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Lions Roar : March 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2012 66 Key West 1968 The southernmost tip of the United States was a place full of distant lights and wind- swept stories, intimations of injustice (class, racial, religious), and the ghosts of literary heroes like Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway looming some- where unseen in the sultry Florida skies. My father was a navy psychiatrist whose job was to determine who was sane enough to fight. Young men would call him up on their way to the roofs of build- ings, threatening suicide. Calling their bluff, he would tell them to “tough it out.” Sometimes they didn’t. With my Labrador retriever in tow, I chased the marines as they jogged down the beach, and sometimes they cried at the sight of us. I wondered who they saw when they looked at me. A little sister, an unborn child? There was only one school in Key West, and it was Lutheran. Being Jewish got me out of having to pray with the other kids, but I used to talk during prayer time. I was often punished for this, made to press my nose against the desk during class. In the silence I dreamed up stories, imagined all the places I’d go when I got old enough. I didn’t believe in God, though I called to him during hurricanes or when my par- ents fought. When my father’s duty ended, we loaded up an old Mercedes and drove back to California—truly land’s end, where you either fell into the water or spent the rest of your life tipped at the edge of the shore. Berkeley 1971 Berkeley was named after an Irish bishop whose philosophy advocated, in part, a denial of the reality of the material world. It was a fitting namesake for a place of rebellion and anarchy that prided itself on being out of sync with the rest of the continent. Many of the city’s streets were named after great and noble men—American naturalist John Muir, British philosopher John Stuart Mill, the Greek mathemati- cian Euclid. White men, that is. I realized Love by Chögyam Trungpa © Diana J. Mukpo, used with permission by Chögyam Trungpa © Diana J. Mukpo, SHAMBHALA SUN FOUNDATION An independent, nonprofit corporation. Publishers of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly. Own a Beautiful Archival Quality Print Choose from among our collection of dharma art. These prints are taken from the pages of the magazines and include works by well-known teachers, artists, and contributors, such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Chögyam Trungpa, and Kaz Tanahashi. Go to the Shambhala Sun Online Store at www.shambhalasun.com