“Oh no, you’re leaving home again?”

“It’s a retreat, Stanley. I’m going to sit for 3 days.”

“Why can’t you sit here? Why do you have to leave us behind? Chasing squirrels with me isn’t enough for you?”

“I’m not sitting alone, Stanley, I’m sitting with a group of folks. We do the retreat together. Beside, you don’t chase squirrels anymore, you’re too old and cranky.”

“But do you see me running away from being old and cranky? No. I’m ok with being old. I’m OK with being stiff. I’m okay with being all deaf and half-blind. I’m even okay with being cranky.”

“Stanley, I’m doing a retreat with other people. We’re like a family, we’ve sat together for a long time.”

“The Man and I are your family.”

“They are, too, Stan.”

“A second family? Personally, I think one’s too much.”

“It’s true, Stan, you and Bernie are a handful.”

“So you do a retreat to be with more people?”

“I’m with people but I’m also alone, Stanley, know what I mean?”


“The man who founded Buddhism left his family, too, Stanley.”

“Why does that not surprise me?”

“He had a wife and a son, a father and stepmother, and lots of servants, Stan.”

“Any dogs?”

“The sutras don’t say. He was trying to understand what life is all about, Stan.”

“If he had dogs he’d have known. Did he come up with an answer?”

“Yes, Stanley, he said that life is suffering.”

“Do you think he’d have come up with that answer if he’d stayed home with his dogs?”

“No, Stanley, I don’t think that would have been his answer had he stayed home with his dogs.”


The blog closes down for retreat, not to reopen till Monday. Unless Stanley decides otherwise.