I had my little brother to stay this week, and didn't get time for things like blog writing. There were other things to be done: motorcycle shops to be visited and sofas to be sat on and words to be spoken. Lots and lots of words. Since I have been ill, all my brothers have come to see me, and my sister too for that matter, and all in their own way have brought me something to move me along the path of wholeness. I'm not sure that it was planned that way, but all my familial visits seemed to bring the right person to me at the right time. Now, the radiotherapy has only another week to run: I am nearly out the other side of this process and am feeling ridiculously fit and well. In about two months time there will be another blood test and it will tell me whether the deep fryer has dealt to this thing for good or whether there are several more exciting chapters in the cancer story to unfold over the next few years. Either way, I'm not unduly worried and it was helpful to see Murray as I move back out of the shadows and into the light again.
Guhyavajra (Murray) is two years younger than me, and as we shared most closely the experiences of childhood, we have a deeply and finely honed mutual understanding. He has been living in the UK for years now, so he's a fund of useful information about travelling there and to Europe. More importantly, over the years there has been a strange parallelism in our spiritual lives. He is Buddhist and has spent most of his adult life serving in and with a spiritual community.It's interesting how similarly churches and Buddhist men's communities operate. Over many years of conversation we have tested out the boundaries of Christianity and Buddhism, and we know where we agree and where we differ with equal clarity. Consequently, I find him far safer to talk to than most Christians. About ten minutes into a conversation with Christians, and most are either treating me as some sort of guru or are wanting to correct and/or save me. In Christian company I usually have to measure what I say; with Guhyavajra I can say what I bloody well like and know it will be thoughfully and honestly and intelligently reflected back to me without fear and without judgement. So we spoke of our shared childhood and the adolescence where our paths began to markedly differ. We spoke of the challenging but joyous present and the uncertain future. We pontificated about the nature of reality and the meaning of the universe. And then, too soon, he was gone.
I'll see him in June when we will stay with him in Norwich and where the conversation no doubt will pick up where it left off, as it has done so many times in the last few decades. And for him, and for Alistair and Val and Stuart I return thanks to the Father from whom every family on heaven and on earth takes its name.