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The night was cool and someone brought me a heater. Looking for an outlet, I tried to move a bed: it collapsed, one slat at a time (old IKEA- type construction). Settled in the bed near the window (facing east so I’d awake to the sun). Jumped up in the middle of darkness: by turning in a bed of unfamiliar narrow proportions, my head had smashed into the wall, hard as cement, adobe-style. Ouch! This morning bruises and abrasions above my left eye. Also a headache: from the collision, the thin air, travelling, who knows. Dismantled the bed and put the mattress on the floor to sleep on tonight.

By now (11:34 am), everyone is working: some cutting flag stones for a smooth walkway, others preparing scrolls for their jukai ceremony (lay ordination), housekeepers everywhere, someone raking leaves, a keyboard clicking, the tenzo (cook) readying the noonday meal. People work in silence mostly, occasional bursts of laughter: female, young. Meditation at 12:20 noon. I resist the temptation (compulsion?) to offer to help. This is my day off and I, yes, I deserve to be at rest. 

There’s a cozy library with big sofas, easy chairs, light flooding in, potted cacti on the window sills. Found an unfamiliar collection of Mary Oliver’s poems and prose. 

Softest of mornings, hello.
And what will you do today, I wonder,
      to my heart?
And how much honey can the heart stand, I wonder,
     before it must break?

source: Oliver, M. (2004). Long life: essays and other writings. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, p. 76


2 responses »

  1. Glad you made it there safely – only to injure yourself in your sleep! Hope you have a more peaceful rest tonight.

    • thanks jen! aside from chapped lips and a big fat blister on my upper lip (sore), all’s well. we had full day today, lectures, discussion, writing … on chaos theory etc. yes, it relates to chaplain’s work. people here are in several tracks, with hospice one of them (majority). Others are interested in prison, youth, women’s, peace, and environmental application.


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