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Lions Roar : January 2014
point for how life should be? When my father was well enough, he invited the woman on a coffee date. He couldn’t actually drink anything yet, but he was anxious to have a social engage- ment and break the traces of being homebound and infirm. Always dapper, he came downstairs in brown corduroy trousers that hung from his emaciated frame and a beautiful intarsia sweater over a button-down shirt. His hair was freshly barbered, and he smelled like St. John’s Bay Rum. He stood for inspec- tion, holding out a sleeve for me to roll, and something happened. I saw my son. I saw my sixteen-year-old son standing patiently as I rolled the cuffs of his sweater before he went on a date. I saw a man standing at the edge of a new life, breaking away from what came before but keeping its essence. He existed not only in relation to other people, as father, widower, and grandfather, but as a man. As himself. My father was not going to forget my mother, their life together, or our life as a family, any more than my son forgot me as he moved toward independence. I saw in Dad’s pale, hopeful face that every- thing my mother had fallen for in that Cambridge apartment fifty years earlier was still alive in him. Why should he be limited to a life without the possibility of romance, of partnership? “Am I presentable?” he asked as I fin- ished the second cuff and tugged his shirt collar high enough to show above the sweater. I hugged him, being careful not to squeeze too hard the body that had all of my life meant strength and safety. “You look beautiful,” I said. “I hope you have a wonderful time.” “It’s not really a date,” he said, scanning my face. “I just—” “—I want you to be happy,” I inter- rupted, holding up his coat so he could insert an arm. “That is all.” And it was. ♦ Fearlessly Creative: A Meditation and Writing Retreat Susan Piver | Dec 20 – 23 Take a Leap into 2014: Establish Your Intention and Commitment Jon Barbieri | Dec 30 – Jan 1 The Six Ways of Ruling: Surviving, Transforming, and Working with Others Richard Reoch | Jan 31 – Feb 2 Precious Knowing: A Meditation and Yoga Retreat for Women Kathrine Kaufman | Feb 19 – 23 Retreat and Renewal Dec20–22 | Jan10–12 | Feb7–9 SHAMBHALA MOUNTAIN CENTER Inspiring Presenters shambhalamountain.org 303.468.9640 | 888.788.7221 Red Feather Lakes, Colorado Two hours from Denver, our 600 acre, mountain valley facility provides an ideal environment for meditation, yoga, retreats, and conferences. View our complete program offerings on our website. Transformative Retreats Contemplative Environment ANN NICHOLS has been a cellist, an attorney, a PTA president, and a ghostwriter. Currently, she’s writing a young adult novel with a Buddhist heroine and working as a professional cook. 22 SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2014