for Ben and Ted
behind the convent
where you used to sing
my heart melts thinking of you
my teachers, my brothers, my friends . . .
may you be well . . .
may all being know how to love and be loved . . .
I recently learned that my friend Ben was seriously ill. He and Ted had moved away some time ago and I had not been in touch for quite some time. They had both been important mentors when I first began going to Boston Old Path Sangha, not only as friends and brothers in the practice, but as luminous examples of how to love well and be loved . . .
I decided to plant a goddess in their honor near where they lived on Fort Hill. The ideal place seemed to be behind St. Margaret's Convent, near their former house and where they loved to sing with the nuns. When I arrived I found that the garden was inaccessible, but I climbed up next to the fence and placed this goddess . . . one who seems to be soaring . . . in a tree that I could reach through the fence. Unfortunately she fell and lost both her arms. I decided to take this as an example of her indominatable spirit and ability to overcome adversity . . . and replanted her at the foot of the same tree . . . without arms, bloody but unbowed, and still soaring . . .