October 31 - 21, 2001

October 31, 2001 Happy Halloween!

How to have a really scary Halloween? Clean out the garage! Spiders enough for a party, cobwebs to cloth an army, spooky dark places enough for an eternity. Been there and done that.

October 30, 2001

Jane;  . . . "Remember what Chuang Tzu said? To paraphrase... Do away with the government, and the people will govern themselves. Do away with the great personages and there will be no more small people. Eliminate the holy ones and all the people become holy; destroy the sacred places and all the land becomes holy. Do away with the teachers and the people will pursue knowledge. This is the pivot of the obvious. By providing crutches, walking is undermined. Before one can fully concentrate, one must first fully expand; before one can fully expand, one must first fully concentrate. This is the first and the last movement of the universe. The beginning of time is the beginning of history, the beginning of history is the end of mythology.

It is easy to see, but difficult to apply. If it were easy to apply, it would be hard to see. It's not as simple as it seems. Those who know have no need of speaking. When they speak it is the same as silence; their steps leave no footprints in the sands of time. It is not the same as formulaic reversal, but of understood paradox. Without understanding learning is necessary, but learning cannot suffice for lack of wisdom. The whole is always more than the sum of its parts. If you are truly not touched by time, you were never born; if you were never born, you cannot die. Then a lifetime can be as a moment, and a moment fill all time. There is a very thin line between humility and arrogance; and often how we define either depends upon what our ego has to defend, or let go of.

To see a world in a grain of sand
And heaven in a wild flower;
To hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.

William Blake
Auguries of Innocence

Remember Robert Henri's "ART SPIRIT"? "You must be a master of such as you have already or you will never be a master at all."

Or remember the vow of the Bodhisattva; not to enter Nirvana until all sentient life has entered. BUT... what if all sentient life has already entered Nirvana? How could we know? Perhaps we are the only hold-outs. Or concurrently, that our understanding of what Nirvana is may be inherently flawed. If it is to see clearly through all illusions to the contrary, then not to see through is what is keeping us from the experience. Then all sentient life is already waiting for us to enter, and the last test of enlightenment is the assumption that it can be limited as ours alone. Include the universe and infinity, and you are included. This is a source of the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you - because you cannot be separated from the experience you dispense. Sorry,

I do go on.
But nothing ventured
nothing gained,
and no ground covered;
the only risk is fear"


Dear Ed,

I concur with everything you write here and think I have never read it said so succinctly and beautifully (or maybe the Messiah music in the background is influencing me? not on your philosophy!)

The only thing below that I questioned was the last paragraph: "Or remember the vow of the Bodhisattva; not to enter Nirvana until all sentient life has entered. BUT... what if all sentient life has already entered Nirvana? How could we know? Perhaps we are the only hold-outs. Or concurrently, that our understanding of what Nirvana is may be inherently flawed."

Isn't 'nirvana' the release from karma? In Christianity there is the same idea of sin which needs to be released or forgiven. In both religions it seems one only needs to have a deep and honest 'intent' to have it erased for it to be done. Yet people seem need to go through (often elaborate) processes to come to this point of asking for and then knowing that the past - karma - sins are gone. Even the Kryon channeling offer release from karma with one 'only' voicing intent and believing it is done. According to all sources this 'must' be done in order to spiritually graduate from this planet of lessons. As long as one is in 'lesson' one has not graduated. If people still think they are in lesson, are in karma or sin, they are. If they are, then they are not 'saved', in grace or nirvana even though, as you correctly point out the edge between lesson/sin/karma and not having it is mind-slippery thin so that it is the same on both sides of the coin. It is important only if you view one side or the other of the penny. It is still worth the very same whether heads or tails are up and both sides are always there. At least on this planet and in our time frame of space and gravity.

