Desmond Tutu and the Dali Lama

I did Desmond and Mpho Tutu’s “Forgiveness Challenge”. At least I started it, but when I signed up, many years ago, I was still so contracted by anger that I knew it would be very difficult. But at least by signing up I put myself on a road. However, “forgiveness” is a very Christian idea and I am not a Christian.

Over the years (I don’t consider myself a Buddhist either) my Zen practice has matured and many things that were held in a fist of hurt have fallen by the roadside without much effort. I realize that whether we call the loosening of contention “forgiveness” or not, there is no freedom in hate and anger.

As human beings we can be lost and suffer and cause suffering. We can and will always see the rise of tyranny, selfishness, violence and contracted states, but at some point, we come to understand the road we are on and know we can’t pretend to not choose to continue it or to leave it.

There is a movie that will be free on Facebook on June 2nd made by Desmond Tutu and the Dali Lama called “Unite for Joy” about their wonderful friendship.

Old Woman in the Retirement Building Across the Street

April, 2022

Her bedroom curtains are always open and I can see when the light beside her bed is off

or on.

5:00a.m. Her pillow askew. The sheets thrown back. The slippers gone: I know that both of us are once again awake before dawn.

Then I get sick.

I’m sleeping around the clock. Until one night, I get up a lot to have a pee or take a pill.

I see her light is still on, her white head asleep on her pillow, curled on her side towards the window.

And I still don’t stop to wonder about her because I’m so sick.

Maybe the day after or the one after that. I finally stop and see she’s gone. Along with everything in her room.

The windows are open.

The light of the sun sweeps across the bare floor.

Until someone comes, and her curtains for the first time, are drawn.