excerpts from my letters to jo(e) rabbit
Hey Baby! (may 27th, 1999)
Right now you're in your mom's tummy. You're probably only a few hundred cells by now. You're not even a lump yet.
You won't remember what you were thinking or what was going on right now when you're old enough to think about such things, so that's why I'm writing this. So you'll at least know what was going on from the outside.
I love your momma, and I'm glad you're going to be born. I'll be glad to see you. It's almost 9 months before I get to see your face. I can't wait!
Hi baby (may 28th, 1999)
I've started to get used to the reality of you. What a trip! A cross between your Mom and I. We are both so different!
People are so strange when I tell them about you. They don't know what to say. It's a little like some kind of limbo-dreamtime. Externally things are still the same. I'm still living in the same place and doing the same job. But now there's this secret undercurrent in my life. A seed has been planted. The seed of you, and your life, that must now ripen and come to fruition.
When I am almost 30, you will be in grade school...then, when I am about 40, you will be learning to drive.
Baby I am not afraid! (no date)
Fear is confusion itself!
This is not just bravado. I have been afraid and confused before and I will no doubt be afraid and confused again.
Hey baby, it's June 7th!
You're almost a month old. Your mom is starting to notice you! Her chemicals are all wacky and she's throwing up and has to stay home from work.
She can't tell anyone until she moves out of her mom's house, and so she must feel pretty lonely about it. She has you and me though. We'll take care of her. Her body will get used to you soon enough. It must be strange having you in her body.
It's so funny, it's so like me, I can't wait to touch you. I bet you'll have crooked teeth like me and my mom. Your mom has super pretty teeth but I think she has had braces...silly things. Crooked teeth aren't too bad. They've kept me from getting too vain.
Well, good luck with your gestation. I hope it's going well for you in there.
Hi Baby! June 9th, 1999
Happy one month of being alive!
Good Morning Kiddo (June 12th, 1999)
A couple here has a baby. They look so weird and squishy. I don't usually imagine you as a baby. I imagine you as 6 or 7 or so. I can see you as either a boy or a girl in the mind's eye.
Hey, little bug. (June 15, 1999)
We had an audience with Thrangu Rinpoche. It was very cool, about 20 or so of us in the living room with him and asking personal questions. I told him that you were growing in the womb and asked if he had any succinct advice. This was his response as closely as I remember (from the translation of course):
"The most important thing is to be loving to your child. This means not just showing your love with loving words and loving touch, but truly wanting the best for your child.
The difficulty is, that, sooner or later you will start to get an idea of what the best is, and because of the nature of expectations, it is impossible that the child will turn out exactly as you hope. So you must exercise patience towards what actually happens."
Hey Jo(e) (June 21st, 1999)
Your mom and I decided to come up with a "working title" for you. Some name that could be either sex, because we're getting al ittle tired of calling you "the kid" or even worse, "it". Cammy suggested "The Gipper" - but we finally decided on "Jo(e)". I think maybe there was more to it, but it works for now.
I was sitting here at 5 points 5th and Denny, at the statue of Chief Seattle, and the was a bearded guy in a skirt sitting next to me, staring at the water in the fountain, or maybe at the bottom of the fountain, or maybe the leaves in the fountain. We'll never know.
So finally, after about 10 minutes, he gets up and comes over to me. His skirt is long, a muted color. It hangs to his sneakers.
"I have a question for you," he says, "and it doesn't require an answer."
I sort of nodded, like saying, "Ok, shoot."
"How much freedom can you handle?" he asked.
I nodded again, aknowledging that the question had been heard and he quickly turned away. Attached to the zipper of his backpack I saw a small white feather.
My first instinct was to dismiss the question as a young man who thinks he has everything figured out, and perhaps read too many Robert Anton Wilson books. But quickly I realized...how often is it that you get such clear and straightforward messages from the guru. Not very often. And so I offer this question to you. How much freedom can you handle?
Jo(e) Rabbit (June 30th, 1999)
Yes, that's what it was, Jo(e) Rabbit. I don't know why. Your mom just has her ways about things and I never know quite where they come from.
We are moving into the new house this Fourth of July weekend, a house you could become very familiar with. You'll like it, Jorabbit, growing up on the beach. The idea sounds pretty nice to me.
I wonder if you will have little Tulalip Indians for friends? It is possible. I don't even know what the Tulalips are really like. I've never met one, but I'm sure that I will.
Joe Rabbit (July 14th, 1999)
I don't think I'm going to close this notebook. Not just yet.
It's just that it's getting a little hard to continue to write to you not that I know I may not meet you face to face in this lifetime, unless you are born again into this world and time. It's not impossible, but it truly doesn't seem like this was the time for you.
So now you and I are equals again, just another two beings wandering in samsara, with me not there specifically to guide or protect you. Part of me wishes I could. I was prepared to. God knows!
I will go live with your momma now, though, and hopefully we will live in the spirit of you and in remembrance of your beauty.