Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Rock 'n' Roll, Part Whatever

Entertainment highlights during the week of July 4-10:

1950: The music show "Your Hit Parade'' premiered on NBC-TV.

1968: Guitarist Eric Clapton announced the break up of Cream. The band played a farewell concert in London later in the year.

1971: Jim Morrison was buried in Paris, six days after he was found dead in a bathtub.

1971: Bjorn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Faltskog of ABBA were married in Verum, Sweden.

1980: The original members of Led Zeppelin give their final performance. The show was in West Germany, at the end of their European tour.

1995: The Grateful Dead gave their last concert with Jerry Garcia, at Chicago's Soldier Field.

2000: The remainder of a Supremes reunion tour was canceled. The tour suffered after it was revealed that Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong, who had performed with Diana Ross in the 1960s, refused to join because they felt they weren't being paid enough.

2001: The Backstreet Boys announced they were postponing their tour because singer A.J. McLean was entering rehabilitation for depression and alcohol abuse.

2002: Michael Jackson made a bizarre appearance at a rally in New York City to denounce the recording industry as racist and Sony Music chairman Tommy Mottola as devilish.


July 4: Bill Withers turnss 66. Percussionist Ralph Johnson of Earth, Wind and Fire is 53. Percussionist Domingo Ortiz of Widespread Panic is 52. John Waite celerates his 49th. Guitarist Kirk Pengilly of INXS is 46. Steel guitarist Teddy Carr (Ricochet) is 44. DJ Zonka of Big Audio Dynamite is 42. Bassist Matt Malley of Counting Crows turns 41.

July 5: Robbie Robertson is 61. Huey Lewis is 54. Rapper RZA is 35. Drummer Bengt Lagerberg of The Cardigans is 31. Rapper Bizarre of D12 is 26. Singer Jason Wade of Lifehouse is 24.

July 6: Actress-singer Della Reese is 73, Gene Chandler is 67, and rapper 50 Cent is 28.

July 7: Doc Severinsen and Charlie Louvin are both 77. Ringo Starr is 64. Country singer Linda Williams is 57. Bassist Mark White of the Spin Doctors is 42. Singer-songwriter Vonda Shepard is 41. Bassist Ricky Kinchen of Mint Condition is 38.

July 8: Jerry Vale is 72. Steve Lawrence is 69. Raffi is 56. Toby Keith, guitarist Graham Jones of Haircut 100, and keyboardist Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode all turn 43. Joan Osborne is 42. Beck and singer Drew Womack of Sons of the Desert are 34. Guitarist Stephen Mason of Jars of Clay is 29. Trumpeter Tavis Werts of Reel Big Fish is 27.

July 9: Debbie Sledge of Sister Sledge is 50. Marc Almond of Soft Cell is 47. Singer Jim Kerr of Simple Minds is 45. Courtney Love turns 40 if she lives till then. Singer Kiely Williams of 3LW is 18.

July 10: Mavis Staples of the Staples Singers is 65. Arlo Guthrie is 57. Singer Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys is 50. Banjo player Bela Fleck of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones is 46. Guitarist Peter DiStefano of Porno for Pyros is 39. Country singer Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts is 34. Jessica Simpson is 24.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Rock 'n' Roll, Part IV: Return of the King

Relatives of the late guitar legend Jimi Hendrix returned to court Monday to begin another legal battle over which family members should receive money from the musician's posthumous releases, royalties and merchandise. The case, the latest of several that have entangled the Hendrix estate in the last decade, concerns the last will of Jimi's father, Al Hendrix, who inherited the rights to Jimi's music when the rock star died in 1970.

Jimi's brother, Leon, says he was unfairly written out of the will at the behest of his stepsister, Janie Hendrix, who runs the company in charge of the estate, Experience Hendrix LLC, with Jimi's cousin, Robert Hendrix. Meanwhile, other relatives who, under Al Hendrix's will, were supposed to receive money from posthumous releases, royalties and merchandising struggle to make ends meet while working as store clerks or other low-paying jobs, he said. Leon Hendrix, 56, is suing to have Janie ousted as the company's boss and to have his father's will revised to include him. Al Hendrix died in 2002 at age 82.

Janie Hendrix rolled her eyes and shot dismissive glances as lawyers for Leon Hendrix and other family members recited a litany of allegedly excessive spending. Her lawyer, John Wilson, told the judge that some of the money has been repaid, and a special audit will determine how much more should be repaid. But Wilson stressed that what is at issue is Al Hendrix's will, and that he did not want Leon Hendrix or his children to have any involvement with the company or receive any money from it.

A 1996 version of Al Hendrix's will would have directed 24 percent of the estate to Leon Hendrix, 38 percent to his stepsister and the balance to other beneficiaries. But it was rewritten in 1997 to exclude Leon. Wilson insisted that Al Hendrix decided on his own to write Leon Hendrix out of the will, but Leon's lawyer said the father was infirm in his old age and could not comprehend even simple legal issues.

Hendrix recorded only three fully conceived studio albums before he died at age 27, but he had an extensive catalog of unreleased tracks. For about two decades after his death, his estate was run by a California attorney who sold many of the copyrights to other companies. At the urging of Janie Hendrix, Al Hendrix sued the lawyer in the early 1990s to regain the rights he had sold. That case was settled but left the company in debt. According to Janie Hendrix, her father did not want money paid to the beneficiaries listed in his will until the debt was paid off. That is expected to happen in 2010.

In his brief four-year reign as a superstar, Hendrix expanded the vocabulary of the electric rock guitar more than anyone before or since. Hendrix was a master at coaxing all manner of unforeseen sonics from his instrument, often with innovative amplification experiments that produced astral-quality feedback and roaring distortion. His frequent hurricane blasts of noise and dazzling showmanship — he could and would play behind his back and with his teeth and set his guitar on fire — has sometimes obscured his considerable gifts as a songwriter, singer, and master of a gamut of blues, R&B, and rock styles.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Adventuring News

Reinhold Messner is widely acclaimed as the greatest mountain climber of his generation, the first to scale Everest without bottled oxygen, the first to do it solo and the first to conquer all 14 of the world's highest peaks. Mr. Messner has surprised the world with achievement upon achievement, including climbing Everest solo and during the monsoon season - an achievement still widely considered the most remarkable in climbing history. He has become a celebrity in his home region in the Alps along the Italian and Austrian border, a household name in Germany, and by all accounts a very wealthy man. He has published dozens of books and appears regularly on television. He has been compared to Michael Jordan for taking his sport to a level never previously imagined.