We have just received our first big rain of the winter. The skies are still heavy with the panting of a woman who has just given birth. A blessed time. I am off to the studio with the wish to throw pot worthy of becoming a drum.

hungry all the years
the sweets of pillage are known
God detects why
I dreaded that first robin so
it is our "Revelation" that waits

\o/ Jane

From Ed: "Sure, use it. It's not really that new. With your exception, my sort-of "radical", change would be that karma may be related to neither Satori nor Nirvana; or to put it another way, to rid yourself of sin may give you Paradise, but not Nirvana. On the other hand when enlightenment arrives full blown (as from the head of Zeus, like Athena) it has no regard or connection to your relative state of grace. That is why working towards it may yield no result (especially if it is ego based work), yet those apparently deep in sin, or karma may be given release seemingly out of nowhere. But I think there is an inherent difference between the ideas of karma and sin. Karma as the result of actions (or inactions, "omissions" for Roman Catholics and some Buddhists) which are attached, rather than detached, from its situation. This is seen as a result of ego, not a slip-up against some arbitrary moral code. As one Lama warned me, karmic chains can be made of gold, as well as steel or lead, and you forge them yourself. So-called "goodness" or piety may be an ego-trip, only to attach you further to the illusion which is not Nirvana. In other words Nirvana itself  is the underlying reality. All else comes from our personal projections. Which is one of the reasons to meditate, to see through our own ego. Such as it is." ed


October 29, 2001

Well, it was a glass weekend. In the ICO I had read that a group of women were meeting in the Catholic church – Mary by the Sea, on Saturday and ‘outsiders’ were invited to join them. Though I had no hope of finding like-minded souls, I kept having the feeling that somehow this seemed something for me. No matter what the group would do or say, I thought, I love being in this building and here was another chance to sit and enjoy its spaces. The radio was forecasting rain for Monday but the day was already deep into drizzle and fog by the time I got to Gualala. But that was okay because I knew the cement floor is heated so it is cozy to sit there looking out on a wet world.

From a mild sad-eyed woman I found out that the three women in navy and white uniforms were the nuns who were to lead the group and was taken over to be introduced to the sisters. The first word of greeting was the question of which church I belonged to. Without thinking, I replied, "None, no will have me." which I fathomed was the wrong answer as all three looked at their shoes for the right answer. The arrival of other persons saved the social situation from further distress. I wandered over to look out the window, to watch the pelicans diving in the surf, smell the coffee and listen to the low hum of people getting acquainted. At my elbow a voice spoke. It was the woman I had met at the Buddhist meditation day in March. One look into each other’s eyes and we knew who the outcasts of the group would be, but it was easier knowing we had each other. She had brought her cushion and zofu which she had accidentally laid by the chair where I had dropped my knapsack. A good sign I noted.

Three chairs had been placed in front of the altar to face the audience. When the sisters had taken their places, we, now 13 persons formed a crescent around them. They started things off by telling the story of Christ’s transfiguration – from which their group has taken its name. I loved the story because it affirmed what I had read only recently in the Kryon books that each of us has, all of our lives, at least two spiritual beings that accompany us. The idea that Christ, took three (and only the three closest) disciples up on top of a mountain where he revealed this ‘fact’ to them by permitting them to see him and his companion angels in their radiant bodies gave me great pleasure, peace and affirmation. I wondered, though, why the story continued that the disciples were cautioned "not to tell the others". Three times the same story appears in the gospels and three times it is mentioned that this information was to be kept secret.

The sisters went on to tell us of moments of transformation (not transfiguration!) in their own lives and being one eager for the stories of others I was happily entertained. About the time the lovely blond chair began to make my spine ache, the group was instructed that we could now meditate. One nun demonstrated a finger labyrinth made of gouged wood and suggested this as a way of ‘finding our way’. The Buddhist woman spoke up and said she had made a labyrinth in a grove of redwoods about five minutes away and invited the group to come walk her ways which could take from 15 – 45 minutes. I was ready to stand up to follow her but the sisters exchanged a look that this was not on the agenda and my hopes sat back down beside me. Along with coffee, rolls and fruit, an array of magazines was offered for our meditating pleasure.

