Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Eulogy To a Transparency: A Eulogy for Enrico Dell' Angelo by Louise Landes Levi

Eulogy To a Transparency

of Enrico Dell' Angelo
is no easy task especially when I somehow
can not believe he is ‘dead’/ or no more or gone:
                                           gate gate parama gate parasamgate bodhi swaha.

I was not a personal friend of E. Dell A.,
not at all, but he was an intermediary, not just for me.
In the 1980s, he was THE catch, believe me
I was washing dishes, yes, in Merigar,
each day 3 or 4 sometimes 5 girls
wld. come to tell me about
their special connection
to Enrico Dell'Angelo.

They wld. describe,
for example, a glance, a confirmation
(of hidden interest) a hint  (of hidden passion) –
it was a veritable fever. I never disclosed the one to the other.
Later I understood… what if all that energy projected onto NN,
no, Enrico was doing a service.
For a day or two I had the fever myself,
some people went through the entire decade
stricken w. love for

In fact,
we all LOVED him -
. Enrico: auctioning his beautiful damaru to help Rimpoche
who was raising money for Merigar by selling cloths, draped across his arm,
tales of Enrico, X & Rimpoche caught for a night in a mountain refuge,
drinking urine to keep warm,
Rosa not even worried, particularly.
I  later heard/

Enrico & Andrea
buying a house
in Tirana,
not far fr. Merigar,
Enrico raising horses & peacocks.
Enrico was a great, really flawless translator,
I used to love to read his translation of the story of the birds,
translated so poetically into a perfect Italian that even I,
whose Italian was imperfect cld. read it.
I wondered how that
was possible?

I am going to Milano  –  by train, but have no $.
Enrico buys a book which I am sure he will never read,
AMIATA, an early poetry collection, modeled after the Japanese, in format.
O, it’s my birthday, Enrico, is passing
around a cake, saying, this is how we celebrate.
& then Enrico & Isabel, everywhere,
on the dance mandala, in the new
Shang Shung office.Arcidosso,
later in NYC.

Enrico & Andrea,
early on, with Clemente & Fabio,
the arms of NN. I remember seeing Enrico
Jacomela & Andrea sitting w. Rimpoche,
in local pizza  place & thinking  they,
the 3 of them w. blue eyes & dark hair
had come fr. some other planet
to assist the master.

what he’s dong now,
I am sure he is still assisting.
Enrico in NYC, working for Soros, very dignified,
by this time I shook his hands when he we met,
he found that very funny, but I really considered
him to be a gentleman whose hand I shld.
shake, in a formal & dignified manner.

I heard, fr. his in laws,
worked tirelessly  in Tibet. He was
so clever so kind & so determined
that, I heard fr. a practitioner,
the Chinese after some time,
forbid him entry.
forbidhim to

He was famous among
the nomads & the opera singers
& I am sure in many hidden places of the vast land.
But in NYC, he was a New Yorker, somehow slightly
more dignified, especially when he’d show up at
Khandro Ling.
There was something
in Enrico’s presence that authenticated,
even for someone like me,

In France one time,
we were in some kind of forest retreat,
I had a big reading in Rome to which I was more or less indifferent.
NN insisted I go – traveling by auto stop –
(in fact he was there, when I finally arrived).
Enrico said to me
the transmission develops
according to the potential of the individual
I never forgot those words.

Another time,
faced w. what seemed to be an
insurmountable problem, something
that had manifested in
the Mandarava practice,
I didn’t know anyone in whom I could confide,
I chose Enrico for some reason & wrote him a very long letter.
He never responded – in kind -but I got the sure answer,
which was: do nothing & sure enough
on the 8th of December NNs birthday
& my grand mother’s death day,
fr. an unknown source, a letter arrived w. the document
I suspected existed. & which totally clarified the situation.
I never knew who sent that document

Enrico for all his accomplishments was very funny,
he had so many sides like a well-polished crystal,
& I say this without ever having a personal
relation to him, just observation.

