|Spirited Dancer by A. P. Grant, 2011|
What are your thoughts about permanence and impermanence?
|Spirited Dancer by A. P. Grant, 2011|
|Maddie's Mermaid for Rahima|
"Introduction: The Mevlevi Turn originated with Rumi and is a practise of both surrender with great centered discipline. Rumi arrived at a place where ego dissolves and a resonance with the universal soul comes in. When the gravitational pull gets even stronger the two become one—a turning that is molecular and galactic and a spiritual remembering of the Presence at the center of the universe. Turning is an image of how the dervish becomes an empty place where human and Divine can meet."The photograph was taken by me when Rahima and I traveled to the Quaker meeting house in Putney, VT last December to attend a sema, in observance of the anniversary of the death of Rumi, the Sufi mystic (d. December 17, 1273). Rupa, the person in the foreground of the picture, was the dancer at Rahima's memorial service.
|View from Brown House this morning|
|Mt Toby Retreat at Woolman Hill, 2012|
|Moving out of 62 Haywood Street|
"I can't even begin to tell you how magnificent your concert was. It was absolutely fabulous and the men enjoyed it thoroughly. They can't say enough about it. It was just absolutely incredible and I appreciate you coming and doing it, especially during such a sad time for your chorus. But you carried it off beautifully and I'm very, very impressed with the whole group. It was above and beyond fantastic!"2) A fellow named Don sent thanks, a beautiful piece of artwork, and a passage from Gibran's "The Prophet" entitled "Giving."
Miguel expressed some things about his own hardships, and then said that our music "opend my eyes and heart to new things." He wrote about feeling a lack of support, and having family members drift away. But he added: "I come to relise that this incaration [incarceration] is good for me. It change my life. The music u guys all sang has alot of meaning behind it and I am for ever greatfull. Everyone looks at us inmates as bad people. They all so fast to judge us but deep inside we are just like everyone else. We are kind hearted and respectful people. I kno I am an I have alot of good i can do. So thank u for touching my heart and soul with the wonderful music u shared."4) Here's another letter, which came with a beautiful handmade card, which this fellow Patrick drew and 22 of the other guys signed...
"Dear Eveline and Friends,
My name is Patrick, I have attempted to write this letter numerous times and just cannot find the right words to express how you all made me feel and the way that you opened my eyes to a new happiness.
My story is unique (I guess everybody's is) I wish you all knew it so that maybe you understand why I appriciate the way the you came to you came to our jail and shared your beautiful music with us...And as much as I did love the music and the diversity of your songs, I grew to feel that same love for all of you for the way you presented it. Like I said, I can't describe it but the atmosphere in our visiting room was amazing.
There was a certain energy in that room and it created a type of genuine happiness that I had forgot existed and now thanks to all of you, I will never forget it. I was very sorry to hear about your friend, Rahima, and I couldn't help but to cry when you told us about her. I believe for all of you to still be able to perform and to dedicate the performance to her showed incredible strength and dedication to one another. That is something that all of us need to see since we are all facing certain hardships in here together. I feel like drawing you a card and writing you a letter is not enough but it's all I can do so please just know that we all appriciate you and hope to see you again.
P.S. I'm interested in learning your songs and the meaning behind them...they seem very good for the soul."
|View from the Brown House|
Feb. 2, 2012
|Feb. 24, 2012 - photo by Roger Katz|
While Seietsu was the master of Engaku in Kamakura he required larger quarters, since those in which he was teaching were overcrowded. Umeza Seibei a merchant of Edo, decided to donate five hundred pieces of gold called ryo toward the construction of a more commodious school. This money he brought to the teacher.Both accounts were offered in response to the hangup I have felt in recent days about being the recipient of so much kindness, or more to the point, needing so much help. Literally hundreds of people have been engaged with helping me help Rahima—cleaning, organizing, moving (twice already!), singing, praying, giving rides, cooking—over the course of her cancer diagnosis and treatment, her recuperation from the broken hip, and right up to the present. The way the community rallied in her final days was breathtaking.
Seisetsu said: "All right. I will take it."
Umezu gave Seisetsu the sack of gold, but he was dissatisfied with the attitude of the teacher. One might live a whole year on three ryo, and the merchant had not even been thanked for five hundred.
"In that sack are five hundred ryo," hinted Umeza.
"You told me that before," replied Seisetsu.
"Even if I am a wealthy merchant, five hundred ryo is a lot of money," said Umezu.
"Do you want me to thank you for it?" asked Seisetsi.
"You ought to," replied Umeza.
"Why should I?" inquired Seisetsu. "The giver should be thankful."
|62 Haywood Street|
Sometimes this seems so hard (and the probability of my dying anyway, so clear) that I think, hey, screw all this. I think I will just take it easy, eat what I want and go more easily toward death.This proved to be Rahima's final journal entry. We returned home to Greenfield, Massachusetts, and the symptoms of her metastatic breast cancer intensified, mainly overall weakness and diminishing capacity to breathe. She had her sign. Rahima died at home at 10:54 P.M. on Tuesday, March 27, 2012. We are still in the afterglow of a community memorial service that was held yesterday. In the summer, her ashes will be scattered in the sea at her "mermaid put-in spot" in Scituate, Massachusetts where she was raised.
And then it all shifts again and I dream about marrying Andy, having a long and active life, seeing my children get married, having grandchildren.
And then that becomes a tidal wave crashing over me, telling me that it's a fool's dream.
Two things seem clear (beyond wanting to live — which is also clear).
- I need some joy to my days — whether I am doing the program or not.
- I want some clarity soon. I am praying for it. Either a turning in my health improving OR a clear sign that death is coming.