But in a series of recent lawsuits, he is seeking to ban two books by former climbing partners on the grounds that they threaten his reputation. The lawsuits center on a 1970 expedition on 26,660-foot Nanga Parbat in Pakistan which included Mr. Messner and his brother, Günther, lifelong climbing partners. Near the summit on the mountain's southern face, the two were separated from the rest of the group. What happened next is murky, and the subject of the books and lawsuits. The one incontrovertible fact is that Günther never returned.

According to Mr. Messner, his brother was suffering from altitude sickness as they reached the summit on June 27, 1970. Mr. Messner said that as his brother's condition worsened, he decided they should descend the less steep, but unexplored, western face. During a brief separation, he said, Günther was swept away in an avalanche. Mr. Messner met with worldwide acclaim when he returned, not only for being the first to climb the forbidding southern face of Nanga Parbat but also for being the first to traverse the mountain - to go up one side and down another.

But questions always lingered about Mr. Messner's story. Mr. Messner blames the other members of the Nanga Parbat expedition for Günther's death because they failed to search for the two of them on the western face. To counter a charge they believed to be outrageous, Mr. Messner's former partners gave their version of the story - that Mr. Messner sent his brother down alone.

Max von Kienlin, one of the climbers on the Nanga Parbat expedition, claims that he kept a diary during the 1970 trip. In it, he said, he recorded conversations in which Mr. Messner spoke of his longstanding plan not only to reach the summit but also to descend the other side. Mr. von Kienlin contends that Mr. Messner, determined to attain that goal and concerned that his weakened brother would slow him down, sent Günther back down the southern face and then crossed over to the western face alone. Mr. Messner calls the story false and the diary a fake, but an expert recently authenticated the text by comparing the handwriting with that in another document written by Mr. von Kienlin in 1970.

In April, Mr. Messner announced that a bone found on Nanga Parbat in 2000 had been genetically proven to have come from his brother's body. Since it was found on the western face, the bone proved his version of the story, he said. The bone seemed to be significant evidence, since it was found by a reputedly independent climber and underwent DNA analysis at the respected Innsbruck Medical University in Austria. But Mr. Messner's critics say that the climber had worked with Mr. Messner and that Mr. Messner paid for the DNA analysis.

While his lawyers fight in court to ban the books, Mr. Messner is looking for new challenges. He has embarked on a solo desert trek likely to last three months. In an interview before he left, he declined to say where he was going, but said he planned to apply the same strict principles as in his mountain expeditions: no support staff, minimal gear and no emergency communications equipment. Still, he sees it as safer than his past exploits. "It's just like mountain climbing," he said. "Except you can't fall down."

Friday, June 25, 2004

Regard all dharmas as dreams

"To taste the full spread of the joys of samsara, such as wealth and other pleasures, is like tasting poisoned food, licking honey from a razor's edge; in short, it is a jewel on the head of a rattlesnake; one touch and you are annihilated." - Shabkar

Asked what she believes, a character in Robert Stone's Damascus Gate replies, "I believe in liberation. That if it's possible for me, it's possible for everyone. And I won't have mine until everyone does." (Hakim) Bey is conteptuous of this kind of dialectical postponement. "To say that 'I will not be free till all humans (or all sentient creatures) are free' is simply to cave in to a kind of nirvana stupor, to abdicate our humanity, to define ourselves as losers." It is more important for a few people to achieve liberation for a while, now and here. - Geoff Dyer

"Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling. Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.

'Come on, girl,' said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.

Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. 'We monks don't go near females,' he told Tanzan, 'especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?'

'I left the girl there,' said Tanzan. 'Are you still carrying her?'"

Monday, June 21, 2004


A raft carrying 42 destitute Africans -- bundled up for a chilly, wind-swept crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar -- washed up on a nudist beach in southern Spain. Spanish television broadcast amateur video footage of surprised bathers at the Sunday landing at sun-splashed Canos de Meca beach in Cadiz province. The migrants included four babies, including one just 11 days old. A group of bathers was shown gathered around one of the infants, gently counting the fingers on one of its hands and coming up with six.

Bathers helped emergency medical crews carry some of the undocumented foreigners on stretchers to ambulances for treatment for dehydration, hypothermia and malnutrition. One African screamed wildly into a cell phone and ran around as colleagues tried to restrain him. It was no immediately known where the African's were from.

Such arrivals are common in Spain, especially in summer, but usually take place under cover of night, not on a beach packed with weekend sunbathers. Each year tens of thousands of Africans seeking to escape poverty attempt treacherous trips in flimsy, overcrowded boats, hoping to reach Spanish soil by crossing the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco or heading west to the Canary Islands. Many are caught and sent back, though thousands manage to slip through.

A Moroccan immigrant workers' association known as ATIME says some 4,000 migrants have drowned in the past five years while trying to make such trips.

Meanwhile, Swazi King Mswati III, Africa's last absolute monarch, has taken a new wife, bringing the number of official spouses to 11. King Mswati and 20-year-old Zena Mahlangu tied the knot last week at the traditional headquarters of the monarchy just outside the capital city of Mbabane. The occasion started in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday and it dragged on until afternoon.

Zena Mahlangu's mother, Lindiwe Dlamini, had tried in vain to prevent the king from marrying her daughter after claiming that she had been abducted by two royal emissaries on October 18, 2002. Royalists managed to overrule the high court of Swaziland ruling that Zena should appear before it to say whether she was happy living in the royal household as one of the king's two fiancees. Media reports later quoted Zena as saying she was happy living in the royal household but her mother dimissed them as false.

Born on April 6, 1968, only four months before Swaziland attained independence from Britain, the British-educated King Mswati is, like the country he rules, a mix of traditional African and modern Western influences. While he has embraced Western-style market-driven economic policies, the king has adhered to traditional political culture, which allows him full control of the executive, judiciary and executive arms of government.

Like all the Swazi kings before him, he is a polygamist.

The monarch is increasingly being criticised for his lavish lifestyle while most of his subjects live in poverty and have to grapple with AIDS, food shortages and severe drought. The king recently attracted sweeping criticism for ordering new palaces worth 14 million dollars for his then 10 wives and two fiancees at a time when the country faces a deficit of around 145 million dollars. His kingdom has suffered its fourth successive year of drought, combined with a serious problem of AIDS, which affects about 38 percent of the adult population, according to the latest government figures.

