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Genesis of a Historical Novel

Friday, February 17, 2006


Maybe a short post.

I have spent the past couple of hours catching up on the bookkeeping for my strata corporation (of which I am president and treasurer), and so am late to this blog. As you faithful readers know, I have been patchy lately in my posting: an artifact of my strange, questioning frame of mind.

Yesterday was another brilliant, crisp day. I went to the library to pick up a couple of DVDs, then down to London Drugs to pick up the replacement for the digital camera we bought last Saturday (a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5--the LDC screen on the camera we took away from the store had a hairline crack). When I parked the Corolla in the store parking lot the radio was playing the Tracy Chapman song "Fast Car"--a song I recognized but had never listened to closely. Yesterday I did. I left the radio on after switching off the engine and listened, staring over my steering wheel and across 20th Street to the low-rise apartment buildings and their dark shadows in the intense, low sunlight.

I was deeply moved by the pathos of the song, the yearning of an impoverished young girl to have a life, to find happiness. Tears came to my eyes, and I could hardly bear to listen to the chorus repeat itself. I was filled with sadness for the world, for life.

That sadness stayed with me through the rest of the day. I found I couldn't read but just sat looking into the fire. It was almost unbearable at moments, but not unpleasant. It wasn't a bad sadness, more like the sadness, the raw heart, I was trained to cultivate in Shambhala Training: the genuine heart of sadness of the warrior. I remember that Trungpa Rinpoche said that the warrior's senses are open and exposed, so that the sound of raindrops hitting your coat seems very loud.


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