Friday, May 6, 2011

Another fabulous, sweet reunion...

I'm sure that most of you who read this know how fast 20 years can go by these days. This summer it will have been 20 years since this young man and I had seen each other. Twenty years since I put him on that plane in San Francisco after spending the day there. Matteo Pistono had just spent a week helping me move back to California from Wyoming where we had met. Way back then, I was head of the Amnesty International chapter in Casper and Matt was head of AI at Casper College. We merged the groups and grew the group to a very respectable size. We became very close friends through working together so, when it was time for me to move back to California after getting a divorce, he had the time, energy, and good attitude to help me do it. We drove a HUGE truck all the way and Matt stayed for about a week to help me and for me to be able to show him around The Monterey Peninsula and Big Sur, and San Francisco the last day. Then fast forward to Facebook. I found Matt on there and contacted him. From there I went to his website and learned about all of the phenomenal things he'd been doing especially the last 10 years.
Tuesday night, in Washington DC, Matt gave a talk and slide show on his work and travels in Tibet. He has been touring the country doing speeches and slide shows to promote his book and his foundation Nekorpa. The photos were stunning and he is very at ease speaking in public and sharing his story. It was wonderful to see him. He had been just a college student when I last saw him. Now he has done incredible things on behalf of Tibetan Buddhists, has gotten married, and has traveled the world with many dignitaries. He is passionate about human rights, something we definitely still have in common. Even with the big crowd of people waiting for his time we got to have a little time alone together to catch up and reminisce. Here's his book. You don't have to be a Buddhist to read it; it's fascinating. It's hard for me to be very objective about it; in fact so much so that when I read it, it was Matt's voice I heard the words spoken in. It is alternately about the history of Buddhism and his personal experience as he goes on his spiritual pilgrimage and the "spy mission" which side tracked parts of his journey. It's, in my opinion, a good situation for us all to be aware of. I'd seen "Save Tibet" bumper stickers for years but never knew what it meant until now. There is a lot we can do, free-letter writing, to help this cause for the right to practice the religion of your choice freely and safely. Here's Matt, my sister Valori, and (I wish I could remember his name-he was so nice) the guy who was head of the University of Wyoming Amnesty group...over 20 years ago. I'm not sure why I'm getting to be so blessed to be having all these unimaginable reunions in the last few years. It's indescribable how full these reunions have made my heart and soul. It makes the waiting so much sweeter. This is why I love Facebook and the world wide web. Reconnect.

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