You left and I felt like a mother
once again readying her child for camp.
Last minute articles, errands, commitments.
Freedom, for you to leave - for me to stay,
accomplishments now within the realm of possibility
Early mornings as I like them
quiet, unquestioned and unasked.
Acceptance of sounds upon twilight
after dark remembrances bounce upon
anticipation of what might happen.
Doing what I like after the ‘have tos” are over.
Responsibility only for myself and our boat.
Hatches open until awaited rain forces them closed,
bringing me inside to more seclusion -
reflections on available options.
Such space is needed living side by side, day after day.
Our oneness wants to become two again.
Meditations on what our single needs are,
not trying to plan for two.
Delight in such thoughts -
knowing that you shall soon return
May 8, 1995 - four days after David left for Nassau to deliver JESSIE to Hampton, VA.
How was I to know
as we walked together in early spring
through the streets of old Christiansted,
that your glance at a young woman in passing
would change my life?
You would meet, embracing her
an evening's sojourn in my apartment.
Stealing moments together
while I was away
capturing moments for myself.
The following autulmn would find you both
drifting through rural Southwest towns
camping in the back
of an old blue pickup truck,
not calling me for months.
When the telephone finally rang
from Bar Harbor, not the blazing desert,
you only wanted to tell me
that you were now a father,
making me a grandmother.
Holding onto what little control I had,
your famiy descended into my island life
Trouble, moving in with me,
and sharing the blue waters and the warm sun
of the tropical Caribbean.
Days and months I spent
lovingly caring for your son
while the two of you, adjusting
consumed long hours
in attempting work, or doing lines.
How was I to know
that the year of loving him
would be so quickly over,
never to come again
and ever so vaguely remembered.
Now you three are forever displaced
She splits - flying to California
with my grandson and your best friend.
You depart also back to the states
pretending you can be a salesman,
eternally trying to please your father,
the ever emminient orthopedic surgeon.
Taking his lead and his hopes.
Trying to make a life
where none exists.
Now, three years later
Taylor is four and visiting
his maternal grandmother
in the troubled blue waters of Christiansted
in the tropical Caribbean.
I so want to see him,
that son belonging to you;
yet I am refused that right
by legalities I do not understand
and DNA that I do.
I ask you now as I have always asked.
Will I ever be able to nurture him again
holding his small body close
and singing to him the old lullabies
that my mother sang to me?
asking me for some usless
piece of information
I tell him I don't have a clue
as to what he wants
An hour goes by.
He calls again,
wanting to ask me something
that really isn`t important.
I tell him anyway (because he asked)
and hang up the phone
He comes home for lunch,
just an hour or so later.
Making a joke of something,
he kisses me as he shuts
the refrigerator door
We imitate our lives
We`re getting older
he and I
We wouldn't have been this silly
when we were younger
or had this much fun
His leg would not have always crossed mine
as we slept
We touch a lot
We make up words to say
-- to talk --
because we have said
the important stuff already
This kind of love
It makes me feel
A long awaited
I think what the Buddha was actually referring to concerning generosity was how do you develop being into someone who is not selfish, someone who is willing to share and capable of just giving? And I know, like with young children, how important it is in their world to learn how to share. Because if they don't learn how to share, they always get into fights and squabbles and parents have to intervene and all sorts of things happen because of that. I think all of us carry our childhood with us, so we still appreciate or feel a sense of comfort and openness with people who share and have an avoidance or fear of people who don't share.
There is something in developing generosity that enables us to be, say, more fully open, more fully human, more ourselves. That there's a quality that, say, money is not as important as someone else's feelings or someone else's welfare. Though it's important, the values are different. The values in generosity really are the values around how do I help others?
In helping others, how do I develop myself to be the kind of person who really is kind and open and friendly. I really feel that that's what the Buddha was referring to when he talked about generosity as a practice. That it wasn't just about feeding the monks and giving donations. That it was about people developing greater friendliness and compassion for others. It's a way for us to do that.
The way I see it too is, in this kind of teaching, that since there is no fee for my teaching, there is no kind of standard price I'm putting on what it is I'm offering. I rely on the whole idea of people's capacity to want to give, to want to share, to want to support, and my capacity to be able to, on the one hand really accept and further my work through that and accept people's gifts, which is not as easy as people realize. And to be as open with what I give as I can.
Instead of trying to hold something back by saying, "I'm going to teach certain things today, but I'll teach something else next week and I'll teach something else the week after," I'm willing to teach whatever you want to know now. Whatever you would want to learn about meditation practice or Dharma that I can offer as a teaching, I'm completely open and willing to teach that to you when you ask or when you bring it up. I feel that that's part of my generosity—is to be completely open to what your needs are.
In brief, there needs to be a sense of something that is happening with generosity during a retreat to make us feel much safer, much more comfortable, and happier.
Generosity produces happiness.