So why, pray tell, does my gender even matter, it isn’t like we will ever. meet, and let’s face it, there is a fluidity now which calls binary thinking absurd, so we’ll go with whatever you choose, so long as you realize I am all about compassion and relieving the world’s suffering – thought that might color your opinion a bit, good you got the yin of it
And let’s talk about the whole name thing, I mean, sure, it changes when you change languages, I’m okay with that, I guess but if you are going to use me in Japan why not use my Japanese name, I am particularly fond of Kannon, I’m down with Guanyin, used that one all over Asia, but seriously do you really think I want to go around these days as Avalokiteśvara, I’m centuries old, so show me A bit more compassion than that.
There is a reason for this as there is is a reason for most things whether we like it or not, I tell my son. He gives me that smile that says “I do not agree at all with that, but you are my father, and so I won’t disagree,” but I know he means this only as a Japanese hai, yes, I understand, but I will take it as hai, I agree. I don’t speak Japanese, neither does my son, but we both know that if we were right now in France the one thing he wouldn’t be saying is d’accord, father or no.
He says that in his prior life, this being second he knows of, he was Japanese, although he did have a cousin in China, but he doesn’t know his name anymore. He wasn’t there for the war with Okinawa, but he knows that karate was developed then, and it’s why, in this life he studies karate, because it’s part of his heritage. He says he has many more stories to tell of his prior life, he remembers it quite well, but that’s all he will tell us today, for a six-year-old needs to dole out stories slowly.
She said “now what they’ve taken away limbo” sounding a bit depressed, “not that you proceed express to the ferry dock, but that was a snap, all you were carefully taught is suddenly wrong or irrelevant. “It would be like Isaac,” I say, “climbing Mount Moriah with Abraham finding a ram tethered to a waiting altar.” My mother wants to know how I can claim to be once Jewish as though the moyel also took my freedom of religion. “We have no hell” she reminds me “at least after death.” I silently respond and try to tell her that I still don’t have a hell, at least not as she conceives it. “But I read,” she says, “the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and hell is very, very real.” I tell her my Buddhism is Chinese through a fine Japanese filter and it is the next life in which I will pay for this one. She says “I wouldn’t want to come back again,” and on that point we find the beginnings of common ground.