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Lions Roar : May 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2007 48 dition, which is bound to frighten most children. Just imagine if he were depicted like the Buddha. I love the way the Buddha goes through all his changes and he’s basically very happy. Suffering is not the end-all in life. It is a part of it, and then we rise above it, we work through it, we transform it. Jesus did that. You write that “heaven is a verb.” Can you use it in a sentence? In looking for places to write novels, I’ve ended up with houses in Mexico and Hawaii. I rent them out to people on a sliding scale depending on need. I’ve created a little booklet about them, and in there I talk about being in Hawaii and “heavening on the beach in sight of a six-pack.” Isn’t that good? [Laughs.] Are we there? You talk about grandmothers as a source of wisdom and power. Is this something you’ve recently come to understand, or have you long had a connection to the power of a grandmother? My maternal grandmother died when I was two, and the other one had been murdered when my father was a boy, but I had a strong connection with my step-grandmother, who did give me uncon- ditional love. As time went on, though, I saw the damage to the feminine that patriarchy imposes, and I understood that it’s often the old woman—the grandmother, with all of that accumulated wisdom and compassion—who is depressed. She is depressed because she sees things so clearly, and she’s lost her fear of speaking. We need her. We are not going to get anywhere without her, so we might as well go and start liberat- ing all those nursing homes, and calling home, and getting our grandmothers back with us, and asking them to leave the sitcoms, and get them to come out from in front of the TV and give us some guidance, some of the understanding that they have gained over all these decades. Sadly, many of them have been anesthe- tized, but many of them have not. They’ve just been silent. Do you see people being anesthetized as a big problem? It’s huge! That’s what television is for. That’s what all these Game Boys and Palm Pilots, and all of these whatever-you-call-them gadgets are for. I feel we became gadgetized as part of the cor- porate takeover of the world. Everyone was either looking into their hand, or into their TV set or their computer, and basically missed how our lives were being stolen by very greedy people who would rather have a lot of money than have community. Do you see our obsession with security as part of the anesthetizing? We need security, but it cannot come without community. How can you have security without community? You could have all the chain-link fences, and all of the gates, and all of the helicopters fly- Walker on the deck of her home. Sweeping, she says, is one of her favorite and most meditative activities.