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December 09 Contents

Street RetreatA 4-day retreat on the streets of Manhattan
Two Poems"The Way" and "Beside Me"
Avalokiteshvara's ArmAvalokiteshvara's Missing ArmA broken statue
Poet Anne Waldman"While I'm Here I'll Do the Work"Interview with poet Anne Waldman
Winter HaikuThree poems
Musho's TeahousePainting

What is it like to be helpless ... to beg ... to be homeless?  If we look honestly at our lives, we recognize that the answer to this question is always right in front of us, no matter how much we'd prefer to think otherwise.  I think that we are all helpless, all the time.  We are all begging, all the time.  We are all homeless, all the time.  Put another way, there are very few things that truly matter in life ... and we don't control any of those things.  Instead, we live at the mercy of forces larger than ourselves, completely exposed even as we pretend to have it all neatly contained, under control.

Pigeons
Photo: A. Jesse Jiryu Davis

The inescapable reality of my own helplessness is rolling around in my head in the wake of two very different episodes of exposure, of deprivation.  The first episode was my three days and nights living on the streets of New York, closely followed by two weeks during which I was confined to an apartment while recovering from surgery.  These very different experiences, far from existing separately in parallel universes, overlapped and echoed one another in unexpected ways.


Read Bokushu's "On Being at Home" in full on his blog.

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