Sunday, January 3, 2010

Walter, and Quiet Love

I took a long walk today, thinking of my friend Walter, my oldest friend, who is now in his eighties. For years now, Walter and I have studied the Dharma together. Walter's been teaching me: "It's all about opening the heart! The only thing that matters is Love!" I read these words and I hear Walter's enthusiastic voice. "The only thing that matters is Love!"

I've come to love Walter. Just a few days ago, doctors gave Walter got the kind of news no one wants: Brain cancer.

When I got back from my walk, I checked in on the few blogs I follow. Synchronicity. Three of them included poems about life and death. Original Art, Shaping Words, and Whole Blooming World.

I took bits and pieces of the poems, and assembled this:

Quiet Love

One must have a mind of winter
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

I wonder in which season I will die.

Life and death, a mystery
I don't know what's our destination

This is what I think of
in the clean cold start of the new year.

When the flame is blown out, where does the light go?

I cannot hold the answers.

I give this year to quiet love.

P.S. Tomorrow school will start up in 2010. I'll turn into "Mr. Kindergarten." As Mr. Kindergarten, I give my all to the 29 students in my care. I have a little energy left when I get home: just enough to find something to eat, take care of my spirit, and ask after my wife's day. But not enough energy to blog here regularly. So, there will be somewhat less frequent posts here starting tomorrow. I respect you, my readers, enough not to post just to put something up on the web.


Jenny Stevning said...

I treasure Walter's words!! 'Tis true! Simple love. Quiet love...just like you remember in to ask your wife about her day even at the end of a long, tiring day. Carry on, Mr. Kindergarten! I will look forward to when you have time to post. (Oh, and now I love the butter yellow of your blog.)

The Pollinatrix said...

Wow, Dan, I'm flooded with feelings and thoughts, joy and sadness, elation and wonder and gratitude.

I will treasure your quote from Walter as I live into that quiet love this year. Thank you. Thank Walter for me, please.

The Pollinatrix said...

Speaking of synchronicity, would you look at that! Jenny and I posted comments at exactly the same time!

I love the butter too. It's actually my favorite color, this exact shade.

Dayne Gingrich said...

Thank you sooooo much for sharing Walter's teachings with us! As simple as his words are... they're impact is huge!

Spend time with him, learn from him, and share share share!


Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Dan: It is difficult to absorb the news of your dear friend's possible suffering and death. Surely you have found the only balm for that wound - 'quiet love'.

I also loved the phrase in your poem - 'I cannot hold the answers'.....perhaps that is why they have not been given....

I will keep my eye out for your posts no matter how infrequent.

Enjoy those 29 little ones, where the love coming at you might not be so quiet!

Jennifer said...

This was and is a beautiful tribute to someone you hold dear. Hope for you today and to Walter. A dear and precious soul.

Dan Gurney said...

Thank you all, for responding. I treasure each of your responses. Too sad, now, to write back.