I think my task now is to go back home, and fully inhabit it. Not to go flitting off on pilgrimages, crossing strange streams and collecting curiosities. Not to set out to found a Utopia in some far away, unspoiled (until I got there) place.
No, to inhabit this place, right here, among these people, where we find ourselves now: not because we are perfect, but because we are here. To paint our own houses and plant our own gardens and help our own neighbors. To deal with our own maddening people; to sort through our own garbage. I do not want to live cloistered, in any way. I want to open my heart here, in these dingy, despairing suburbs, under these skies roped with power lines, among these scattered, straggling douglas firs -- these stunned survivors of destroyed forests. Just here.
I of all people to say this! -- I who have been so good at running and hiding. But it is the remedial class that needs to study hardest. When Martha said, "what good is Buddhism if Buddhists behave like this?" -- she says it was terribly useful to her that I said, remember, you come to a church or a temple, not because you're spiritually healthy, but because you're spiritually wounded, because you have a sense of just how bad it is. This isn't the advanced spiritual class, it's the make-up class. These people came together out of their sense of lack, out of their sense of missing something.
Likewise. Not because I know how to stay at home, but precisely because I don't.