When it occurred to me I would be leaving the Zen monastery earlier than I’d planned, a lot earlier because the sitting made me depressed and the food came too seldom and though the deer out in the field each morning were lovely, I couldn’t seem to write, I was so tired all the time — I went to Daido Sensei, who had given many talks that impressed and cowed me, dharma talks about not resisting anything but about blending, wholly, even with one’s resistance and about watching the aimless pander and meandering of one’s thoughts and seeing, finally, maybe after years, that they were nothing. I went to him to say I thought I might be leaving, and he encouraged me to stay, although I was fairly shooting off my zafu and back into the world. He said this was part of the practice. He said the good work had just begun and it would help me, and so did everybody else in the sangha who heard I maybe wanted to leave. They said it would be good for me to stay especially if that was how I was feeling, but I knew I had to go. It was in leaving that I began to join with myself. Although it was hard, I was never sorry — not then and not now. (Then again, no one there loved me or cried; that might have been different.) Still, if I could do over all those times you came to me saying some version of some words about leaving me — although it wasn’t me you were leaving, you said, but something you had to find — instead of the letters and the long love- making, instead of the talk and returning and tears and how I told you these hard times were a curtain over the future, our sculpture: passionate, wonderfully hewn, and bright — instead I would say what Daido didn’t say to me then, which wouldn’t have kept me but might have enlightened me on the spot — I’d say, Goodbye.