When the audience crescent had formed, the Buddhist woman saw her zofu was in the ‘wrong’ place and had pulled it to the outer edge of the circle. She was now right over the heating pipe in the floor where I had been standing before. (Only she and I had taken off our shoes.) I folded up my shawl to make a cushion and sat down beside her. As I centered myself I felt something was missing. I had my bottle of water. I was over the warm pipe. The damp rain was outside. I had a good view of some beautiful redwoods. The room was quiet.

I wondered why we were all here. Everyone else seemed to know what to do, but I just sat there. I thought about peace and decided I was peaceful. Everyone else seemed peaceful too. I began to wish that I could show love in some way to each of these persons. Without turning my head from the traditional pose, I moved my attentions from one person to another asking them if they wanted any love. Everyone else was deep into doing whatever they wanted to do. Suddenly the Buddhist woman extended her leg and began to rub her calf and the cramp I knew so well that was in it. I scooted forward and with a look of question offered to rub her leg. She nodded and the most beautiful moment of the whole day was mine. I held and caressed her foot and leg as if she was my most desired lover. I saw what a beautiful person she was – that she was as fine as the shape of her calf and ankle. I thought about the millions of steps this foot had carried her over and how honored it was to be a part of her. And I was joyous that for a minute I could join her journey. I started to be ashamed of my tears but realized that they were necessary for me to wash her feet.

Back in my place, and when I was quiet again, I offered myself and my love to anyone one else in the room. Instead of the usual mudras I sat with my arms outstretched offering whatever I was or had. One nun sat with her back to the rest of the group. One woman took a pen from her purse by very cautiously opening the zipper and then wrote herself a note. Two women ( just realized that "two men" = t-women which as something to do with t-shirts?) were idly leaving through magazines, one woman was munching sweet roll and drinking coffee and one was fingering the labyrinth, some were staring at their laps, others had their eyes closed and hands folded as if in prayer. One woman nodded, jerked and nodded again as she fought off the urge to sleep. I noted that all the women had spread out through the church so that nearly equal distances separated each of them. Only the Buddhist woman and I were close enough to reach out to touch each other. I sat and nothing happened. She sat and was far away. When I got no messages or ideas, I slipped into my breath and just let what was was.

The scraping of a wooden stool on the cement floor brought me back into the room. We were given a signal to gather around the nun who was positioning herself in the place of leadership. I was hoping we would now be given a focu or at least discuss the reason we were here so that we could begin to work on a common goal. The candlestick with two American flags and a picture of the smoking World Trade Center made me wonder if we were going to focus on peace? or healing? or? Without preamble the nun began to tell Hans Christian Anderson’s story of the "Ugly Duckling". Okay. I like stories. Now tie this into our common goal for the meeting. From the story, the nun launched into her memories of being an ugly teenager. I began to fidget. I knew how to be ugly. I had done that long enough. I wanted to talk about how loved we are – how much love each of us is capable of giving to others, how this small group was perfect for practicing our love muscles. Yet, as I looked around at the set serious faces, satisfied with what was happening, I realized no one was asking me what I wanted to do with the meeting.

As if an answer to my prayer to get off this chair again, the nun told us to go back to meditating. I realized, or thought, that I as one person, not really an official member of this group, had no business in taking over the meeting to run it my way or the way I was expecting it to go. Okay. One on one was possible. I put out the message that I was open to loving anyone who wanted or needed it. I sat again with my arms outstretched (and probably looked like a cormorant drying her armpits) as I scanned the group. Nothing. My arms got tired so I propped them on my knees. I got hungry and wonder how long it was until the lunch break. I considered simply getting out my food and beginning to eat. I drank water instead. As the question, what am I doing here? circled around and around in my head, I began to think of what I really wanted to do. I pictured myself standing up abruptly and asking the others to dance with me. But even the Buddhist woman would not understand this, I felt. Just then she got to her feet and began her slow meditative shuffling walk around the edge of the room. Again and again, I asked myself, "What do you want to do?" I finally let myself have the preposterous thought, " go home and work in clay." So I opened my checkbook, took out a twenty, folded it up in my palm. I got to my feet and walked over to the donation basket, dropped in my offering, said good-bye to the maple statue of Mary standing over it, and walked to the vestibule for my shoes. As I noticed my backpack was unzipped, I remembered the slips of paper I had with the web address of my Psalms so I dug those out and laid them on the tiny table. One more chance for this group to connect with me was left lying in plain sight and I walked out.