"Envy and jealousy stem from the fundamental inability to rejoice at someone else's happiness or success." - Matthieu Ricard

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Observe these two, even at the risk of your life

"Gratitude leads to love. But not to demanding love, the love of a hunter for his prey. Do not confuse begging love with the generous love that leads to thankfulness." - Arnaud Desjardins

LONGMIRE, Wash. - A helicopter rescued two stranded climbers from Mount Rainier on Saturday, two days after they called for help, but rangers held out little hope for a third man missing since an accident that killed his partner.

The two stranded climbers, Al Hancock and Bruce Penn, had been descending the difficult Liberty Ridge route along the north side of the 14,411-foot peak when they reported were unhurt but "in over their heads," said Mike Gauthier, supervisory climbing ranger at Mount Rainier National Park. Rangers had held off on sending a rescue team and the National Guard helicopter for the pair - who had food and fuel, and weren't in immediate danger - while they focused on two other climbers.

That pair, Ansel Vizcaya, 29, from the Missoula, Mont., area and his climbing partner, Luke Casady, 29, of Stevensville, Mont., also had been attempting the Liberty Ridge route. They were reported overdue on Tuesday. Casady's body was recovered Friday and Vizcaya's backpack was found nearby. Rangers said they believe an avalanche swept Casady 4,000 feet to his death and also might have killed his partner. Rangers will continue searching for Vizcaya by helicopter, although Gauthier said it was unlikely Vizcaya was still alive.

"Tanzan wrote 60 postcards on the last day of his life, and asked an attendant to mail them. Then he passed away.

The cards read:
I am departing from this world.
This is my last announcement.

July 27, 1892"

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Not Far From Buddhahood

"And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. . . Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself" - The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, Chapter VI, 28-34.

Gasan said: "Whoever uttered those words I consider an enlightened man."

"And I say unto you, Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and we shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." - The Gospel According to Saint Luke, Chapter XI, 9-10.

Gasan remarked, "That is ezcellent. Whoever said that is not far from Buddhahood."

Friday, June 18, 2004

Adventuring News

ASHFORD, Wash. - Rangers in a helicopter spotted the body of a climber at the bottom of a deep basin on Mount Rainier, a second climber was missing and two others have asked for help.

Rangers saw a body sprawled motionless and face-down in the snow Thursday on the Carbon Glacier on the north side of the 14,411-foot peak. The body was in a large basin, essentially at the bottom of a 4,000-foot-tall glacier wall of rock and ice. There was a lot of icefall debris around the body, along with two backpacks and climbing rope. Rangers were unable to reach the body, but planned to fly to the site Friday to check again and search for the missing man.

Rangers had been searching for two overdue climbers from Missoula, Montana. They had been expected back Monday from a climb up the dangerous Liberty Ridge route. The men, both in their 20s, were described as experienced. Their names were not immediately released. The men had begun their climb last Friday. Heavy snowfall and winds exceeding 100 mph blasted the mountain all weekend, destroying tents at some high camps, and the avalanche danger was extreme. The Missoula climbers were reported overdue Tuesday but rangers were not unduly concerned at first because many climbing teams had been slowed by the weather, and no other climbers reported seeing anything amiss.

A second pair of unidentified climbers called for assistance Thursday in descending from the 10,670-foot level on the Liberty Ridge route, saying they were unhurt but "in over their heads." Because of the effort needed for the other climbers, Rangers do not plan to send a rescue team to the second pair unless their condition worsens. Supplies will be lowered to them, but a helicopter cannot land where they are. The two have food and fuel.

More than 11,000 people try to climb the mountain annually, including about 200 via Liberty Ridge, one of the most difficult routes. Jon Cahill, 40, of Auburn, died June 3 after falling 200 feet on Liberty Ridge. Peter Cooley, 39, of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, died May 17, two days after he tumbled down a steep icy slope of the ridge and hit his head on a rock spur. An average of three people a year have died in summit attempts since 1990. The deaths of Cahill and Cooley were the 90th and 91st since 1887, when record-keeping began.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

A Dharma Talk

It's painful to face how we harm others, and it takes a while. It's a journey that happens because of our commitment to gentleness and honesty, our commitment to staying awake, to being mindful.
- Pema Chodron

Dogen instructed,

In learning the Way, you must depart from your ego. Even if you have been able to study a thousand sutras or ten thousand commentaries, if you do not free yourself from ego-attachment, you will eventually fall into the hole of demons.

An ancient master said, "If you lack the body and mind of the buddha-dharma, how is it possible to become a buddha or a patriarch?" To depart from your ego meeans throwing your body and mind into the great ocean of the buddha-dharma, and practicing by following the buddha-dharma no matter how much pain or anxiety you may have.

You might think that if you beg for food, people will think ill of you. As long as you think in this way, you will never be able to enter the buddha-dharma. Forget all worldly sentiments, and just practice the Way, relying only on the Reality.

Understanding yourself, thinking that you are not capable of practicing the buddha-dharma is also due to ego-attachement. To be concerend with the views of others and to care about human sentiments is the root of self-attachemnt. Just study the buddha-dharma; don't follow worldly sentiments.
- Shobogenzo Zuimonki

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Rock 'n' Roll, Part III: Gabba, Gabba, Hey!

Johnny Ramone, the lone surviving original member of the seminal '70s punk band, is dying of cancer in a Los Angeles hospital.

The 55-year-old guitarist, whose real name is John Cummings, was reportedly diagnosed with prostate cancer four years ago and has undergone extensive chemotherapy treatment in a losing battle with the disease.

"John never smoked cigarettes, he wasn't a heavy drinker and he was always into his health," said former bandmate, the drummer Marky Ramone. "It just proves when cancer seeks a body to penetrate, it doesn't matter how healthy you are or how unhealthy you are. It just seeps in and there's nothing you can do."

Marky Ramone (né Marc Bell) says he felt compelled to update the public about his longtime pal after receiving a flood of email from fans and news organizations concerned about Johnny's health; Marky says he felt Johnny would be too ill to respond.

"He went through many chemotherapy treatments," noted Marky. "Some of it worked better than others. At this point [the cancer] has started to go into other areas of the body."

Johnny's diagnosis is the latest catastrophic news to hit the hard-luck band. The band's other two founding members, frontman Joey Ramone and bassist Dee Dee Ramone, both died in recent years. Joey (born Jeff Hyman) lost his fight with lymphatic cancer in April 2001, while Dee Dee (aka Douglas Colvin) succumbed to a heroin overdose in June 2002.

Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee, who weren't related but adopted the same pseudonymous moniker for their act, formed the Ramones in Queens, New York, in 1974 as a trio. The band underwent several roster changes throughout the years, including adding Marky Ramone on the drums in place of Tommy Ramone, who stopped performing with the band in 1977 but continued to produce Ramones albums.

The Ramones revolutionized rock 'n' roll with such hard-charging two-minute, three-chord anthems as "I Wanna Be Sedated," "Blietzkrieg Bop," "Rockaway Beach" and "Teenage Lobotomy." They are considered pioneers of punk rock, influencing generations of bands from the Sex Pistols and the Clash to the Dead Kennedys and Green Day.

The group officially disbanded in 1996 following the release of their 14th and final studio album, Adios Amigos, and a farewell tour. In 2002, the group was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, with Johnny, Marky, Dee Dee, and Tommy reuniting on stage and paying tribute to Joey.

Rock 'n' roll history for the week of June 20-26:

1966: The Rolling Stones sued 14 New York City hotels that had banned them. They claimed the ban hurt their careers.

1970: Chubby Checker was arrested with three others in Niagra Falls, N.Y., after police found marijuana and other drugs in their car.

1975: Alice Cooper broke six ribs after falling off the stage during a concert in Vancouver, Canada.

1975: Sonny and Cher Bono's divorce was finalized. They had married in 1964.

1977: Elvis Presley performed what would be his last live concert, in Indianapolis. He died in August at his home in Memphis, Tenn.

1981: Donald Fagen and Walter Becker formally dissolved Steely Dan.

1992: Michael Jackson delivered a $26,000 check to the mayor of Munich, Germany, to help the city's needy children. Jackson made his donation a day before his scheduled concert as part of a world tour.

1996: The Furthur Festival, a tour of bands featuring former Grateful Dead members, kicked off in Atlanta. The Dead disbanded after Jerry Garcia's death in 1995.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Intrusive Thoughts

From: L.
Sent: Tue 6/15/2004 8:02 AM
Subject: Intrusive Thoughts

Remembering like a dream when you had me naked and curled in your arms on the sofa...and we were kissing and you were squeezing my nipple. I was so wet and my heart was pounding hard, then you started sliding your finger insistently into my pussy...I was breathing so heavy I thought i would faint...and again later when you had me on my knees and rubbed that whipped cream all over my ass and pussy and licked it off, first slowly then thrusting your tongue in me. I was left just clutching that stupid pillow, trying to catch my breath and the room was going dark, when i felt your swollen dick pushing deep into me, forcing me to start coming...

Monday, June 14, 2004

To: L.
Sent: Mon 6/14/2004 9:22 AM
Subject: RE: thank you for a lovely day

Thank you, I couldn't agree more with everything you said. I hope your week goes well, and I'm wishing you a fabulous time at the fabulous Iowa Workshop.

Well, no sooner had I said how slow things were at work than everything suddenly springs into action. Very hectic day today, and tomorrow through Wednesday, days and evenings, should be the same to worse (or better, depending). I'm looking forward to this evening's zazen to settle me down a little. However, I may not be quick to repond to any e- or voice-mails this week, so please be patient with me.

Hey, there's this neat umbrella/golf club in my office. Every time I look at it, it reminds me of a lovely day, a nice walk in the rain, and a very special friend . . . a nice souvenier.

Now, if I could just get this smile off of my face . . .


Sunday, June 13, 2004

To: Shokai
Date: Sun 6/13/2004 9:13 PM
Subject: thank you for a lovely day

Shokai -
It was so good to see you today. Thank you for making it a very special, loving day. We have been good to each other in a lot of ways & I am grateful for that.

You are a good man.
Take care,

Saturday, June 12, 2004

On this day in 1977, President Jimmy Carter defended Supreme Court decisions limiting government payments for poor women's abortions, saying, "There are many things in life that are not fair."

Friday, June 11, 2004

Things Ray Charles Never Saw

WHITEHORSE, Yukon - Marion Sheldon and Gus Jules were traveling out of town along the Alaska Highway on an all-terrain vehicle between 1 and 2 a.m. when they passed what resembled a person standing on the side of the highway. Thinking it might be someone from their small community in need of a ride, they turned around. As the two lifelong Teslin residents and members of the Tlingit Council approached to within 20 feet, they noticed the figure was covered in hair, but standing upright the entire time. Though natural light was dusky, they saw what they believed to be flesh tones hidden beneath the mat of hair.

Sasquatch? Big Foot?

Mr. Jules is an experienced hunter. He described the figure as standing about 7 feet tall, but hunched over. He could see it was not a person. As the two parties went their separate ways, the dark-haired figure crossed the highway in two or three steps.

Ground conditions mixed with rainfall made it impossible to pick up definitive tracks and there was no hair on branches or other vegetation. By Monday morning, half the town had been out to the site.

It would not be the first suspected Yukon sighting of the notorious beast. In April 1991, three Pelly Crossing residents reported seeing a Sasquatch while driving between Pelly and Stewart Crossing. The creature fled back into the woods as the vehicle passed. The residents took a photo of what they claim were footprints measuring 15 inches long in the melting snow.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Adventuring News

Nepalese officials are investigating the Everest speed ascent record set by Pemba Dorjee Sherpa, after rival Sherpa, Lakpa Gyelu, questioned his claim to have raced from Base Camp to the summit in 8 hours and 10 minutes; 2 1/2 hours quicker than the previous record, set by Lakpa Gyelu. A government committee plans to take two weeks to review Dorjee's climb and has asked both sides for proof to back their claims.

Lakpa Gyelu said Pemba Dorjee, 26, could not have made it to the top on the day he purportedly broke the record because the weather was too poor. He said there were no witnesses that day and wants photographic evidence or other proof. "The weather was so bad that day there is no way he could have made the climb," Gyelu said.

Gyelu set the speed record last year by climbing Everest in 10 hours and 56 minutes, eclipsing the earlier best time of 12 hours and 45 minutes that had been set three days before — by Dorjee.

Dorjee said jealousy was at the heart of the dispute. "I have all the proof and followed all the mountaineering rules in achieving my record. They are just jealous and angry that I broke the old record," Dorjee said.

Dorjee said that once he reached the summit about 2 a.m., he radioed down and described objects that had been left there by another climber the day before. He said snow that day was confined to base camp and there was no wind, and that above 18,000 feet, the weather was fine.

