HUMANALITY

“Aussie, don’t you want to jump up on the bed and stay all night?”

“Absolutely not! What do you think I am? I come from Texas. In Texas we don’t go for humanality.”

“What’s that?”

“Think of bestiality. Think of inter-species miscegenation. Disgusting!”

“I wasn’t thinking of that, Aussie. I just like to feel your fur, hear you breathe. You sleep so quietly.”

“You don’t. Besides, I have a warm woolen bed right on the floor, and when I get restless I have a sofa, a lounge chair with a soft blanket, and a futon with 4 pillows downstairs.”

“You know, Auss, we’re not absolutely one thing or another, we’re a lot more mixed than that. That’s what makes us so interesting.”

“Oh no, don’t tell me. You’re changing your pronouns.”

“I so far haven’t added pronouns to my name, Auss.”

“You’re going to add It to your name. Not just she/her, but now she/her/it. Please please please, do not become a dog. Trans male or trans female, no problem. NOT TRANS DOG!”

“Why, Auss? Gender and sexual identity are more fluid that many people believe. Why not species identity?”

“Okay, go transition into a goldfish.”

“Don’t you think I’d be more comfortable as a dog, Aussie?”

“Do not become a dog! There’s only one dog in this house, and that’s me.”

“What about Henry?”

“Henry the Terrible Chihuahua doesn’t count. And neither do you. You’re a human, I’m a dog. Biology counts for something.”

“It’ll be kind of fun, Auss. Who says we can’t transition between species? Especially between humans and dogs, who are already so close?”

“I do not want to transition into humanhood.”

“Really, Aussie? You never once felt like inside you’re really a human?”

“No. And you can’t become a dog, either. Don’t think about meds, don’t think about surgery. Nothing you do could ever make you like me.”

“You know, there’s a famous story about a man who wakes up one morning to discover he became a big cockroach overnight, Aussie.”

“What happens to him?”

“He loses all his friends and he dies.”

“See? Forget this trans thing between you and us, it won’t work.”

“We’re all on the spectrum of being, Aussie—”

“You as a human, me as a dog.”

“–but basically, Aussie, we’re not just any one thing. In fact, the more intimate we become, part of me flows into you and part of you flows into me. That’s how it was with Bernie and me. As we got closer, I became more like him and he became more like me. That’s probably true for you and Henry the Terrible.”

“You know how much flows from Henry the Terrible into me?”

“How much?”

“Nada. Nobody wants to flow in and out of Henry the Terrible.”

“Aussie, you’re a flesh-and-blood dog, but that’s not all you are. On some level, we’re all one.”

“Don’t give me that one business. I don’t care what you do—chemicals, drugs, surgery—there’s no way you’ll ever become a dog. Even if you do, don’t even think of going out to pee in the yard. That’s my bathroom, not yours. Besides, you won’t fit through the dog door. Hee! Hee! Hee!”

“Okay, what about your transitioning into human?”

“Why should I do that? Answer me this: Who has more legs?

“You do, Aussie.”

“Who has better eyes, ears, and nose?”

“You do, Aussie.”

“Who’s younger and prettier?”

“That’s got nothing to do with anything.”

“Who’s smarter? Who trained whom to feed us, walk us, water us, and give us a dog bed, a sofa, a lounge chair with a woolen blanket, and a futon with pillows to sleep on?”

“You did, Aussie.”

“What could possibly interest me in becoming a human?”

“Pasta for dinner?”

“Eating pasta with tomato sauce automatically disqualifies you from doghood.”

“Ben & Jerry’s Phish Phood Ice Cream, Aussie?”

“When you’re a dog, you’re careful about chocolate.”

“Thanksgiving turkey tomorrow?”

“Maybe I could be persuaded.”

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THE DOGS OF THE KISKADEE HILLS

Eve Marko - The Dogs of the Kiskadee Hills: Hunt for the LynxThe Dogs of the Kiskadee Hills: Hunt for the Lynx begins a trilogy about a society of dogs after humans have destroyed themselves and much of the world. Living with their families and clans in the Kiskadee Hills, they’ve developed over generations a rich tradition and way of life, and have prospered. But now, an unknown killer is butchering the Kisdees of the Hills.

Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges says: “You will never look at dogs the same again. Eve Marko gives us a story that explores the path that life on our planet has taken, and asks what your role in that course might be.”

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BEARING WITNESS

Eve Marko - Bearing Witness

To bear witness to anything is to be as close to it as possible.

It’s not to read books or see movies about it, it’s not to have an opinion or tell a story. It’s to let go of all ideas about it—be in the space of not-knowing—and simply be there, up close and deeply personal.

Eve has been involved with the Zen Peacemaker Order’s Bearing Witness Retreats—in places of suffering and conflict since her first visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

There have been 20 retreats at the site of those concentration camps since, along with retreats in Bosnia, Rwanda and the Black Hills of South Dakota, near the Pine Ridge Reservation.

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ABOUT EVE MARKO

Eve Marko is a Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order and head teacher at the Green River Zen Center in Massachusetts. She received dharma transmission and inka from Bernie Glassman. She is also a writer and editor of fiction and nonfiction.

Eve has trained spiritually-based social activists and peacemakers in the US, Europe and the Middle East, and has been a Spiritholder at retreats bearing witness to genocide at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Rwanda, and the Black Hills in South Dakota. Before that she worked at the Greyston Mandala, which provides housing, child care, jobs, and AIDS-related medical services in Yonkers, New York.

Eve’s articles on social activists have appeared in the magazines TricycleShambhala Sun, and Tikkun. Her collection of Zen koans for modern Zen practitioners in collaboration with Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao, The Book of Householder Koans: Waking Up In the Land of Attachments, came out in February 2020.

Hunt for the Lynx, the first in her fantasy trilogy, The Dogs of the Kiskadee Hills, was published in 2016.

“When I was a young girl my dream was to be a hermit, live alone, and write serious literature. That’s not how things turned out. I got involved with people. I got involved in the world. Two things matter to me right now: the creative spark and the aliveness of personal connection. In some way, they both come down to the same thing.”

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