The damp air seemed refreshing as a dip into the sea. As I walked down the hill toward town and a phone I found myself humming "Oh little town of Bethlehem, above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by". At least I had escaped with my self esteem intact according to my hum!

I wish I could stop right here or leave the impression that this moment of peace remained but it didn’t. All afternoon, even while working with the clay, I had a nagging feeling of failure. When that wasn’t enough, I would slide into a slough of sadness, of failure, of feeling rejected, the non-fit, the misfit. I would get distracted by taking care of my mail, or making a soup, but suddenly a feeling would erupt and I would have to stop and recognize the steep ramp into depression. By dinner time I would have preferred to have a good cry than eat. I muddled through the evening by searching for a source of goatskins for my ceramic drum, raced through my empty prayers and was glad to go to bed an hour early.

The big storm predicted for Monday still had not arrived, but the skies were as gray as I was. For one minute I listened to the idea of going back to that church, giving the situation another chance, but the person I am – who hates confrontations, said, "no, stay home and clean the house – that is where you are really needed! and that will be appreciated."

By afternoon the clouds were lumpy with almost-sun coming through and again I could think of no better place to be than working with clay. My depression of yesterday had advanced to healthy anger so I was in a prime mood for scraping pots. The scratch of metal on earth, scrape, scrape, scrape was just the music I wanted. A crow sat in the pine tree across the road and sang (as crows and nuns do) along with my scrape, scratch. The pots took on a refined shape and began to ring was their walls thinned. Shavings piled up around my feet. My clothes became filthy and a billow of clay dust hung in the garage. My hand got tired so I sat with my arms around the pots, hugging them. Two of them are so big I could lay my head on their cool sides so we sat cheek to cheek.

When I turned over the tall clay figure that was becoming my portrait, I saw that inside, she needed to be scraped too. So, moving more slowly and gently, I began to scrape on her. There were so many places where it would be easy to break off an arm or a hand – I had already broke through a hole on the collar – so I was even more gentle and cautious. I was actually surprised when I finished that nothing had broken.

With everything now scraped I was eager to get my hands back into wet clay. From all I had seen last night of others’ clay drums, I had the idea of putting two handles and a small face on the side of my drum. The handles went on okay but the face was not the one I wanted to see. The mouth was much too big! I almost laughed at myself as I realized the drum wanted to have a big mouth and I wanted to have a thin, little one.

Afterwards there was still the pancake of red clay on the table and the scrapes left from making the handles. A thrill of excitement ran through me. I began cutting the clay into pieces and stacking up red, white, red, white layers. I got immense joy in pushing the two colors together, wedging the clay into a small ball. I loved the way the colors swirled around each other, like the marbling done on papers, and in the spaces where the melding was complete, there was a rosy pink clay! I made a small bell to see how the patterns worked out. Then with more clay I tried out various amounts of the colors to see when they made pink and when they kept but wiggled their own true colors. All too soon it was getting cold and even though the clock only pointed to five o’clock, the shadows felt like six.