Sherpas were mostly yak herders and traders living high in the Himalayas until Nepal opened its borders to tourism in 1950. Their stamina and knowledge of the mountains makes them expert guides and porters for foreign mountaineers.

Since New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay first conquered Everest on May 29, 1953, more than 1,400 climbers have scaled the mountain. About 180 people have died on its unpredictable slopes. The climb from the 17,380-foot base camp to the 29,035-foot summit usually takes about four days.

Everest speed ascent history:

Oct 05, 1990, Marc Batard (no O2): 22 hrs 29 min
Oct 17, 1998, Kaji Sherpa (with O2): 20 hrs 24 min
May 21, 2000, Babu Chiri Sherpa (with O2): 16 hrs 56 min
May 22, 2003, Pemba Dorjie Sherpa (with O2): 12 hrs and 45 min
May 25, 2003, Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa (with O2): 10 hrs 56 min
May 21, 2004, Pemba Dorjie Sherpa (with O2): 8 hrs 10 min

Meanwhile, a British adventurer laid claim to being the first to fly around Everest in a microlight aircraft. On May 24, 2004, Richard Meredith-Hardy, 46, took off from a base camp 15 miles away, then braved potentially dangerous downdrafts to reach the summit where he waved to "a shedload of climbers" and snapped photos.

"This place is seriously big," he said, according to a statement from his ground crew, "and we were lucky to get a break in the weather just days before we have to go home."

Meredith-Hardy, a two-time World Microlight Champion, made his flight in a British-built Pegasus XL-S powered by a Rotax turbo engine that was specially rigged to keep his flying suit warm.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Rock 'n' Roll, Part II

Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Courtney Love after she was charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon, stemming from an incident "on or about" April 25 where Ms. Love allegedly attacked Kristin King -- a friend of her former manager and boyfriend Jim Barber -- with a bottle and metal flashlight.

Ms. Love was not yet in custody, nor was it clear whether or not she had been served with a warrant.

California state Superior Court Judge Craig E. Veals set Ms. Love's bail at $55,000, due to her prior arrest record and the seriousness of the crime. Also factored in the bail was the fact that the alleged crime was committed while she released on bail for another charge, the site reported.

Ms. Love pleaded guilty to an unrelated charge, a misdemeanor count of being under the influence of a controlled substance, last month. The singer is still facing felony charges in Beverly Hills, where's she's pleaded not guilty to illegally possessing prescription painkillers.

The cases stem from separate encounters with police on the same night last October.

Ms. Love has one other case pending, after being charged in May with assault and reckless endangerment for allegedly hitting a fan with a microphone stand at a New York nightclub in March.

"If you like to pretend that you'll never get old
You got what it takes to rock and roll."

Tuesday, June 08, 2004


New York - Guitarist Robert Quine, one of punk rock's most daring soloists, was found dead Saturday in his Manhattan apartment. He was 61.

The medical examiner's office would determine the cause of death, but a note found with his body indicated suicide, police said. According to close friend and guitar maker Rick Kelly, who discovered Quine's body, the musician died of a heroin overdose Memorial Day weekend. He had been despondent over the death of his wife, Alice, last August. His uncle, the philosopher W. V. Quine, died in 2000.

Quine moved to New York in 1971 and became the lead guitarist for bassist Richard Hell's influential group the Voidoids, with whom he recorded two albums. His skittering, unpredictable work with Hell defined the possibilities of punk guitar. Quine was heavily influenced by the Velvet Underground, whose music he recorded obsessively while living in San Francisco. In 2001, Universal released a three-CD box of Quine's live 1969 recordings of the Velvet Underground, "The Bootleg Series Volume 1: The Quine Tapes."

During the '80s, he recorded and toured frequently with Lou Reed and appeared on Reed's "The Blue Mask" in 1982. Besides his work with the Voidoids and Mr. Reed, Mr. Quine also played with Material, James Chance and Brian Eno. Quine played on some of saxophonist/composer John Zorn's best-known albums and made key guest appearances on Tom Waits' "Rain Dogs" (1985) and Marianne Faithfull's "Strange Weather" (1987). In 1989, he began a long association with Matthew Sweet; he also worked regularly with Lloyd Cole.

He was born in Akron, Ohio and graduated from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. He received a law degree from Washington University law school in St. Louis. Quine, who was older than most of his punk-rock peers and nearly bald, typically wore button-down shirts and sport coats. He once said he looked like a "deranged insurance salesman."

Once upon a time I played electric guitar
And they said I was a rock-and-roll star.
Now nobody calls me on the telephone,
So I sit and watch my TV all alone.
Maybe if I put a bullet in my brain,
They'd remember me like Kurt Cobain.
And the parasites on MTV
Would wipe their eyes and act like they knew me.
But I wouldn't be a hero, I'd be dead;
Just a note beside a corpse that read
"If you like to pretend that you'll never get old
You got what it takes to rock and roll."
- The Residents

Monday, June 07, 2004

Art Deco

"It is not accurate to say that shabbiness lurks behind the facade of Art Deco: Art Deco is the facade. Art Deco is the most visible of architectural styles, arranged entirely for the eye - it's in colour! - rather than to be inhabited. Art Deco buildings are inhabited, of course, but whereas, from the outside, they look extraordinary, inside, the experience is fairly ordinary. But this is why the Art Deco style is so alluring."
- Geoff Dyer

I got an email last week, actually a reply email to be honest, from my old friend L., actually, to be honest, my ex-girlfriend L. "I am in Miami on business this week" she wrote, explaining why we couldn't meet, "and then meeting my college roommate, Janine, to go salsa dancing and eat Cuban food...just a little escape for the girls to have fun and enjoy each other." Salsa dancing and Cuban food - they must be in South Beach, probably staying in the Art Deco District, maybe one of those hotels on Collins Ave. It reminded me of a Geoff Dyer story, where he wrote,

"We checked in at the Beachcomber, a nice-looking place in the heart of the Art Deco area. That is a pretty meaningless remark, I know. Art Deco, after all, means nice looking, or, more exactly, not as nice as it loooks. Our room at the Beachcomber, for example, did not look quite as nice as the facade of the Beachcomber but it still looked pretty nice. An Art Deco lamp shade bathed the Art Deco sheets in an amber Art Deco glow. When we drew back the curtains the Art Deco spell was broken. The window was cracked, grimy, and the surge of dusty sunlight revealed a damp patch spreading across the carpet from the bathroom wall almost to the centre of the room. Then a mouse raced across the marshy carpet and squeezed, with difficulty, under the skirting board of the cramped and mouldy bathroom. Dazed stood on a chair and, with no trace of emotion, said, 'Eek! A mouse!'

