Monday, December 01, 2008

wrinkles of life

I suspect no-one is reading this blog anymore; there is nothing to read. Like waiting for a much anticipated phone call that never occurs. At some point you give up and move on, and perhaps even forget that you ever waited.
I am sorry I have stopped writing, i enjoy it very much. It is pointless to offer explanations, that is like trying to define life and its perpetual movement - there is so much that could be said, and mostly it has no significance.
But for anyone glancing in, here is what I think is one of the worst photos of me, ever. Mary and Tom came by, Mary always camera-ready, and she took some shots when I was with the rescue dogs. The pictures of the dogs are much nicer! And it has nothing to do with Mary's skill, as she just won first prize for photography at a show. No, I really do look like this.
It is an interesting contemplation, actually, to see one's face and recognise that the bloom of youth and beauty really has changed. Evaporated, dissolved. It is inevitable and it surely is one of the foundational Buddhist teachings that remains so hard to embrace, deeply and with clear understanding. Nothing is permanent, and youth most definitely not. However we may see ourselves looking from the inside out, our outsides will wither and decay.
I recently connected with the school in Australia which I attended from age 6 to age 16, ie my entire school life. That is a lot of years to spend with the same group of people - actually longer than I have been in the USA with this Sangha. So names and faces are branded in my memory. As an "old girl" (ie graduate of that school), I am now able to access a website where photos of my school life flash before my eyes. Me, at 13 years old, fresh faced, head full of dreams. I recognise the girls around me so acutely. Realising that whatever we thought or planned, none of us had any idea of what would befall us, what we would do or experience in our lives. I look at the pictures of the current students - they all look like we did, however unique we may feel, there is also a sameness, a rhythm of life that repeats itself again and again. Then I look at the reunion snapshots, some from my graduating year, some from women now in their 70's. All of us went to the same school, grew in a sense from the same foundation. Had dreams and inspirations. And all of us will look in the mirror and see change etched in our skin.
Death is inevitable, for all of us. I do not say this to be maudlin, it is just that seeing my youth on the screen, doing a virtual tour of my school - much of it the same as nearly 40 years ago - reminded me that this is the ebb and flow of existence. Whatever I imagined my life would be like as I sat with my friends in the schoolyard (and becoming a Buddhist nun was not on the chart!), does not matter. It is the life I have lived that I have to come to terms with, it is the choices I make now that will determine the future. And it is true that the invincibility of youth will at last and finally dissolve into the passing from this existence.
In the meantime, there is much to be done. Always. I imagine most everyone knows that feeling. And there are moments of joy, to be cherished. And those that we love to support us. Here are two beautiful photos taken by Mary on the very same day.

my beloved Nyima

a kiss from Madelaine, the AR rescue I adopted last year


Anonymous said...

This is my first visit to your blog Ani- La, and it is truly wonderful to read. I hope to see more...hopefully this serves as proof that your blog is read and is enjoyed! :)

maura said...

So glad to have you back, Ani-la

and to show the deceptiveness of perception -- I think that's not a bad photo at all

love to you and all at DV

kunzang said...

Thank you both! Maura - it depends on how deeply you look, or, as you say, the perspective. In close-up the passage of time is etched deeply, just a reminder the water flows over the fall!

Anonymous said...

Oh, piffle, kunganz! Beauty comes from within and you are, were and still a beautiful lady. Your "wrinkles" as you put it are only sun grins! It was wonderful to see you, your animal family and the rescues you so diligently care for. I am so looking forward to visiting DV again soon - - and we WILL find a photo that you like, I promise. With love and hugs, Mary

Anonymous said...

OOOOOPS - sometimes one SHOULD proof read ones comment - you still spell your name KUNZANG! Such fond memories I have of the many trips to DV when the original dozens of rescues from Katrina were in the care of Tara's Babies.
Take care, dear friend. Weather the winter with good health.

Love, Mary

Tia said...

What a lovely and true post, as always. I often find that coming to visit your blog is an experience in coming to read my own thoughts - only much more beautifully articulated. Thank you!

yeshe t said...

It is so wonderful to read your posts again and to feel the connection as vajra sister, living as we do this sacred path. As one who also loves deeply the process of writing, I savor your words and images and recognitions so carefully expressed. The poetry of how cold and wet a given day has been. The simple and all-encompassing joy of a dog's love and kisses. Thank you, ani. So many times I don't check into your blog for months, and then I do, only to find that you've once again just recently written again. Some connection...running deep beneath the surface.

On this first day of 2009, I wish you every blessing (which you already have) and every joy and every recognition. Peace be with you and yours.

P.S. Please give my brother Kamil a warm new year's hug as well.

EdaMommy said...

I come and go, but I do come back. ^_^ Love your blog, and I think it's a lovely picture - hear-hear to the sun grins!!

All my best and a deeply felt

Gasho /|\

-- EdaMommy