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Sandra Cisneros sitting on the front porch of her home in San Antonio, Texas. 

Sandra Cisneros sitting on the front porch of her home in San Antonio, Texas. 

San Antonio, Texas

April 14, 2011


Dear Friends,

What to do with this grief today? I don't know what good is sadness unless we stand still with it, hold it under the tongue, savor it, and say to ourselves, "Here I am, if I had any doubt at all, here I am."

I swept the newspaper scraps and seeds under the parrot's cage this morning, and asked myself, "What to do with this grief?" The books of Buddhism hold that we can transform these arrows into flowers if we explore how they open us to spiritual growth. But I can't see spiritual growth right now. I can practice non-attachment, and the thoughts of letting go of everything I love overwhelms like a tsunami of sorrow.

The world is bubbling over like pots of boiled milk. I don't suppose it matters much my small sorrows. I had wanted to write about the amazing visit to China, or my epiphany in San Miguel de Allende. But I cannot write about joy today.

Today I can look at each of my dogs and imagine my life without each. Today I can hold up my sadness and plunge it in my mouth like a sword swallower for the amusement and astonishment of strangers. Today I need to bathe two dogs in the garden that is overwhelmed with larkspur and roses and the heavy scent of jasmine. It is spring in Texas. My heart is open wide.