'I'll deal with it,' I said.

'You mean you'll try to get a discount on the room?'


They switch rooms, but "it turns out that we were not the only ones to have changed rooms. The mouse had come too. It was in the wastepaper basket, eating dinner. We preferred to think that it was the same mouse because that was preferable, I said, to admitting the hotel was actually 'a vermin-infested rat hole.'"

In South Beach, Dyer notes, "the hotels - the Art Deco hotels - are the attraction. Effectively, the Art Deco experience is the hotel experience. Staying in hotels is a side effect of wanting to see them. In a place with so many hotels, it is the residents who are the tourists, who are not at home."

To illustrate this point, he concludes the story with a lovely description of "an old woman hobbling through the swarming, tanned bodies of the fit and young, the stoned trancers and tattooed bladers, the gay men all pumped up with protein supplements and power boosts, the pierced, slim, salad-eating women for whom Art Deco was an incentive to display and not a source of shoddy disrepair that could drive you to suicide. I admired the old woman's tenacity, the way she kept going, kept putting one arthritic foot in front of another. As she passed by she lurched suddenly forward - one of her knees must have given way - and almost fell over. She smiled at me when she had regained her balance . . ."

Tonight, somewhere in that fit and young crowd, L. and Janine are salsa dancing, two, if not pierced, at least slim, salad-eating women, flailing bare arms and shaking bare shoulders to Tito Puente, Celia Cruz and Ricky Martin.

I hope they don't find a mouse.

Sunday, June 06, 2004


On June 6, 1944, Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, beginning the World War II invasion of Europe. In 1982, Israeli forces invaded Lebanon to drive PLO fighters out of the country. A federal judge in Fort Lauderdale, ruled on this day in 1990 that the 2 Live Crew album "As Nasty As They Wanna Be" was obscene, although the decision was later overturned on appeal.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Internet Access Restored

From: L.
Sent: Sat 6/5/2004 10:54 AM
Subject: Re: Got a minute? If so, please read.

Just got internet access again -

Will definitely call, write, send up a smoke signal and we'll find mutually convenient time...

Take care --

Friday, June 04, 2004

Adventuring News

MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK, Wash. - Jon Cahill, 40, died Thursday from a 200-foot fall during a recreational climb on Mount Rainier. Rescue climbers and an Oregon National Guard helicopter rushed to reach him, but by the time the helicopter arrived, he was dead. Cahill's climbing partner, Mark H. Anderson, 33, was flown to a hospital for treatment of a hand injury. He was in satisfactory condition late Thursday.

Cahill and Anderson, both emergency medical technicians, had planned to reach the summit by midmorning Thursday. Cahill perished on Liberty Ridge, about 11,300 feet up the 14,410-foot peak and one of the mountain's most dangerous routes, about two weeks after another person perished on the same route. It was not immediately known what caused Cahill's fall.

Mount Rainier head ranger Jill Hawk said Cahill had climbed the Liberty Ridge route on Rainier's north side more than a half dozen times. He was married with four children. "Our hearts go out to their families," she said. "It's truly a tragic situation." Cahill's death during a summit ascent of Mount Rainier was the 91st since 1887, when records were first kept.

On May 15 on the same ridge, Peter Cooley tumbled down a steep, icy slope and hit his head on a rock spur. His climbing partner, Scott Richards, maneuvered the two of them to a tiny flat spot, but the Maine men were stranded for two days as temperatures dipped below freezing in whiteout conditions. Cooley, 39, was picked up by a National Guard helicopter May 17 from the 12,300-foot level but died on the way to a hospital. Accompanied by two rangers, Richards hiked down to a glacier the following day and was picked up by a helicopter.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

A Brief History of Iraq

From: Shokai
Sent: Thu 6/3/2004 10:07 AM
Subject: Re: Got a minute? If so, please read.

Thanks for the replies, L. Yes, I did get the first message, and sorry I didn't reply earlier. I figured since you were out of town for the week, I could take my time in answering. However, one initial response I had to your reply was that although I appreciated your three points of clarification very much (they did help), I was not asking you to account for yourself. You don't have to explain yourself to me - I have to stop trying to read importance into things that simply aren't. Also, I think it would be sad if we went to a "your day" and "my day" arrangement at the zendo. We're not feuding, are we?

I still would like the opportunity to spend some time with you when you get back - to talk, to catch up on things, and to try to "normalize" the situation a little bit. Drop me a line or give me a call when you get back, okay?

Enjoy Miami. I hope you have a great weekend.


From: L.
Sent: Thu 6/3/2004 11:04 AM
Subject: Re: Got a minute? If so, please read.

Thanks for the response Shokai - I appreciate it.

I know you weren't asking me to account for my time, whereabouts, etc...but I also thought that if I did explain my movements, it might give you a little relief (that was my only motive).

I agree I think we can do better than my day your day...but I offered it just for the sake of showing some willingness to coordinate an agreement.

Would be happy to have coffee with you when I get back (though - like I said I made a million arrangements!! But I am sure we'll work something out - just don't want you to think I am avoiding you if I start "hmmmming" over calendars!!)

Take care

You are a great person

From: Shokai
Sent: Thu 6/3/2004 11:44 AM
Subject: Re: Got a minute? If so, please read.

Good. I was hoping that your explanation was provided out of compassion for my confusion and suffering, and as I said, it did help. Thank you.

I understand your schedule is busy, so I will rely on you to let me know when a good time to meet would be - I don't want to keep asking and keep getting shot down. So let me know after you get back, and I recognize that it might be a couple weeks. I'm patient.

