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Lions Roar : July 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN jULy 2009 99 Care Taking continued from page 63 on our last day together, I took her to the airport. She fussed a bit about some object she’d lost. I started to reply and she said, “You don’t have to take care of it.” At the waiting area next to the gate, it was nice to spend time with her, to chat about this and that. She remarked on the shapes of women’s hairstyles as passengers walked past us. I watched her go through the gate, her silver hair a fading beacon. The house of Cleopatra at Delos A black-and-white photograph of white columns, the ruins of stone walls, and headless statues of women. only recently have I allowed myself to miss Julia and what I loved about her, all the qual- ities that were obscured by our difficulties. What is loyalty? What is compassion? What is forgiveness? It’s our suffering that unites us and divides us. Now I have a vision: I am walking across a barren, windy landscape. In the far dis- tance I can hear the crash of surf, but I can’t see the ocean. At the top of a hill, I see the silhouettes of enormous old women, as still as stone. As I draw closer, I find that the sil- houettes are really ruins, weather-worn and broken. The ruins cannot speak. The wind whistles through them as though it were saying something, but I can’t make out what the wind wants to tell me. Maybe the wind will bring the old women’s memories to me. Maybe it will blow them away. ♦ Frank Ostaseski, founder of the Zen Hospice, will answer your questions about Caregiving at www.shambhalasun.com. SubScriber ServiceS Subscribe, Renew, Give a Gift Change your address Replace an issue Inquire about a subscription Call toll-fRee 11:30 am – 8 pm et weekdays 1-877-786-1950 overseas: 01-760-317-2362 fax: 1-760-738-4805 Online Orders and inquiries: Visit www.shambhalasun.com/ and click on Subscribe. email: