REFLECTIONS

 

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.

 

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     TIMES PAST

 

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?

 

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DAVID

 

He calls

asking me for some usless

piece of information

We laugh

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)

We laugh

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

We touch a lot

We make up words to say

-- to talk --

because we have said

the important stuff already

 

It's nice

This kind of love

It makes me feel

A long awaited

completeness

 

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GENEROSITY

 

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.