In the evening, I happened to turn on the radio and there was a program on "honesty". I was attracted by one psychiatrist’s book called Radical Honesty. It was his theory (and practice, I assume) to be absolutely open and honest with people. To always confront others with exactly how one is feeling and perceiving the other. The interviewer asked if he would tell someone they were ugly and he said ‘yes’. He also said that he would not walk away at this point, but to continue to engage the other into a conversation about being ugly. From this the two of them would have a meaningful exchange instead of the cool, detached encounter of dishonesty. He said that the reason people avoided being honest, was not the fear of hurting someone’s feelings, but the fear of the joy that we would share after working out our differences! I replayed, in my mind the scenario of yesterday in the church, wondering how the meeting would have changed if I had had the courage to say what I was feeling, and what could have happened if I had expressed what I wanted from the group. And the man was right. The joy and excitement of what I would have felt doing this (not even to think of what others might feel) was truly almost too much for me to contain. For me to overcome my natural shyness, my delight in my being rejected, to give up my defenses, to have invaded their silences and containment would have (I thought in retrospect) catapulted me into an ecstasy that would have been downright indecent. And probably stopped my heart with whatever.

So the weekend has flown. I wish for a rerun, which will, I am sure, come to me, so that I may handle myself and the situation in a new way. Anyhow, I have made a step in my own growth without threatening the security or authority of the nuns, whose hearts are good. And I have a new idea of how to make that figure of me by mixing the colors of the clay which I am eager to try out today.

if they are mistletoe
I cede I’ve stopped being theirs
a distant moon
once more my bewildered dove
the fascinating chill that music leaves


presumed to hope
some such butterfly be seen
heaven more remote
summer for thee grant I may be
an awful tempest mashed in air


this merit has the worst
the clouds their backs together laid
knows how to forget
the blackberry wears a thorn in its side
some we see no more, tenements of wonder


a throe upon features
I many times thought peace had come
faith is a fine invention
all circumstances are the frame
the wind began to knead the grass


(Ha! and now I see my dream about this meeting!)

October 26, 2001

In yesterday's ICO was an announcement of a group of women meeting in the Catholic church in Gualala tomorrow. I was (and still am) thinking of attending. And yet I had this dream this morning which I am still puzzling out.

I was attending a conference that was being held under the rustic conditions of a campground. One of the problems was that a greater number of persons had arrived than the organizers had planned for. It was almost an art to get the daily chores done because of overcrowding. One morning I woke early and decided to get my shower before the others. Only a couple other women were as early as I was – in fact, they were just finishing as I arrived. But before I could even get undressed and get under the water, great hoards of women came streaming into the small crowded area. As they took off their clothes, they laid them on top of mine and I realized that soon my towel would be so buried, be so deep that I would not be able to find it when I needed it most – when I was sopping wet and cold. I began to dig through the clothes to find my towel and other things while all the time others were simply tossing their stuff in a pile and blithely getting into the showers.

At this point I realized that this was not working for me so I as soon as I found my stuff I walked away from the shower tent. Outside I met a priest who asked me to help him find toilet paper. The men’s john was completely out and they needed it desperately. He asked me to search through the women’s toilet facilities to see if there was any extra we could share.

I put aside my desire and need to shower to go off in search of toilet paper for him. Naturally I found none as the women also had used up all they had been given. The priest got angry with me for not finding any and began to yell at me, calling me names like "slut" and "lazy-bones". I decided I would not take this, so I stopped looking for paper for him and began walking away. In his anger he ran into the women’s toilet facilities to search for himself. It was only a roofless canvas structure, so I heard him yelling that he had found a bunch of paper!

I ran to the door to go in to at least help him carry it out because now I saw he only had one leg and walking with the aid of crutches that kept him from carrying anything in his hands. I offered to help him and he apologized for not being able to carry anything because of his "charley-horse" as he referred to his method of walking with crutches. I went into the place but there was only one small box of those slick sheets of toilet paper. I carried that out to him and he grabbed it without a word of thanks.

