sorting through my books, i found an old notebook of mine that had fallen behind the shelf. in it, i read lines i’d copied four years ago from books about and by tibetan yogis, from milan kundera’s immortality; i am stirred, as i was when i first encountered these words and was moved to put pen to paper.
“one night toward the end of her life orgyan chokyi had a dream in which her close friend ani kunga drolma came to visit her. she took the hermitess by the hand, implored her to be happy, and disappeared. kunga drolma’s dream visitation was not to keep orgyan chokyi happy. she was visited by the ‘great impermanence’ that so concerned her in earlier years. yet this time it was her memory of people now gone that brought her to contemplate the stark reality of suffering that lies at the heart of buddhist understandings of life. as she contemplated her past, ‘little by little all those people who had died in all the tibetan valleys were set in a row in my memory.’ her response to this vision was grim, darkly illustrating the life’s rhetoric of suffering: ‘i tried to count them, but was unable.” -himalayan hermitess
if you recognize yourself, you are a nun.
if you realize unborn emptiness, you are a woman of intelligence.
if you can sleep alone without friends, you are a clever woman.
if you wander the empty unpeopled valley, you are a heroine,
if you quel mistaken appearances and self-grasping, you are a dakini.
“how, understanding that worldly things are without essence, i left home for the homeless life.”
“be always a child of the mountains: wear mist as a robe, a rocky cape as a cap.”
-the life of shabkar
the purpose of the poetry is not to try to dazzle us with an astonishing thought, but to make one moment of existence unforgettable and worthy of unbearable nostalgia.
her memories of that time and of that motorcycle mingled with her memories of rimbaud: he was their poet… rimbaud, who had commanded everyone to be absolutely modern, was a poet of nature, a wanderer, and his poetry contained words that modern man had forgotten or no longer knew how to savor: crickets, elms, watercress, hazel trees, lime trees, heather, oak, delightful ravens, warm droppings of ancient dovecotes; and above all roads, roads and paths.
dramatic tension is the real curse of the novel, because it transforms everything, even the most beautiful pages, even the most surprising scenes and observations merely into steps leading to the final resolution, in which everything that preceded is concentrated.