To Stay And To Go


It is morning. I am sitting next to Lama at the Lama House. He is slurping tea with godspeed…and now he’s out the door. Presumable to the temple, to practice. Amen.


I am sitting at the Lama House by myself, listening to music written by a friend across the world (this makes me cry–listen!), and thinking about movement. In slightly variable ways. For instance: As humans, we go places. Three weeks ago, my guitarist friend was sitting next to me with his own bowl of French muesli. Now he’s in LA, maybe eating Pop Tarts while waiting for a visa to India. It is bizarre how we can traverse the Earth these days. It is also natural to move with changing times and seasons and necessities. Weather moves. Animals move. We move.


Also, though, we sometimes decide not to go places. Sometimes, staying put is a new form of movement.

I am the closest I have ever been the Venice Biennale, one of the largest and easily the most esteemed curated art fair in the world. And I’m not going. I thought a lot about it, and talked it over with friends and teachers to double check my decision making.

I used to daydream about the Biennale. When I was a teenager, Ed Ruscha covered an entire room in chocolate wallpaper for his exposition. The decadence! The cultural commentary! The rush of creation and dialogue! I wanted in. Not to mention the canals and cappuccinos and cobblestoned streets under autumn skies.


Those things still interest me. They still seem lovely and rich. But actually, they seem like luxuries. And lately, my heart wants home and simple and stability. Luxury sounds…like something that would be pleasant to save for another day. I used to chase adventure and newness and things outside to shift what is inside of me. Today, it seems right stay put and let what’s inside shift in its own time.


3 thoughts on “To Stay And To Go

  1. Hi Ms. J, waiting for an Indian Visa–that describes me right now! I’m heading to Bodhgaya and then Boudanath, Nepal for 6 weeks on 10/15!! Thinking about doing a blog but it feels a little…out there (read any way you like!). It all started with Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche’s invite to join his annual pilgrimage, plus fall teachings, plus two retreats at caves outside Kathmandu, plus a big gathering of the 84,000 translation project, plus sitting in at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute–my earlier Q, can I even learn a new language at age 52, is being answered “yes.” Also will try to find a use for my Spanish-English translation skills within the Dharma. My future path taking some kind of direction, if not real shape yet, and guess what?! It’s right up my alley!! Haha. How is it all for you in(side) the rain?! XO Jamie

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