Art Dog Lessons

Our life is full of moments. One, right after the next.

Last night, I went to the Bad Art, Good Folk 2018 Celebration. It is a very big night for the Preble County Art Association. I am serving my fourth year on the Board of Trustees, and this is our biggest yearly event/fundraiser. The Incredible Wonder of Art is touching a lot of people’s lives here in Preble County, because of the work this organization does. Most notably, our Executive Director, Vicky Fanberg; our great staff (Kaitlin and Kelsey); our Board; and so many others.

But back to last night, and my opening observation. Life is full of moments. As I stood in that very big space, with 200 other people, and one dog, I was realizing, in my moment, that everyone else, was having a moment too. At exactly the same time. It is a little overwhelming on the mind, once you start considering all the energy that is being produced in place such as that. In that exact instant and location, there are 200 distinct and separate “perceptions” occurring. (Let alone, when there are 2,000 gathered. Or 200,0000.) Everyone, experiencing their very own moments, in whatever manner is occurring for them.

I wondered how many people were actually in this moment. Fully. Or how many had jumped back to the past, thinking “Oh. I wish I would not have said that to Alice when we came in.” Or, “I can’t believe I ate four helpings of dessert on my first time through the food buffet.”

How many of them were time traveling to the future? “Oh, when is this thing EVER going to be over?” Or, “I need to stop by the grocery on my way home and pick up some milk for the morning.” And on.

I stood there, in the midst of all those people, wondering about THEIR moments, in the middle of MY moment. And where, exactly, did that place me? Again, I began to experience a little brain-drain, so I went and sat underneath my table. Which was Table #17, if you were wondering who was under there. (I’m joking. No. Actually. I just went to the Ladies Restroom, and bumped my head on the wall a few times. — To the lady in the blue dress, you didn’t have to run out of there. Okay. I am joking again.)

Back to the truth of things. There was a dog there last night. He was one of the Artists. His name was Jarvis, a magnificent and handsome Golden Labrador. And he created my favorite painting/artwork of the event. I bumped into him a few times during the evening. Each time, I could see he was living in the moment. Probably better than most humans in the room. He was calm. Observant. Content. Happy. I tried to learn a few things, from that wise one, sitting there. To top it all off, he was a Service Dog, and had dedicated his life to helping others. Now, how’s that for an incredible guy?

How do we humans compare? In the right here and now?

How is it for us? There is a lot of life to be found in the moment. That is the thing about those instances of the present. If we are looking off, toward the future, waiting for something better, or hoping for another time, we are missing the actual tickity-tockity of our lives. And we if go back, churning of the things of long gone by, once again, we are probably missing the here. The right now.

There is often, so very much to be thankful for in any given moment. Life, as it happens, can only bring us blessings and goodness in our actual moments. We might as well be thankful then, for what is right before us. Like a dog.


“I am larger, better than I thought; I did not know I held so much goodness.

All seems beautiful to me.” — Walt Whitman


“When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.”
― C.S. Lewis


“I met a boy whose eyes showed me that the past, present and future were all the same thing.”
― Jennifer Elisabeth


“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.”
― Alan W. Watts