In Spencer Quinn‘s chuckle-out-loud detective novels, Chet, the canine partner of the Little Detective Agency, narrates. This treats the reader to the carnival ride of a dog’s mind, which is a pretty fun trip. In his telling of the adventures he has with his human partner, Bernie, the easily distracted nature of Chet’s mind is evident. This is so like MY mind — Ooh, something shiny! — that I really identify. Which is maybe why his inadvertent gems of dharma wisdom so capture me.
I don’t know if the author has any interest in or concern with the Buddha‘s teachings on the nature of mind, but many of Chet’s asides elucidate them, simply. I’ve written of Chet’s observations before, because they so clearly speak to the nature of the unexamined, undisciplined mind (just like MINE). In Thereby Hangs a Tail, Chet & Bernie are experiencing a moment fraught with — Wait, is that a hummingbird?!? — oh sorry, where was I?? Right.
Something is going on in the story, which Chet tries to puzzle out, but he becomes distracted by some stray thoughts, swerving right off the issue at hand. This is SO much the way I find myself responding sometimes to humanity, to my own life, to the wilderness of my own mind – I really try to keep it all straight, but I get so befuddled, so confused trying To Sort It All Out – I get tired, my wee mind feels clogged & life starts to go off the rails. It begins to feel, & behave, much like a maniacal tilt-a-whirl, & the strain of staying upright becomes too much. Chet’s solution in such moments?
”I just emptied my mind & enjoyed every second.”
Aha! Just ENJOY the ride ………… Oh. Right.
- Chet’s observation (mindmindful.wordpress.com)