New Year’s Eve,
we are playing in the gompa, then
in the ‘Yellow House’ now the serkhang
I think we are devising an absurd game,
based on certain respectful Tibetan practices -,
which some of those present had done, prostrations etc.
These games are so absurd – Laura Albini , Mario Maglietti, 
all are absorbed in the mirthful atmosphere or has Rimpoche invented the games?.., 
Suddenly it’s mid night. The sanga at that precise moment sits down & simultaneously intones


I always remember Enrico, sitting so straight, somehow perfectly manifesting,
presence - manifesting out of nowhere, out of all the mirth,
out of his own heart, a perfect
practice ofAti yoga.
The year is I think 1985/
fr. these early years to now,
Enrico manifested these qualities.
Mysterious qualities.

A kind of presence a kind of transparency,
a kind of spontaneity that was also exceedingly formal
when necessary O, almost forgot,
the haircut.

one point
Enrico seems to
prefer horses & peacocks
to the challenges at Merigar,
so we didn’t see him too much tho
he was always somehow present.
It was toward the end of this period
that the master, for one reason or another,
decided upon a hair cutting ceremony. Everyone was getting their hair cut,
again in the yellow house, on the balcony, where an official kind of meeting
place now exists. Enrico too, he suddenly arrived & lo the scissors. 
It was so charming to observe the master w. Enrico,
now all those hairs are gone
as is he.

I really felt
(& feel) most of the time
quite awkward around the students of NN, the ‘community’,
partly  due to the outrage I seem to inspire (or mistrust). Enrico by
contrast & rightfully so, inspired trust -  partly
due to my natural reticence & inability to conform.
NN never had any problem
w. these characteristics.

I followed
& follow faithful for more
than half my life, a life which I consider
NN to have saved, so I gladly offer it to him.
But back to Enrico. I wld. devise, due to the above,
‘hiding places’, in Italy, in NYC - invariably
Enrico wld. show up or even LIVE  exactly in these areas,
The Piazza Navrona, a particular café, I am feeling 
so good to be ‘free’ at last, & suddenly Enrico 
w. another of his girls - at a beautiful concert 
in Rome, for connoisseurs, suddenly,
Enrico -1980s.
later, hidden on Ave.. A &e  9th street,
the Alt. Dot, the Café Pick Me Up,
where does E. move,
exactly there to my astonishment.
Enrico was immensely present.
He gave me instructions
which I knew came fr.
the master’s heart.
He knew about things without being told,
resolved various conflicts as I wondered how
he even knew about them. It is incomprehensible
to me that  Enrico is no longer here.

Maria & I sat in Tokyo,
talking, trying to understand
Enrico is not here
a big white bird,
a gull of some sort, sat on the rail
overlooking the river the entire time,
until we fished our séance.
I was sure it was

Eulogy for an Insider so Transparent he was Everywhere

-NN   Choegyal Namkhai Norbu
-The bird story  L’Insegnamento degli uccelli
Traduzione dal tibetano e cura di E. Dell Angelo,
 ed. Shang Shung ed.
-Soros – George Soros, TRACE Foundation, NYC.
-X   Jampel Dell’Angelo who informs me that, in fact, no urine was imbibed when the 3 were stranded. It was instead suggested by Enrico that by urinating on their clothing, the 3 might stay warm, a suggestion subsequently vetoed by the master. I have left the original version, however. In India, both whimsical & literal interpretation of text is permitted. The retelling of a noble or saintly person’s life is called hagiography in the same tradition, namtar in Tibetan. As text exits in memory, as well as on paper, I leave the original, a reminder of the mythic quality of memory & of certain individuals whose actions transform into myth.

               This insufficient eulogy
             was completed, on 13.2.2017-
       the final day of the xitro practice for Enrico/ as if by chance
I always felt he might, fr. among us, accompany the master to the end, as is described in the teaching of the  
    birds. He has, helas, preceded the master in his departure to the realm / indeed realms beyond this one.

No comments: