Pausefully Magazine

the online magazine about life as a creative process


Have you ever dug a grave?

By Tony Schanuel

Photo of Boots
by Tony Schanuel


Part #1

When digging a grave it is advisable not to use or partake in the mantra. ( still the same.... nothing really changes , another day another dollar, same old shit. ) will miss the true point of the process.

Everything is different and is in constant change…

Digging a grave is a sacred event albeit hard work...........dry, hard heavy earth mixed with my tears, grief and loss.

How deep should I go?

I have till 9 tomorrow morning to make that decision.
More to come I am still digging.
In process to be continued.....


Part #2

I love trees.
I love their elegance and strength, Oh to see a tree weather 100 mph winds is quite a spectacle.
They bend and are very pliable......................a great model for me.

Did I mention I have eight trees?
They are the home for squirrels, chipmunks and many different variety of birds, some who take advantage of their perch to shit on my car. They provide shade in the spring and summer and give me dry leaves to burn and mulch..........I can still burn leaves here in my town.

The base of a tree seems like the perfect place to dig a grave.

I love cats, their independence, speed, and the great reflexes of the warrior hunter. They have always been wonderful companions for me. I have had cats for 30 years or I should say they have had me.

I have one cat named Oingo...a real piss and vinegar warrior with the heart and soul of a kitten..

When he has not seen Mary and I for some time he will vocalize HELLO, but that soon fades after he realizes we are sticking around and likely to attend to his voracious appetite…
Every few months he will come in from his nightly adventures with gouges, cuts, bruises and a swollen eye.

Raccoons seem to be his most likely opponent.
Mary will patch him up with peroxide and neosporin ointment and after a few days in his home corner the bells rings and he is off again on the next nocturnal foray.

Have you ever dug a grave?

still in process..............................


Part #3

Dogs, I never had one as a kid, in the housing projects where I grew up they were not allowed, so my experience was very limited to being with dogs and animals in general..

I would feed the occasional stray, with the caution that they might get attached to me and keep coming around.

So six years ago I got my first dog his name was Boots, it so happens that is the same time I got married to Mary.

He was Mary's dog from a previous life in California, and unlike me Mary has had dogs all her life.

Over time Boots became our dog

Dogs are not like cats, I figured this out rather quickly.

Boots has been a very important teacher for me, his capacity of tolerance for me was much greater than mine for him.

Today at 9:15 a.m. Mary and I had Boots put down.
He had been ill for the last 6 months and today was the day for us to say goodbye.

I will miss his DOGNESS, I can't say that I fully understand what that happened to be., another mystery of life.

He did teach me about a unconditional loyalty and love, and he bore my shortcomings with grace and a smile.

Today Mary and I brought Boots home and we buried him under the tree, where he will continue to nurture and sustain life.

I miss him deeply.



Tony Schanuel, a St. Louis-based digital artist and photographer has been selected to exhibit his digital artwork at the 2003 Biennale Internazionale dell' Arte Contemporanea in Florence, Italy. Participation in the Biennale is only through nomination by an international committee of art critics.
Schanuel's work is currently on display with the traveling Epson International Digital Art Exhibition. Within the U.S., he has been featured in Digital Imaging Magazine and is a featured artist in Cyber Palette and Extrerme Graphics. See online gallery.



Resources: Demystifying mindfulness - From mindless to mindful - Mindful pause - Mindfulness exercises - Mindfulness exercises - Relational mindfulness - Relational mindfulness - 12 steps without god - Somatic psychotherapy - Proactive mindfulness quotes