"Analogies (to Iraq) with the era of Vietnam and Watergate might have been easy to wave away for those inclined to trust a Bush before a Kennedy. . . Quite a different historical analogy prevails for some Iraqis: the simultaneous, even coordinated, uprising of the Shia and the Sunnis against British forces in 1920, when the League of Nations established the Iraqi state. After three months of fighting, the British prevailed - in the short term. They preserved their imperial perogatives until 1932 and didn't leave until 1958. History is often propelled by violent minorities, and an enraged Iraqi minority, including both Sunnis and Shia, now appears to view the Americans in Iraq as the British of the nineteen-twenties - heavily armed but on the losing side of history."
- David Remnick

In 1920, Iraq was recognized by the peace treaty with Turkey as an independent state under British mandate. During 1920, Great Britain was obliged to use military force to supress disorders, but by 1921 peace was established and Emir Faisal was elected king. Turkish nationalists began to organize raids on the northern frontier in September 1921. A treaty was made with Great Britain and a constitution was adopted. In 1927, a new treaty was made with Great Britain by which independence was recognized and Great Britain promised to urge the admission of Iraq to the League of Nations as an independent state. This was accomplished in 1932.

However, in 1928, the Iraqi government cooperated with the British in sending military forces against the Wahabi tribesmen who had attacked Iraqi frontier tribes. On August 6, 1933, open warfare broke out between the Iraqi army and several hundred Assyrian invaders, and hundreds of Assyrians were reported massacred in northern Iraq. King Faisal died in Switzerland on September 8, 1933, and the Crown Prince was proclaimed King Ghazi. The cabinet initially pledged continued allegiance with Great Britain, but later resigned as King Ghazi refused general elections.

- adapted from "A Reference History of the World, From the Earliest Times to the Present," 1934, Albert Bushnell Hart, LL.D., Emeritus Professor of Government, Harvard University.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The Rolling Saint

From: L.
Sent: Wed 6/2/2004 8:12 PM
Subject: Re: Got a minute? If so, please read.

Hello Shokai -

I sent you a message responding to the one you sent, just letting you know what was going on with me...I am wondering if you got it.

It was a little odd to get the email, sort of out of the blue, and then no response. Makes me think perhaps my message went into the void.

In case you didn't get it, I am in Miami on business, then meeting a girlfriend over the weekend. So I won't be at the sesshin.

Take care

HODAL, India — Barreling down a sizzling-hot road, in a cloud of diesel fumes and dust, Ludkan Baba is on a serious roll. He lies flat on the ground, turning himself over and over like a runaway log, limbs flailing as he bumps across potholes, splashes through mud puddles and falls deeper into a spiritual trance. Like any sadhu, or Hindu ascetic, he undertakes severe penance to liberate his soul from reincarnation's endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Stretched out in the middle of the road, rolling hour after hour, mile after mile through crowds and heavy traffic, he is making his trip to eternal bliss.

But this is no ordinary holy roller. He is also on a mission to bring peace to the world. His devotion, and alms-raising power, has earned him several disciples, many admirers and the title Ludkan Baba — the Rolling Saint. He has rolled thousands of miles in the last 19 years, turning round and round so many millions of times that just pondering the thought can make your head spin.

Yet to the 55-year-old sadhu, the constant turning is refreshing. He says he feels no pain. And except for a few blisters from rolling at high noon along gritty asphalt in 110-degree heat, his taut skin is baby-smooth. When he stands, he is barefoot, around 5 feet tall, with a mop of matted black hair and a long black beard flecked with gray. He doesn't look to be carrying more than an ounce of fat on his body.

As a sadhu, the Rolling Baba is a wanderer who survives on alms. In his quest for moksha, or release from the cycle of reincarnation, he must reject the comforts of ordinary life. But sometimes even a sadhu can't resist a good gadget. One member of the Rolling Baba's small entourage carries a silver clamshell cellphone. So as long as there's a good signal, the Rolling Baba is never out of touch.

He believes God's hand propels him. How else, he asks, could a man spin round and round, along unforgiving ground, for months on end and suffer no injuries? "All I do is put coconut oil on my hair at night, and even that, only when I feel like it," the Rolling Baba said, between draws on a cigarette. "This is the power of nature, the power of the divine."

He was born Mohan Singh in the northern Indian town of Dungarpur, and as a barefoot boy of 12, he rubbed the hands of a dying boy and saved his life, the Rolling Baba said. After performing that miracle, he said, he went to a temple, renounced the world and became a sadhu. In 1973, he said, he entered a cave and stayed there, surviving on grass and water for 12 years, until a divine voice told him to start rolling for peace. His first journey lasted just under 25 miles. On his third trip, in 1994, he rolled about 2,500 miles across India. Today, as he rolls toward Pakistan, the sadhu thinks he might go to Iraq next.

A 17-year-old girl, a disciple whom the Rolling Baba and his entourage call the Young Saint, said she joined his holy journey, or yatra, because she believed the example of his strength through suffering would move the world to be more loving. "He has so much love within him that even streets — the same streets that we walk on and which we consider one of the worst places to lie down upon — become an object of love," the Young Saint said. "Just like a baby rolls on a mother's lap, similarly this man rolls on the streets. So if he can do this, what is it that prevents others from loving each other?"

This is the Rolling Baba's sixth yatra. He is heading toward the Pakistani city of Lahore, where he hopes to meet President Pervez Musharraf and urge him to reach a lasting peace with India. So far, the Rolling Baba doesn't have an appointment. He doesn't have a passport, either, or a visa to cross the border. But those are problems for another day, some 380 miles, several weeks and countless rolls away. "To make passports and obtain a visa is the job of the Indian government," he said. "After all, I am not going there for professional reasons or to further any business interests. I am going there as a messenger of peace. If they want peace, then both nations will give me the chance to carry out my yatra."

The Rolling Baba began his 800-mile journey on Jan. 28 at his home in India's central Madhya Pradesh state. When he reached Hodal, a town 50 miles south of New Delhi, India's capital, on Wednesday, he was roughly halfway to his goal.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004


To: L.
Sent: Tue 6/1/2004 12:19 PM
Subject: Got a minute? If so, please read.

Dear L.,

Hi. I hope that this email finds you well. It's June 1, and even if summer isn't officially here until the solstice, I personally mark the seasons by the beginnings of the months (March, June, September and December). The spring blossoms have dropped, everything is green, green, green, and the kudzu is once again launching its campaign for global domination. In another sign that summer is here, I've been seeing the email announcements for the June sesshin, which in turn, reminds me of you. It was at the June sesshin last year that I first met you, so it has now been one full year since we've met and, amazingly, three months since we've parted. I say "amazingly" because first, despite all the teachings about impermanence, I hadn't really believed that we were ever going to be apart, and second because the time since that parting has gone by incredibly quickly. As I look back over the nine months that we were together, and all that we did and experienced, the last three months feels like so much less than one third of the time that we spent together.

