Anyone who knew me at Tassajara probably remembers I had some difficulty sitting low on anything, which is why, by the time I left, I sat on a chair in the zendo. However, in the summers, on my days off, I could often be found on a chair on the lawn in front of the Stone Office under the trees, with my nose in a book. Or on the deck of the swimming pool, reading or writing. And yes, I did have red shoes the summer I drew this picture - red Keds, just like I had when I was five years old. They even had the white rubber toe area. Was it a pain having to tie and untie them? You bet. But I loved them. And just like when I was five years old, I wore them until they literally had holes in them.
Please be sure to notice the squirrel in the picture - yes Leslie, I still think they're cute! At Tassajara they knew no one would hurt them, and I once had one jump onto my leg and put its little front paws on my arm as I read. It looked up into my face as if to say, "Don't you have a treat for me?" When I said hello, the sound of my voice sent it flying off to scamper across the lawn and into a tree.
At the retreat, I'd asked Adyashanti how buddha could be willing to see the clown. His answer had to do with love and self-compassion, things about which I still had a lot to learn.
In a sense, you could say my playing with art and poetry is a form of love and self-compassion. They give me a way to explore the world without needing to justify their existence. They are play, and a treasure trove of delight.
Take a few minutes to find your own way to play today...
Carol (Doc) Dougherty
An avid reader, writer, and student, with a penchant for horse racing, Shakespeare, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Wake Up and Write Writer's Retreat Workshop