Today I received the above letter. There are two things it didn't mention, despite its bullying, threatening tone:
What I find the most obnoxious about their form letter is that it's clearly aimed at scaring vulnerable people — elderly, immigrants, anyone who doesn't know their legal rights — and is one more reason to boycott the BBC, or refuse to pay for its programmes.
The Zen poet Joanne Kyger has died at 82. As a young man, I was haunted by her image, and by these words:
Nobody knows what they want. They
"On the edge of the park was a statue of a soldier on a horse. As the rain swept over him in the lonely orange streetlights, he looked like he was doggedly trying to get somewhere, riding hard against the weather. I stood and looked at him for a while, him frozen in time, forever trying to leave the place behind and reach a place ahead."
— The Book of Man
Someone asked in an email:
"Is what happens in Kelvingrove Park at the end of The Book of Man a description of Kensho?"
It's a description of one Kensho, as experienced by one person.
I heard from someone who read Of Darkness and Light after finding it in the Glasgow mental hospital where she was involuntarily committed. I would be lying if I denied that this caused me to indulge in the sin of pride.
I'm glad to hear that Nicola Sturgeon has called for another referendum on Scottish independence. There are some who thought she should wait another five years or so, to give the elderly people who voted no in the last referendum time to die, but I think any such delay would have divided her supporters — and, considering what's going on in the U.K., I don't think we have the luxury of time to wait.
In the catastrophic event of Scotland voting a second time to stay in the U.K., I worry that Sturgeon might step down as First Minister, when she's badly needed in Scotland and in Europe.
People outside of the U.S. often have an idea of it as being more technologically advanced than it really is. I had heard that Internet in the U.K. was much faster than in the U.S., but I didn't realise how much faster. For the first few days after getting an Internet connection at my new flat in Glasgow, I was like a kid with a new toy, marvelling at how fast I could browse, and at the quality of video streaming.
I'm looking forward to trying dokusan with my U.S. students by video.
It's been almost three weeks since I arrived in Glasgow. I'm living in three cities: one I remember, one I don't yet know, and one I brought in my imagination.
Today is the first anniversary of the death of my cat Maggie, constant companion for 19 years. That day, I was writing my final column for The Big Click, and, of course, Maggie became part of it:
NOTHING LASTS: A NOIR MANDALA