Hunched in bunched up robes a holy man strolled through the big bright room, his feet lightly touching the ground, holding one hand, one head, one hand, one head, hand and head all the way to his high seat, not seeming so important really. We sang and rocked and prayed that he would say what it was we needed him to say, while he napped a bit, chin dropped to chest, until gathering himself up like the layers of fabric on his small frame, and clearing his throat, he began talking, and kept on talking, throat-clearing, and talking, and we waited, and waited, but he would not say it, what we needed him to say, that simple thing, the thing we knew but didn’t believe, and he would not say it because it had to be heard through his eyes as a question that had come down with him from the high mountains, down from frozen white lakes and a dying fire in a cold cave where the sky dancers lived. And even then it was only a whisper, a curious wondering, it was this: what he wanted to know was whether we had decided to love yet, to love as we had been loved. And it was hard to say with certainty that this was true, that we loved in that way, the way we had been loved. And so the Rinpoche kept talking like a big river rolling down the valley, down from the mountains that thought they had wings, down past the rotting ghats of Pashupatinath where wandering beggar children and sad sadhus ate together amidst bone ember and the smell of death, and by now he was rocking his body, rifling through stacks of prayers, more river than Rinpoche, speaking with spirits that wandered with him from place to place, and it was just about then that the tender far away laugh rolled up from the past, like a Brahmin with a banker at tea, or a ditch digger’s wife with a baby on her back, the laugh that said we, the children of abundance, our empty cups on the floor, our tears flowing, our pens waiting to write down the words that would set us free, that yes, we had finally, at last – yes he could see it in our tired bodies and sad faces – that we had at least heard the question in his eyes, had asked why, why we had not loved as we had been loved, and if we would ask the same thing tomorrow, and maybe even the day after that, then everything would be alright, yes, just the question, and he could put us down, gently back in the neat white room of statues and candles, and cushions and chairs and paintings, then he would stop talking, early in the morning, he would stop talking, and we would rest.