I sometimes think of Traleg Rinpoche, the incarnated guardian of a Tibetan tradition. I knew him peripherally, met briefly a few times, yet he was generous to a Christian looking in to his world from outside. This good man, highly educated in both Tibetan and Western ways, had a skill of relationship that appears to last beyond death.
I’ve heard it said that the body is the city of illusion, but to us it seems architectural in its solidity. Relationships are cities of illusion also, though to us full of pulsing traffic as in noon sun. What if they are empty, deserted streets of blinded walls? Sometimes we continue holding on to relationships that keep trying to almost not work. These are on the shaded side of life.
The relationships of living to living are not like those of living to dead. Relationships to saints, for example, are intercessory, delimited, mediatory. Relationships to ancestors: protective, intriguing, defining. To the lost and sought: cherishing, appealing, wounding. A thought may be the lightest touch, or an unending stream of emotion — a motion towards another reality — groping toward resolution of outraged love. Seek, then, harmonious, well-tempered relationships: we have only so much time.