I began to think that I had better get along to the morning worship service, unwashed as I was. From my search for toilet paper I had ended up in a different section of the campgrounds and had to enter a door that was not familiar to me. Instead of going into the chapel, which I knew, I had to go through the ‘executives suites’ on the left side. I was shocked at how opulent the rooms were, the wooden floors, the lovely big tent ceilings with plants along the hallways and I realized that thanks to the money going here we, the unwashed had no toilet paper! I walked through the chapel area and even though people were entering for services already, I continued to pass them by to go outside.

Here was a huge cement structure ferry terminal. It was brand new and people did not quite know were to go in it. They were still putting up the signs and trying to figure out the best way of establishing the flow of traffic that was expected in the very near future. Small groups of people were trying out various approaches and exits. I saw some people I knew but when I tried to talk to them, they ignored me completely. Somehow this did not bother me, but I quickly saw the futility in trying to communicate with them. I walked into a larger room where many people all had an open book before their noses. I was curious about what they were reading so I began to bend down and twist my neck to look at the covers of the books. To my surprise they were all reading the very same book. From its cover it looked like a cheap ‘bodice ripper story’ – something I was not interested in reading. I asked one person selling the books why everyone was reading the same story and he told me, "because I pick out the book and that’s the only book they can have." When I smarted back, "guaranteed best seller list!" he got angry with me and walked away. A woman appeared in his place and I asked her why only one book was offered. She refused to tell me. I said, "So you can have a larger auflage (ow-f-lag-ah - German for ‘print-run’)." Instead of answering me she corrected my German by saying "ow-f-leg." I awoke knowing I had been given all the puzzle pieces.

how soft caterpillar steps
long years apart we can know
how to spurn shyness
who giants know with lesser women
away from home are some and I

October 25, 2001

The world is full of lesson for me today! From the Kryon books I learned a new prayer: First I greet the sky, the great earth, the winds and the waters. Then I say out loud: "In the name of the Spirit, I co-create the ability to be in my contract no matter what it is. I co-create in the name of the Spirit to find the sweet spot which is the place on the planet that I have agreed to be in. I am here with you and you with me for the new energy and together we will change the vibration. . . together as a whole. "

While cutting open an apple for our breakfast cereal, I felt the knife plunge through a soft spot to whack into my finger on the other side. When the apple fell from my hand I saw a white line across my ring finger. "Oh my goodness!" I cried out without thinking. The spot hurt and I expected a gush of blood so I stuck my finger in my mouth. When I took it out I was surprised to see that the skin was not broken. It was red from the whack, but that was all there was to see. If that white line had opened into a cut it would have taken stitches to close it.

As I continued to set the table, Buddha was flying around the room with his bushy tail of excitement as he leaped from window to window. I realized our ‘outdoor kitty’ was here. As I looked out the window and began to talk to him (her? – we have no idea; it just has a very sweet face) he kept his face turned toward me but would make a rapid back and forth movement with his eyes. I stared in fascination as I had often seen a cat so intent on giving a message. Then it came to me. He was asking for food in the dish! As I went back into the kitchen Buddha had already opened the cupboard door where we keep the canned cat food! The two of them, without words were in communication about what they wanted me to do. And I did.

And I thought about how over-excited Bu gets when the outside cat shows up and how over-excited I get when we get company. And my son, Hans, and his family are somewhere on a road here and I am excited about seeing them.

Thank goodness the books from the Tanka Splendor Awards went off to the post office yesterday and my kitchen is back in its usual order. Listening to the news last night that the US government has just bought 100 million Cipro pills for possible treatment for anthrax made me wonder into what kind of an environment I had sent the packages of books. I think that if I had heard this before going to the post office, I might have held up the shipment. All I could do was hope and trust that our post offices on this coast and the places where the books were going were still ‘clean’.