I also saw your email message about switching dates for kitchen duty this month. My paranoid mind immediately jumped to the conclusion that you were doing this to avoid seeing me (I am listed on the schedule for ino duty that morning). I hope that isn't the case. But the mind being what it is, even while I was toying with the idea that you were trying to avoid me, I then started to imagine that you were changing the schedule because you were going off on some fabulous vacation with someone new. Now, while I have begrudgingly grown to accept the fact that by now you probably have met someone else, my mind still had to construct this elaborate fantasy of your trip, and I bothered myself greatly with this idea as I tried to read between the lines of your email.

And with that as background, I have to admit that I didn't go to the zendo last Sunday in large part because I knew, from that same email, that you were going to be there. I didn't go out of town last weekend, and was trying to use the holiday to deepen my practice - I went Friday night and Saturday morning, and as always, opened on Monday evening. But when I got up on Sunday morning and was getting ready to go to the Center, I just didn't feel up to the challenge of seeing you and confronting all of my unresolved feelings, so I changed my mind, put on a pot of coffee, and settled back down while it brewed.

Speaking of Friday night, only Dave and I were there, and before we got started, we were talking about Friday night attendance, and Dave said that there were two or three Friday-night regulars and also matter-of-factly mentioned "Oh, yeah, and L. stopped by for about a half-hour last week." That statement stopped me right in my tracks, because I felt like I had dodged a bullet - I had opened for Dave on Friday two weeks ago and was there that night, and you had showed up the Friday in between those two weeks. And further, as I was sitting, my mind started wondering why you were there for only a half hour. Could it have been, I wondered, that she was looking for me, and left after she saw that I wasn't there? Or was she back from, or off to, a hot date, possibly with the person with whom she was going on vacation? Needless to say, it took a while for my mind to calm down before I could start real zazen, but even then, I nervously kept an eye out to see if you might not come walking in the door at any moment.

This is not good. I shouldn't be avoiding the Center out of anxiety about seeing you, and I certainly hope that you are not doing the same, or switching dates to avoid being "on" at the same time as me. I shouldn't be obsessing while I sit about whether or not you are there, and the possible reasons for your absence or presence. It is interesting to me to observe how the mind lurches from one extreme view to the polar opposite - first, it suspects that you are switching dates because your contempt is so deep you don't even want to be there on the same day as me, and the next minute it imagines that you are showing up on a Friday night just in case of the remote possibility that I might be there. The truth is that you probably come and go on your own free will for a hundred different reasons all totally unrelated to me, and while I recognize this intellectually, part of my ego still can't accept the fact that it isn't all about me, me, me.

So, as you may gather from all of the above, the last three months have not been a particularly easy or good time for me. I have been really struggling with a lot of issues since you've left, including loneliness, depression, self-esteem, self-identity and so on. I don't mean to cry on your shoulder, but for the sake of my practice, I want to get to a point where I can walk in and be equivocal about whether or not you are there, and I hope the same for you for the sake of your practice. I'm not sure how to get to that point. One way, I imagine, is to no longer care about such things and just go on about life completely natural and effortlessly. I'm not yet there in my practice. Another may be to just get on to the next (chapter? phase? person? thing?), so that my focus is elsewhere and your face simply blends in with all of the others at the zendo, but I'm not there in my life yet.

The answer may be more communication. You have gone, almost overnight, from being my best friend, with whom I had at least daily conversation, to an almost entire stranger with an embargo on nearly all contact. Part of my anxiety about last Sunday was, I think, that in the presence of this lack of communication, I am likely to attach huge significance to any message, subliminal or overt, just as I did with the kitchen-duty email or Dave's report that you were there last week. If you went about your business without acknowledging me, I would have been crushed, but if you had rushed over and hugged me, I would have been equally confused. In any event, if I were there on Sunday, could I have even done shikantaza while trying to read some meaning into your every gesture, into even your mere presence?

So all of this may be a long, long way of simply asking if you want to get a cup of coffee or dinner sometime and talk. Don't worry, I have no intention of ambushing you and blaming you for my struggles, or trying to lay a guilt trip on you, or complaining long and tediously about my life. Also, on the other hand, I'm not asking in the hopes of any kind of reconciliation. To be perfectly honest, I will admit that I did still hold out some hope for that through March and April, but by May I came to recognize and accept things for what they are, and have abandoned such fantasies. What I hope for now is a healthier, more natural, post-intimate relationship, which, even if it isn't quite Jerry-and-Elaine, might be better than the present situation. That way, we can see each other, or not, in the rarified and silent atmosphere of the zendo with a more comfortable and relaxed attitude than at present. And who knows? We might even be able to enjoy each other's company.

I imagine that you're probably going to Tampa sometime during this holiday-shortened week, if you're not there now, and I will be attending the June sesshin starting Friday night. So if you are willing to meet and talk with me, and I sincerely hope that you are, I'm not sure when will be a good time for you, but I'm available any night this week, including tonight.

I look forward to hearing back from you.


To: Shokai
Sent: Tue 6/1/2004 5:20 PM
Subject: Hi there Shokai

Ola Shokai -

Thank you for your frank email...I appreciate your candor and courage, as I always have.

Let me clear up a few points -

1. Am not going steady with anyone. Only half-up for dating...putting the energy into cultivating girlfriends and career and other interests. Certainly haven't been involved in any "hot dates". Maybe at some point, but not now.

2. Switched that weekend in June because I am going to the (famous! wonderful!) Iowa Writing Program that weekend and thus can't cook. Although, I was sorry that I would be missing your service on that date, but I felt I needed/wanted to go to the writer's program.

3. I sometimes come on Friday nights before my AA meeting at Emory...which starts at I usually only stay for the first period and then leave for my meeting. Neither avoiding nor manipulating seeing you...just trying to live...

4. I am in Miami on business this week and then meeting my college roommate, Janine, to go salsa dancing and eat cuban food.. just a little escape for the girls to have fun and enjoy each other ( not a romantic situation).

Sure, we could go for coffee, dinner, etc. I have missed you very much. But also, I appreciate your saying that you have been letting go of the idea of a reconciliation.

Long boring story on my return - will be teaching at Emory and taking flamenco in the evenings every night when I return... so, if I am swamped for a few weeks, please don't feel it is a comment on my feelings.. rather, I have scheduled myself silly.

You are a wonderful man. I would welcome a friendly, open way of relating. I have good feelings about you, for you. Or, if you prefer, we could schedule some days are your zendo days, others are mine. Whatever works. I am interested in making peace.