Mr. Pennie,

This article about taking full responsibility for your life echos Buddhist concepts for me and made me harken back to this segment from Frank McCourt’s memoir novel Angela’s Ashes (about Mr. Timoney getting in trouble with his housekeeper, Mrs. Minihan):

Mrs. Minihan didn’t mind the odd drop of sherry of a Saturday morning but then he tried to turn her into a Buddhist, which he said he was himself and the Irish would be much better off in general if they sat under a tree and watched the Ten
Commandments and the Seven Deadly Sins float down the Shannon and far out to sea.

And then later the trouble Mr Timoney got into when his dog bit a nun:

You can bite postmen and milkmen all you like but the case of the passing nun goes all the way to the bishop and he takes steps especially if the owner of the dog is a known Buddhist and a danger to good Catholics around him. Mr. Timoney was told this and cried and laughed so hard the doctor came and said he was gone beyond recall so they carted him off to the City Home, where they keep old people who are helpless or demented.

That’s the end of my Saturday sixpence but I’ll read to Mr. Timoney money or no money. I wait down the street till the woman next door goes in, I climb in Mr. Timoney’s window for Gulliver’s Travels and walk miles to the City Home so that he won’t miss his reading. The man at the gate says, What? You want to come in an’ read to an oul’ man? Is it coddin’ me you are? Get outa here before I call the guards.

SGI Buddhist, Loves Irish and Latin American Literature, History buff, knows a great deal about Medicare

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