Friday, August 24, 2007
Calling the Lama from afar...
Photos copyright: Leighton Cooke 2007
...I come from the land of song, so I was happy and proud to be present yesterday evening when Claron McFadden received the Amsterdam Culture Prize in the Musiekgebouw aan 't Ij on the city's waterfront. Claron sang, with Aleksandra Anisimowicz, the duet "I' mi son Giovinetta" by Luzzasco Luzzaschi which was, for me, the high spot of the evening. Alessandro Pianu played harpsichord. Afterwards we talked about music, her native city of New York and our mutual love of Mozart. Claron reaches out beyond the classical medium to embrace dance and many different aspects of the performing arts. She also loves children and Rebeka was captivated by the opportunity to meet a real star. Me too. It was an evening I'll never forget and a fitting finale to my years in Amsterdam. As I prepare to return to the hills of Wales I'm more than a little sad about the dear friends I'll leave behind. For a long time I've been calling my Lama from afar and now he has answered. Nothing is more precious than the chance to be with a great spiritual friend who can lead you out of confusion. I remember an afternoon with Geshe-la many years ago in Bromley, near London. It was one of those timeless moments when you simply know that the heart has no limits. Geshe Damchos teaches with laughter, the best medicine of all. Now many years later those seeds are ripening as this evening I listen to a beautiful solo Tibetan chant of Om Mani Padme Hung Hri. One day Tibet will be free and its people will know no more fear or suffering. Till that day comes we shall sing our songs of the heart, wishing to return to those we love. I am very fortunate to be going home and I wish that everyone who this night is separate from their home and those that they love finds their way back.