October 24, 2001

Just rushing to get the packages of books off to the post office for the winners of the Tanka Splendor Awards. . .  so all I have are Ed's comments to the dream below which feel right-on to me:

You've heard of the Bardo Thodol, the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Your dream follows that (and more) fairly closely. Not to be heard or recognized means you 're still here, but passed over. There is a tradition in the ancient Greek myths (Orpheus, Hermes, and Euridice), that if you enter the land of the dead, you don't eat, or you are there permanently; and if you leave, you don't look back or anyone you bring out will slip away. Also, the loud, garish party lights are a portal to the next life. In the Book of the Dead you are admonished, at several levels, not to be drawn to the garish smoky lights, but the clear, calm, if fainter, lights. It's important because this determines the circumstances of your next birth. If I were to guess, I'd say your dream was probably more extensive than you either remember or describe. Also, it seems to be an anticipation, a trying out of old programs for later use, and also an SAT or GRE test for post graduate work. All this before Matriculation,  or return to the mother. I'd say you passed with high marks.

October 22, 2001

Have to pack up the books for prizes for the Tanka Splendor 2001 Awards this morning. So will just take the time to record my dream:

There was a conference being held in the city where I lived. I was not very clear about its purpose or why I attended it. I enjoyed meeting all the people and going to the lectures but only a couple things from the whole experience remain in my mind.

In the afternoons was ‘free’ time in which we could do whatever we wanted. Most days everyone went swimming in the lake, but one sunny day I climbed the high steep hill above the water. I found a grassy place where I sat all alone looking down on the others swimming. It was so peaceful and quiet here. The sun was warm and the wind was fresh and cool. I was far enough away I could not hear their splashing and calling even though I could clearly see and recognize the individuals. I wondered why they didn’t come up here for the marvelous view, the peace, and the happiness that I found in this place. I stretched out my legs and laid back in the warm weeds, crossed my arms under my head and stared right up at the sun. It was absolute bliss. I only got the thought of leaving when I realized it was already evening and that the ‘free’ time was over.

As I walked back down the hill I saw that I was wading though poison oak. With a jolt I realized that I probably had laid in it all afternoon. With each step I tried to avoid touching the plants, but knew at some level I had enough juice on my skin already. Then I got the clear and positive thought "I have the right and the ability to will that I will not be affected by whatever I may have picked up or touched." With this knowledge I turned a switch within myself that neutralized the poison oak.

I had to walk through the downtown area to get to the conference compound. As I went by various stores I remembered that a long time ago I had had a studio in one of the unused stores. I began to look for the place. And to my surprise I located the same old building and found that the door was open. I looked in and it was still a studio! People were working in various areas of it. I saw a young girl on a high ladder putting the finishing touches on her huge sculpture. I spoke to her and she turned to me. She was Japanese and just stared at me blankly. I wondered if she did not speak English and did not recognize my greeting. But she spoke perfect English to the others who where helping her from below. I tried again to speak to one of the persons, but they completely ignored me – it was as if most of them could not see or hear me. I would have liked to have joined them, but I also knew that time had moved between us and this was not possible.

I walked on back to the compound and was just in time for dinner. While we were eating a delicious meal someone made an announcement that the conference was ending tomorrow. I remembered meals that had been served which had not been this good and thought "how wise it is of them to make sure the last meal is excellent so we remember that and not the failures."

The last assembly in the evening never happened as it was planned. A group of us walked together toward the hall where we had met so many times. As we got to the door we saw a bunch of younger persons had taken over the building. They had felt that we oldsters were not politically engaged enough and they wanted to use the last evening to voice their concerns and agendas. They were busy hanging banners and signs they had made with more energy than art. As I looked into the room, I realized that this was not the way I wanted the conference to end for me. I knew that the slogans and posters were for them and not for me. Somehow the group and I came to this conclusion without words so we passed by the brightly lighted place into the darkness where there were many stars.


Continue reading at:

October 20 - 11
October 1 - 10, 2001

September 21 - 30, 2001

September 11 - 20, 2001

September 1 - 10, 2001

August 22 - 31, 2001

August 11 - 21, 2001

August 9 - 1, 2001

July 31 - 26, 2001

July 25 - 18, 2001

July 17 - 11, 2001
July 10 - 4, 2001