Jane Bay lives in Marin County, California where she has worked at Lucas film for nearly three decades. Author of Love & Loss, she is currently working on two other books, a memoir entitled Growing Up Southern, and an anthology of short stories called The Magic of New Mexico about her experiences on the Navajo and Hopi reservations. She is also active in the campaign to save Tibet.
In this podcast, Merryn Jose interviews author Jane Bay on her latest book Love & Loss. Below are excerpts from her extraordinary biography.
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“The story of that journey is recounted in my first book PRECIOUS JEWELS OF TIBET: A Journey to the Roof of the World . It was written on weekends during the three years between my first and second visits to Tibet. I had never thought that I would become a writer, and that I would actually get my first book published, but the process of writing PRECIOUS JEWELS was a great catharsis in my life. I found my own voice and the means to express the creative impulse.
In 1991, I was formally introduced to the Dalai Lama at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, and subsequently began a study of Tibetan Buddhism, having taken eight teachings from His Holiness in various cities around the U.S. in the intervening years.
My book, LOVE & LOSS: A Story About Life, Death, and Rebirth was born out of grief for the loss of my beloved adopted Tibetan daughter, Namgyal Youdon. It is the story of my relationship with Namgyal and the consequences of her life and death on my life.
For months after Namgyal died, I was unable to talk openly about the sorrow I held in my heart, but I found I could express the depths of my emotions by writing about my experiences. It created a safe place, a sanctuary, a container to hold the pain.
LOVE & LOSS is written as an Email Diary and is based on emails I sent out immediately after Namgyal died, replies I received from my Dear Friends, emails from Namgyal’s brothers, one in Tibet and one in India, before and after Namgyal’s death, and emails that she and I exchanged during the last two years of Namgyal’s life. I have written brief narratives that are interwoven throughout the emails to complete the story.
Who could ever have imagined that through the relatively impersonal medium of email I would be able to come to the end of mourning, celebrating the gifts of grief I had received by loving and losing her.”
For more information on Jane Bay, visit www.janebay.com