There is something dying in the cemetery. Not something that died a long time ago, but something that is dying now. Every time I drive down the hill from my house I see the monstrously tall orange metal crane taking out living beings that have been there so long a time.
I called, like many others and was told “We are taking them out because they are not indigenous. They are not good for native life in California”. At what point does something become indigenous i wondered. There was no use arguing with him. My phone call had been passed from the Hispanic woman who answered it, to another woman and finally to this slick gentleman who claimed they were not harming the habitat. “What about all the wild turkeys on the road now, the deer looking lost, the young ones, jumping here and there?” There was no use arguing with him. He told me there was no owl in the tree, like people say. The cemetery is privately owned. It is our neighborhood but it is his Cemetery.
Then I realized what his cemetery wants. It wants to keep us out. No more walking there with our dogs, no more random aimless teenagers killing time. No more people walking quietly after they pass through the hole in the chain link fence. We walked practically hidden on crumbling cracked cement pathways covered with fallen Eucalyptus leaves amid the fallen over cement tombstone.
“This is the unendowed part of the cemetery”, he says, like i don’t know that. The Hearst Family mausoleum designed by Julia Morgan is on the other side of the hill.
My sister, my father, my mother and some of my friends are buried in the ground. I have never visited any of the graves after the funeral. I have never for a moment thought they were there. They are not there. The stone is. The grass is. The birds are. The trees were.


I go to glaze pottery for Amma. The ashram in California is planting trees. Tens of thousands of them; like everything her organization does: be it hospitals, schools, homes for disaster relief victims etc etc etc.

Making art and then giving it away, leaving it there as I drive off is very liberating. I do my best and leave. There is no exhibition to worry about, no sales to hope for. I have a bit of a hope (as I stand in the balcony watching next month when Amma is here) to see someone in the line to be hugged, who has bought my pot with it’s seedling in it, taking it to Amma, who will hold it for a moment and then pass it on to someone else who will also pass it on and eventually it will be planted.

The seedling is the important thing, the glazed pot is just the carrier. I don’t even know what happens to it in the end. Perhaps it gets broken to release the grown seedling, which is, of course, no longer a seedling.

As I am glazing pots, I am talking to a woman also glazing pots. At one point in the conversation, she refers to the divine plan; as in one can’t argue with it or control it much. I tell her, not without sadness, that I don’t much believe in the divine plan anymore. I used to but…
This is received by understandable silence. I think of a New Yorker cartoon I saw a couple months ago where the person is sobbing, head down on the desk, the caption reading , “There is no Santa Claus, no Easter Bunny and no God!”

Still, I don’t think it’s quite as simple as that.