I met Anne at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. when Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche passed into Parinirvana in April of 1987. She invited us out to Karme Choling in Vermont for his sukhaviti. Had I attended as she suggested I might have circumvented my life as a Naropa student by taking a reasonable path as a translator for the U.S. Department of State. My own mother had recently passed away so Anne became mother Anne to me, as I know she is to many, offering sound advice for most things Vajrayana, fashionable, and/or intellectual, always sensible, adamant, and straight forward. Without her my life might have been richer in simplicity and paychecks. With her it is diverse: Premier League as this now Connecticut soccer mom calls it.
I have eternal gratitude for Anne’s classy wisdom, honesty, work ethic, and style, which I’ve emulated more as a Shambhala Buddhist than as a writer perhaps because meditation is truly easier than writing, though the politics of the dharma, it turns out, are so much worse. Anne reconnected me to India where I lived as a child via the magnificent tent culture holding the summer programs at Naropa as well as the summer seminaries at Shambhala Mountain Center, not to mention the gorgeous Great Stupa of Dharmakaya in Red Feather Lakes, where I lived for many years chaotically, mindfully happy working in meditation center finance.
Again, it was as though my life were poetic or magical and that Anne led me to a place in North America which embraced the wisdom traditions I’d been immersed in as a child growing up in the Foreign Service: Anne was and has been one of the greatest gifts of my life. Her vision and generosity entered me into a family of practitioners which became home. She helped me pay some bills following graduate school by giving me an editing job or hiring my boyfriend to mow her lawn in Boulder. I did many dishes with her and Andrew late into nights following excellent Summer Writing Program picnics with luminaries of the best kind.
From Anne I learned to write a proper New York School list poem, the only poetry I can teach to perfection really and truly a multi age group form everyone can benefit from. The last time I saw Anne at Yale she met my daughter Juliette. She praised her as my mother would have and gave her a bag of chips from her hotel room. I love Anne, she’s quite simply the best.
Katie Yates (We and Stockport Flats Press) lives with her family in New Haven, Conn. She teaches Drala Camp in East Rock Park. Follow her on Instagram: katieyates108.