“Hey Aussie, what’s wrong with her?”

“Quien, illegal Chihuahua?”

“Her. The Senora. She just looks out the window lost in thought. Or else she sits there looking at the screen. Or else she talks on the phone, but otherwise she’s not doing anything. I bring her my pink-and-orange dragon to throw around and she barely notices. How do you not notice a pink-and-orange dragon?”

“This is her way of being upset, Henry.”

“That’s being upset? What about snarling? Barking? Snapping? What about rushing at the fence, Aussie?”

“The Senora doesn’t do things like that. In fact, the more upset she is, the more she just sits there.”

“Is that because she’s Zen, Aussie?”

“No, it’s because she’s the Senora. Doesn’t cry, doesn’t yell. Today I ran away for much of our morning walk and she didn’t even call my name. The quieter she gets, the more upset she is, Henry.”

“Why is she upset? Because I threw my turtle down the toilet? Because I flung Rosa the Rabbit across the table and her coffee spilled on the floor?”

“I think it’s because something that’s happening far, far away.”

“If it’s far away, who cares, Aussie?”

“Oh, so true, illegal Chihuahua. That’s the strange thing about these humans, Henry. They get upset about the darndest things. Just look at her, walking in the back yard slowly. Does she notice the bright orange leaves on the trees? She does not. Does she start cleaning up the dry leaves on the grass which scratch me all the time? Does she even care that they interfere with my nap? She does not.”

“I don’t think she even made her bed this morning, Aussie.”

“Oh oh. Did she leave clothes lying around?”

“Her ugly made-in-China gray sweatshirt and her warm yellow bathrobe. She left one slipper under the bed.”

“What happened to the other slipper?”

“I stole it. Now look at her, Aussie. She’s staring out towards the sunset. The phone rings but she doesn’t answer.”

“She keeps it open to talk to her family. There’s a war, all her nephews have had to leave home and go to fight, her brother’s talking about getting a gun. The Senora doesn’t know what to do, and you know how much she always likes to do things.”

“Do you think she’s going to go there, Aussie? I hate it when she’s not here, my toys get lonely.”

“I don’t think so, Henry. For one thing, there’s still no sign of the ancient black luggage she’s been lugging around with her for the last 25 years. It’s a bad sign when she brings it up from the basement. Also, on Wednesday she has cataract surgery.”

“You mean, she’s going down a waterfall?”

“I think it’s got something to do with her eyes, Henry. Thank God I have Leeann to walk me that day. What good’s a human that doesn’t walk her dog?”

“No good at all, Aussie.”

“Instead of worrying about other humans far away, she should do right by us, here and now. We’re right here, in front of her face, but she barely notices us. You know what conclusion I draw from that, Henry?”

“What, Aussie”?

“She’s a failure as a Zen teacher. She’s supposed to model equanimity, being upright at all times, peace and calm. Instead, she’s an emotional schmatte.”

“I wouldn’t go that far, Aussie. She hasn’t rushed against the fence yet. But you know what? She didn’t sit this morning on the corner chair of her bedroom.”

“She didn’t sit, Henry? No meditation?”

“Left the blue Indian blanket on the chair alongside the maroon pillow. They haven’t been touched. Usually that’s the first place she goes when she gets up. I scratch and scratch at the door, but she won’t open it till she sat on that corner chair. But today she opened the door right up.”

“Not only a failed teacher, a failed meditator. Wait till I tell the newspapers.”

Hi everyone, Like some of you, I have strong emotional connections to what is transpiring now in Israel and Gaza. I spend lots of time on the phone and am getting the impression that some people would like to talk with others about what they’re going through now: fear, anxiety, anger, and a deep longing for this to end and finally have peace.
Unfortunately, my information is that things will get worse before they get better. This is just the beginning. How to stay upright?
I suggest a gathering of people on Zoom who would like to share their experiences and feelings right now, in the hope that we find in this meeting of hearts support and encouragement. Sharing how we feel helps me not feel alone. I suggest doing this tomorrow, Tuesday, October 10, at 3 pm US Eastern, or on Friday, 10/13, at 3:00 pm US Eastern. Please email back, to, and let me know if any of these interest you and I will send you a Zoom link.
If you yourself have no interest in this, you may know others who do. Feel free to forward this email to them as well.
May all be safe and happy. Eve

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