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Photographer's Note

We are aware of the tragedy that has occurred in Asia which will surely continue to cause great suffering for people of the region. We extend our sympathy even as we recover from the shock of this dramatic natural disaster.

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago in a cemetary in San Rafael, California. These small structures contain the remains for people who long ago died. None of the men or women beneath headstones were known to me, though some carried names I know as street names or place names. These were people whose families helped to build the City of San Francisco. As I walked through the cemetary, I was reminded of the Lalitavistara Sutra, in which the Buddha says:

"The universe and its inhabitants are as ephemeral as the clouds in the sky;

Being born and dying are like a spectacular dance or drama show.

The duration of our lives is like a flash of lightning or a firefly's brief twinkle;

Everything passes like the flowing waters of a steep waterfall."

This is the world in which we live, each of us taking the journey from "dust to dust." If we are fortunate we will discover compassion, humility and gratitude along the way. And, hopefully, we will practice loving kindness to the best of our ability. This surely includes grieving for those whose lives have come to an end before our own.

May all beings be happy! May all beings be peaceful!

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Additional Photos by Curtis Grindahl (cgrindahl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 963 W: 400 N: 2031] (6113)
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