People have been coming to visit, sometimes spontaneously but usually arranged in my calendar. I have been in a mood to talk, and conversation has often been inspiring because of the circumstances. A couple of people – Candradasa of FreeBuddhistAudio, and Padmamati of ‘The Bureau of Lost Culture’, who will be MC at my funeral, have done in depth interviews. I have throughly enjoyed these communications. However of course for an introvert there are side effects to all encounters with others, just as there are with the drugs I am taking. 

Indeed my care team have tricky skilful means up their sleeves, and several items are given me for their side effects only. And after a week of high instability juggling medication for my hypercalcaemia, constipation and extreme nausea, we seem to be settling on a combination of chemicals that allow me to eat and drink more easily. For now anyway!  And so far I’m not taking any opiates at all, so it’s not the drugs that are talking here.

The physical and mental instability that the excitement of personal visits induces seems to be the next bridge to cross. I want to cross over into a space where I can really reflect and look directly into what is happening. And I am starting to recognise that I can’t see two people a day. Maybe not even one. 

If I hadn’t been diagnosed with this cancer, I would currently be on solitary retreat in Lokabandhu’s horse box abutting Glastonbury Tor, in his huge wild field with outside fire and its waist-high grasses, fruit trees and pathways you have to cut your way into. I haven’t been alone for a very long time and I long for solitude. It is my way, even in company. And I’m not going to get any, literally anyway, until the Big Day (which I imagine may entail a kind of solitude, but we’ll see). And that’s really OK now, but the message I am receiving from the various dakinis (so to speak) who concern themselves with my spiritual welfare are saying – get alone more, meditate more, think and reflect more. So that is the next thing! 

I know that what I need is achievable. It’s only a “certain measure” of solitude, in my day, that’s all I need. My dear wife Yashobodhi Is close to me, and her company I  much appreciate.  In conversation it means that I am not imprisoned by the narrowness of my own ideas, because she has a different point of view every time.