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Dangerous Compassions

retreat

Yesterday there was an all-day retreat for my women’s religious group. A nun from the San Francisco Vedanta Center gave a talk. We had chanting and singing too. The chanting’s in Sanskrit, and I’m not sure which language the song was. There was also food, mostly Indian food. I liked best the halwa. I got to talk to an old friend who I hadn’t seen in a long time, S. She is truly wonderful and vibrant. She works with the mentally ill. She wears two different colored socks. She does kundalini yoga. She’s very, very thin, and when I hug her I can feel her ribcage.

All this happened at M’s house, which is large and partly an Indian music school. Then we went over to P’s place, where the shrine is, so the nun could see the shrine. There were less people, and we had more food (water melon and ice cream cake) and more conversation. We sang happy birthday to V. Her husband died while I was away on my trip. He was old and in hospice.

I have strong feelings about the nun. I feel a great deal of respect and reverence toward her. She and I shared a few words. But she didn’t say goodbye to me when she left. Maybe I had been so quiet.

When I got home, it was after 6:30, and I had been picked up at 8:40. So it was a full day of people, food, and sound. P congratulated me on how well I survived it all. When I got home, I checked my email, put in earplugs, and went to bed.

Erik got home at 9:30. He went on a strenuous 15 mile hike with his best friend T.

We’ve been talking more about moving to the bay area. Maybe it’s a dumb idea while California has a 10% unemployment rate. But Erik’s going to start checking craigslist every day.

A little kid is crying loudly outside.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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