mind. Our hearts know exactly what love is, even if our brains don't.
Returning to the pathetic story about how I let a bunch of pixels shaped like a dog's face get to me, I was reminded of the true story of Hachikō, an Akita dog. The video tribute is a moving blend of clips from the 1987 movie and the 2009 movie with Richard Gere and Joan Allen.
Thanks to Lynette Monteiro at 108zenbooks for the introduction to Hachikō in All in the Waiting. (And best wishes to Lynette and the Ottawa Hospital Emergency Spiritual Care Assistance Team responding to the train-bus tragedy yesterday.)
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.
… no, not just for some, but for everyone.