Open from 2-6 pm today
729 Park (Park and Mill) , SLO
July 14, 1937 – June 2, 2018
The Bodhisattvas, they walk among us,
and sometimes we lend ourselves and they become us.
The hand of spirit is the hand you raise
when you weave the strands of your nights and days.
Charlo Vogt, Weave your Reality
Bobbe Scott was the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known.
She was radiant, she was impossibly energetic, she faced life with endless grace. Her laugh was contagious, her smile delightful, and she was always beautifully dressed, right down to the rings on her arthritis-gnarled, stubby fingers. Bobbe’s eulogies should overflow with admiration for the many ways she dealt with that arthritis.
Bobbe was wise and funny, as all the best Buddhists are. She loved life and the arts, Los Angeles and New York. She was perpetually of service to others, and graciously asked for and received the care of others when necessary. When I sat in a room in meditation with Bobbe, I would be drawn to a level of serenity that I rarely reach on my own.
Bobbe was a dear, dear friend and mentor to me, precious beyond words. She made me feel deeply known and profoundly loved. Our relationship was intimate and authentic.
And I am one of many people who feel this way. Bobbe loved us all.
In my notes from one of the One Year to Live classes Bobbe taught at SLO hospice, I found this page. It’s from the session on end-of-life paperwork, during which we discussed assisted dying.
“If I can’t enjoy a good meal, if I can’t remember what I ate yesterday, if I can’t get to the Palm Theatre, put me out.”
The next year, she put it more simply, “If I’m more disabled than I am now, that’ll be it.”
And she chose to leave as gracefully as she lived.
The current state of the pallet.
We’re experimenting with what to take and what to leave behind, and piling up various configurations of it on the driveway. Pretty soon we’ll have a good enough idea of how and what will fit and the pile will move indoors.
Since my project is called Two Suitcases, I took the idea of moving to France with two suitcases pretty seriously. Well, with two suitcases apiece. Eventually it came to me that, though it would offer me to opportunity to partially replicate my parents’ arrival in the same part of the world in 1940, it was a thoroughly romantic – and therefore impractical – notion. We shifted our thinking to shipping one pallet of boxes.
Right now the boxes making the cut contain: the library I’ve collected to use as background material for Two Suitcases, a few boxes of my papers and other books, some of Tom’s papers and books, framed photos of the family, art, kitchen things, winter clothes, and some items to make our new home feel like our old one. Carpets, my computer, Tom’s keyboard, and more art will be shipped separately.
Most of my days are filled with sorting and packing. This box has our favorite mugs at the bottom, some delicate pieces of art and glass in the middle, and at the top, some of the birds that lived in our houseplants or flew around the ceilings in our home here.
At its center, packed very carefully, is the crystal bell my father bought my mother with his first paycheck in 1943, less than a year after they arrived in Philadelphia. He always said he bought it to remind her of what is important.
Our journey to Cordes-sur-Ciel began as an open-ended exploration about a year ago when I realized I could get dual Austrian-American citizenship, EU citizenship, opening the possibility of living anywhere in the European Union.
At first Tom and I imagined we would go to Luçon, the small city on the Atlantic coast of France, near to my guru family at Centre Tripoura. We’ve been going to visit them since the 80’s. But when I heard the mayor of Luçon say that his main vision for the town was to keep it French, I began looking elsewhere.
We considered Montauban next. My parents were there for a few months in 1940, after the exodus from Paris. Through the collaborative efforts the Austrian Social Democratic Party, the Philadelphia Quakers, and the French Resistance, they went into hiding nearby for two and a half years. Then, sponsored by the Quakers, they came to Philadelphia where I was born. I thought we would take a furnished apartment in Montauban for a few months, do some research on that very interesting collaboration, and then move on. We found a lovely apartment in Montauban right away, but it was only available for a full year, September to September, longer than we wanted to spend there. In the end, Montauban didn’t call us.
As luck would have it, we had one night with no place to sleep scheduled, so we stayed at Le Secret du Chat, on the same street as the house. The proprietors there were able to answer so many questions!