The Expected “Wind Storm”

It is very cold tonight.  All day, self expected something that was referred to on the news as a “wind storm.”  She thought she heard something about 70 mph winds.

She met Connie for lunch at Stanford, and the sky was so incredibly blue.  A large group of men and women in gray and black suits stood at the bottom of the Oval, probably waiting for a bus to take them on some further exploration of the Palo Alto business environment.

Now and then, Connie and self would look up at the tops of the giant palm trees, whose branches were swaying, but only ever so slightly —  nothing at all out of the ordinary.

Later, self kept an appointment with her eye doctor, whose office is on Hamilton Street in downtown Palo Alto.  She noticed (which shocked her, frankly) that his hair had gone completely white.  Suddenly, in the middle of the eye exam, self blurted out:  “You’re not thinking of retiring, are you?”  And he told her the inevitable:  that he was, yes, and in fact had already chosen his replacement, a young man who would gradually take over the practice.

“Is he white, or what?” self asked (She doesn’t know why this particular point was important.  Her eye doctor’s name is Dr. Chin)

“No,” her doctor answered.  “He’s Chinese.  In fact, he’s very much like me.  That’s why I chose him.”

“And where’s he from?” self asked, wondering why she was subjecting poor Dr. Chin to all these questions.

“He’s from Cupertino,” Dr. Chin replied.

“Well, Dr. Chin,” self said.  “I can entrust no one else with my eyes.  You know, I’m a writer.  My eyes are very important to me!”

Who else can she trust to tell her, as Dr. Chin did today, that her eyes have fatty deposits that can be corrected if she wears shades more often (She looks terrible in shades:  Vanity, thy name is self!) and starts taking 1000 milligrams of fish oil every day?  Self gave a few desultory glances to a rack of Giorgio Armani specimens, above which was a photograph of Matt Damon wearing shades.  After she saw the price stickers, she quickly returned the shades to the rack:  the cheapest was $260.

Then self went home and ate her dinner while standing up at the kitchen counter and looking over the latest newsletter from the Stanford Center for East Asian Studies.  She saw that tomorrow there is a lecture, “Teachings From the Forest Tradition,” by Venerable Bhikkhu Pasanno, of Abhayagiri.  Self has to look up “Abhayagiri.”  The website describes it as “a Buddhist monastery in the tradition of Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedho and Amaravati Buddhist Monastery.”  She still has no idea where this monastery is, but certainly it is not in India.

Their website has a Featured Books section, which includes titles like Rude Awakenings:  A Pilgrimage on Foot to the Buddhist Holy Places, described as “half raucous adventure and half inspirational memoir,” and Mara and the Mangala, described as “26 chapters released on the occasion of Ajahn Amaro’s departure.”  Hmm, self decides to bookmark the website.  Someone in Bacolod told self she should consider becoming a nun.  She could, conceivably, live all day chanting in a forest.  That might not be a bad way to live out her final years.

Has self already imparted to dear blog readers how very thrilled she is to be going on her first trip to India, in January?  She sees that the lecture is free and open to the public.  It will be in the Common Room of The Circle Sanctuary, on the 3rd floor of Old Union, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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