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A comment in Readers' Comments

10/19/99--An exchange with Robert Halpern about Suzuki-roshi or Suzuki Roshi and a poem from him as well.

First, a suggestion:

Why not change from Suzuki-roshi to Suzuki Roshi?

Because I like to write it "Suzuki-roshi" though "Suzuki Roshi is fine too. Either will do. Does anyone else have a thought on this?--DC

To which Robert responded (showing how many ways that Suzuki was addressed back then):

David, many a time I heard Philip Wilson talk to Roshi (or did he talk to -roshi?) something like this: "Rev. Suzuki, would you like the rock put here, or over there, Sensei? Oh, all right, Roshi, yes it does look better here, yes it looks great this way, Rev. Suzuki" I'm sure you remember those adorable interchanges. Probably Philip would agree with you about the interchangeability of Suzuki Roshi and Suzuki-roshi. For me, Suzuki-roshi reminds me of Rev. Suzuki simply because they're both old-fashioned. Because you said either will do, I'd like to suggest you stick with Suzuki Roshi on I looked at Zen Center's web site and found that they use both, which doesn't make sense to me.

Speaking of sense, upon seeing last night's poem, I think I've lost my last marbles. I just noticed, while looking at Zen Center's web site that Daya Goldschlag [DC's first wife] gives workshops there -- it makes me very happy that Kelly has two functional, communicative and cooperative parents -- I'm proud and jealous of you and Daya.

Did you see Kobun in Europe? If so, I hope you found him healthy and happy -- which is also how I hope you and yours are. Robert

Thanks for the kind words. Maybe I should use "Roshi." And as I mentioned in my brief Europe reports in Digressions, I was with Kobun and Vanya in Zurich and at Octoberfest in Munich.--DC

More from Robert: Having just looked at Digressions, I see I overlooked that you and Kobun survived the five loop roller coaster -- I agree -- proof positive that you're both healthy and happy.

Incidentally, that ZC site is looking good. And it's got some good links too.--DC 

And now, a poem received today from Robert:

David, I was so moved and intimidated by what you said about Kelroy, the baby and the bum that I decided to write a poem. I've never written one until just now. Here's my first. I hope you like it [I sent Robert some sort of free-associating comment about my late father in response to something he had said.--DC]

I have been living in the past 
I have been floating in the dark past 
I have been pushed into the world by the past 
the past is my mother 
the past nourishes 
the past guides 
the future is bright 
the future strengthens me 
the future, the past's lover, welcomes me 
I will live in the future 
I will meet my father in the future 
I will see this beautiful world in the bright future 
now I celebrate the umpteenth anniversary of my parents 
now I touch the past and see the future 
now I thank my wonderful parents 
lively daughter of the land 
lovely child of the sky 
lonely distant cousin 
sit with me by this tree 
sit with me as we feast in comfort 
sit with me touching the earth and seeing the sky

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