Thursday 24 June 2021


Dear Popsy,

I think it’s the full moon. It looks round and huge and yellow and all the better poetic words that escape me now because you are tucked up in hospital and I am here. I  took a picture which utterly failed to capture the moon, but a shaft of moonlight created an interesting axis, and I thought it looked like a planet, a galaxy, a reminder there is so much more out there that we can't see. 

Boy have I had a busy day. Yesterday’s laundry took ages to dry but I finally ironed all your Cotton Trader tops while listening to our beloved Marian Keyes on a podcast I love. It’s called GriefCast. And it honours those we have loved. Marian lost her father two years ago and the tears were in her throat and nose and laughter as she recalled the hours, the minutes, the funny and heart aching details. Some people are wonderful and we are so lucky to walk the Earth with them. IRT. In Real Time. I made that acronym up.

Pops, I cooked and then I cut up some mangoes for you. Sadly not Alphonso. And then I even taught Sister Tàn Viên English for an hour. She and Sister Linh Bào have written down your formal name and your informal name and will be sending Dr Tayabali (and Chotu) healing energy during the evening sitting meditation. Chanting your name. Lucky you. Lucky us. 

A butterfly got trapped in the conservatory last night, so this afternoon I tried to coax her out of the open windows. But I don’t know butterfly language very well. She came and sat on my dress instead. It’s a new dress, Pops. I bought it with my writing money - just as Sue recommended. Buy yourself a pretty new dress, she said. And it wasn’t that hard to obey! 100% cotton, embroidered. Made in India. By the Daughters of India. 

Clever you for diagnosing your own gallbladder infection. And for being amenable to getting the paramedics back in to whisk you off to A&E. Clever you for doing your exercises so diligently throughout covid so that you can rest deeply now and be sure you are strong enough when the time comes for you to sit up and walk and return to your garden. Which, I’ll have you know, I have watered and done mindful walking meditation in - my Buddhist retreat is still helping me so much now that I am alone and yet not alone. Do you remember my walking poem for Thich Nhat Hanh? I wrote it after he had his stroke. I read it to my sangha a few days ago. 

I hope the fevers start to subside. I hope the antibiotics do their good work. I hope your gallbladder heals nicely and Perveen can be at ease in heart and mind once more.

Love you, my Popsy, my Pops, best of the best,