> jumping into life.

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At beliefnet.com, they peg me as Unitarian Universalist. Unsurprising, that: my granddad was a UU minister, and while my family never much went to church, something of the feel of the tradition steeped into me. (They put Therevada Buddhism a bit farther down the list; Zen wasn't there at all.)

Yesterday I went to church. The minister spoke of love and forgiveness, quoting Dostoevsky. Bright winter sun through the windows, a baby in the pew in front of me, smiling. For the whole hour I smiled back. Afterwards we went to a brunch potluck at a bigwindowed house by the graveyard. It made me think of Prescott, all food and good conversation. I miss the desert. I miss Zen. I miss the rain. The quiet magic of the snow does not fill my desire for thunder. I find myself falling into poetry again. I finally found the poem that Paul read to us all practice period, the poem that haunted me for months but whose author I didn't know. It is Nazim Hikmet, and the poem is this:

It's no crime to be Romeo or Juliet,
it's not a crime even to die for love;
what counts is whether you can be a Romeo or Juliet-
I mean, it's all a matter of your heart.

For instance, fighting at the barricades
or going off to explore the North Pole
or testing a serum in your veins-
would it be a crime to die?

It's no crime to be Romeo or Juliet,
It's not a crime even to die for love.

You fall head over heels in love with the world,
but it doesn't even know you're alive.
You don't want to leave the world,
but it will leave you-
I mean, just because you love apples,
does an apple have to love you back?
I mean, if Juliet stopped loving Romeo
-or if she'd never loved him-
would Romeo be any less Romeo?

It's no crime to be Romeo or Juliet,
it's not a crime even to die for love.