hELLo, dalai!

I met the Dali in 1992 in Darmasala, India, after traveling across Tibet. One of the women in our group was a devotee and he liked to meet personally with groups that had recently traveled through his homeland.  I was wearing a sweatshirt that read "Whatever the question  Love is the answer."  I was standing next to him holding hands during our group "photo op".  He read my sweatshirt and said "That's true but it doesn't apply to the Chinese."  I respectfully disagreed. I told him my belief that Love transforms in all instances.  We agreed to disagree.   True story.  Picture hangs on the wall in our stairway.

- JGM -

The Elevator

So it’s Saturday night and I’m hanging around the 22nd floor, stuck in our elevator.  No response to the alarm buzzer at 50 rings, so I boost it to 100.  After all, what are neighbours for?  The only reason to buzz at all is because the in cab phone has me on a barely audible hold that I think is asking me to respond by selecting items from a non-existent keypad.  Finally, an operator.  We clarify that Winnipeg is not in Ontario, but she can find no record of our building.  That could explain why there has been no response at the 24X7 building answering service number I gave her.  Cue Twilight Zone theme.  "You're travelling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight  and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead - your next stop, the 22nd floor!"  Never mind, I’m alright for the long haul as I was returning from the grocery store and have a bag which contains: 1) a creole cookbook, seriously marked down; 2) two bags of cotton puffs and 3) a large red onion.  The possibilities, while tantalizing, are deceptive.  Eventually, Otis shows up.  We get the door open and I am suspended between floors.  I prepare to crawl up and out, but Otis has other ideas.  He shows me how to throw the switch to trip the outside door and goes down a floor so I can jump.  This strikes me as a risky proposition because, at least climbing, I have a solid surface in front of me.  A jump would be from a sitting position with my legs dangling over the abyss.  Now don’t get me wrong, and my physics may be a little rusty, but a jump from a crouch would seem more likely to propel me forward than one from a sit with my only leverage rotating back into the void under me. Otis displays no such concern, braces himself against the edge of the elevator and grasps my arm so that he can fling me forward into the wall opposite.  I am inclined to ask as if this is his first time and if he has ever lost anyone, but he is a trained professional and the stunt is successful.  I walk the remaining floors to my apartment.

- JSR -