Woman with Bird


© by Yao Xiang Shakya.

I remember a woman who would come and sit with us during sesshins.
I never spoke to her but knew a little about her story.
She was dying of liver cancer.
Her sitting was unbounded while she waited for a liver transplant.
She was quite beautiful and fashionable.
Her husband of many years left her.
During sesshins she would sit wrapped in layers of warm blankets,
Very chic, the latest thing.
There was a deepness to her and a fear.
I often saw her holding a homing bird with the tips of her fingers.
Blood often seeped along the edges of her mouth.
It was dark and I imagined it was the color of her heart.
She was captivating.
It didn't seem to be about the death or the cancer,but something else.
As though the immersion was all around her from birth.
She was rapt in unstoppable power.