My Note to a Friend -
I too have learned much. Mostly that it is only love that matters, and how screwed up is modern man that this simple basic understanding is "hard." The "waypoint" check on my own level of consciousness is not a pleasing sight in the "mirror."
Talking on the phone with Lincoln Tritt in Arctic Village brings a lot of it into better focus. Just even listening to his voice, you start to slow down...
He speaks of going without money for 12 years, of not having enough to eat, of cutting wood for his mother's stove (she's in her 80's), of seeing her every day and of how "precious is every moment in her presence."
I think about my mother dying alone in a hotel room, and of how "our" culture (brackets because this one is not in my hands) - - as seen while with Hospice -- currently treats our aged relatives: just send in the check to the nursing home every month...
I remember the Chief at Tanacross (Andrew Isaac) , "Why do you people keep trying to put more water in the bucket when it is already full? Why do you need all this stuff? What are you going to take with when you die?"
And here is an entry from my journal along the Saryu River:
"Nothing that causes another pain is worth the having
Nothing that diminishes another is of any value
Nothing won at the expense of another is workable
No happiness that causes another loss is worthy." ~ Robert Johnson