The Window Washer

He comes from Peru,
and reminds me of the Incas
with his short compact body, round face,
brown skin, dark eyes and straight jet black hair.
People connected to the earth, to rituals.
Images of the Andes and Machu Picchu drift by.
This is the second time he washes these windows
that expand space into redwoods and sky
transforming this flat into a tree house.

I sit at my computer while he works.
He comes out of the back room
Usted medita? Do you meditate? He asks in Spanish.
I pause, surprised, wondering what brings up this question.
Oh, I think quickly he saw my altar, the images of Amma and the Buddha.
Yes I do, I reply.

I love to meditate, he says.
It feels so big
like opening my mind to a wide space
so quiet and calm.

I hardly meditate anymore though.
I got married, my wife is Christian.
Christians don’t meditate, he adds.

I feel dumbfounded, at a loss for words,
confused, wondering who these Christians are.
I think of meditators
who have found solace in Christ for centuries.

Christians don’t meditate?
I ask
No, he responds
She says meditation is brujeria – witchcraft.
I miss it, he says
heading towards the kitchen window.
Pero que se le va a hacer?
But what to do?
We argue about this a lot
and I don’t meditate anymore.

My heart aches as I hear his words,
and witness him give up a precious part of himself
in an attempt to create peace with another being.
The cost seems so unbearably high,
one that is paid
by many of us
time and time again.


Categories: The Journey, WritingsTags: , , ,


  1. Arati, I love your poetry because it feels so alive. Reading your poetry really meets my need for beauty, truth, and magic in this world. I am so grateful for you being here on the planet! All of these years and I had no idea you were both photographer and poet . what a wonderful surprise.
    It means so much to me that you had time to read part of my writing and that you see me so clearly. I’ve been meaning for about 5 years to look at your blog and am so happy I finally have. Wishing you peace today and all days. With care and love, Mahita

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mahita, how wonderful to see you here in the blogging world. Knowing this offers me warmth and sweet companionship. I am glad you stopped by. I appreciate your words and knowing how my writings and photographs touch you through beauty, magic and truth.
      I enjoy the thought of us staying connected through NVC, our blogs… and of course our Amma. With much care, Arati


  2. I was born a Christian Orthodox, as the majority of Greeks are. One of the reasons I rejected Christianity from a young age (and later on religion in general) was that I found it too invasive and thought that Christians tend to be shortsighted, manipulative and hypocritical, much the same way as the window washer’s wife.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Having been raised Catholic in a Catholic country i understand your thoughts and feelings about institutional religions and the impact they unfortunately have on people. It seems that so often the basic tenets of understanding and loving kindness are set aside.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Really this speaks to my heart …. what religion can possibly decry Meditation. I have bendy stretchy to far to many in my life and then I realized it is MY life. I wish fervently that’s your window washer (who is probably far smarter than the average bear 🐻) will find his way through to balance – of his needs and those of his spouse. After all she surely doesn’t want to be compared a dictator but sadly that is what she is being.

    Liked by 1 person

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