Ode to Bodhi

In the early 1990s when I was living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, one of my best friends was Michael Ackhurst. He had an incredible dog, Bodhi. Bodhi was a big, brutish boxer — a real loutish lover, pure-souled as good dogs are but completely undiscerning in what he would consume — and he would consume everything. Literally, everything. I remember once taking my glasses off and putting them on the coffee table and within seconds Bodie’s big tongue had snaked out and licked them away into the terrible intensity of his digestive track.

Mike is a gifted writer — and so to receive an email from him about Bodhi was both wonderful and sad. Stuck on the plane back from Italy, I’m finally getting to slog through months of back email, and finding this one I immediately paged the flight steward and demanded a large bottle of beer to raise a glass and toast the soul of that great dog, Bodhi. Here’s the excerpted text of the email Mike sent:

You my dear, are cordially invited to attend a gathering at “Chez Ackhurst West” in Whistler, British Columbia, This 22nd day (sat.) of January 2005 to join us in a rare and beautiful occasion.

No…not my birthday (Jan 24th) but rather a more austere regret, Bodhi’s ”death-day” 

Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not going to be a downer. Bodhi went hard. And now he’s going home, to the sound of his friends and family.  It will be a teary celebratrion. Transportation for six is available to attend a late tea and scotch ceremony in the living company of none other than Bodhi Ackhurst, who has been suffering the denuement of his amazing life.  The old boy is still kicking, yes. He still rules Ambassador Crescent, and still has love for his food dish but dammit, his time has come.  Remincesnces and dog treats are welcome, but no pot cookies thank you. 

Dr. Hoff our veterinarian will attend at 4:00pm to give Bodhi a sedative, followed shortly by a lethal injection.  (Sedatives will not be available to guests at this time.)  Bodhi will be carried up yonder, and his body carried up the hill behind our house to his waiting grave. (Thank you Dev Kurana)  Upon the service of his burial, a jaunty campfire will be lit and fine liqouor spilled in his honor.  Roused, I hope, with the spirit of this noble canine I invite all attendees to join me in a walk to the whistler conference center where famed musician K-os has agreed to play a memorial concert in his, and our honor.  Tickets have been procured, but please RSVP.  The esteemed water colorist Gary Grey has already RSVP’d his attendace. Thank you Gary.  Accomodation is ample and I hope all who come will stay the night.  I make myself available transport any guests in the Vancouver area to Whistler in the early afternoon of the 22nd. And back on the 23rd.  We would be tickled to have you. 

We are making inquiry into the availability of a bag-piper to attend as well.  Suggestions are welcome.  Kaos has asked a modest performance fee of 20 dollars, all other refreshments will be provided.  

I have taken close note that many of you will be in attendance, and thusly concluded that it may well be a tidy oppurtunity to clear up the matter of a certain timecapsule.   It’s payload(s) of hopes, dreams and 100 year old scotch you may remember, were planted in two locations in the Spring and Summer seasons of 1997 and 1998 respectivly.  There were two ceremonies. Some attended both. All may attend, if convient, to unearth these treasures. Perhaps we will put one of the capsules back for another spell in The Earth. The Earth where all us grew up from and to which, like Bodhi, we shall all return.

Amen.

Amen.

2 Responses to “Ode to Bodhi”

  1. Anne Says:

    This post goes so well with the ‘puppy sean’ photo now above it.

    It makes the photo a parable: the baby dog; the downward steps that so much of life is; the snow of winter and all its metaphors on those steps….

    And the presence of someone stronger and bigger than ourselves to lean against as we go, though his bent, supporting leg is all we may ever quite feel or see of him.

    So: buried Bodhi; puppy Sean; and all of our lives somewhere between the trepid steps down and the hill behind the house that we’ll all be carried up to.

    What a warm and complex feeling. Rather like the scotch I can almost taste in my mouth reading this.

  2. Chris Says:

    Dera Nicco,

    I’m googling every ISKL classmate from the class of ’95 to try to find out what, 10 years later, they are doing. What is Mike Ackhurst up to?

    Thanks.
    Chris

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