Leslie’s early books: particularly The Woman Who Could Read The Minds of Dogs, this eating and walking is associated all right (perhaps because I read them first) struck me (like monk-with-stick) happily as things that took the work of the Beats – Phil Whalen & Jack Kerouac in particular - & worked with that speed & delicacy of experience & observation & getting it all down - in a way that no one else has. I still feel enormous excitement when I read all of her books. They take me further into and further out of the world at exactly the same time.
Buddhists deny the truth or use of either judgment or opposites (I am particularly thinking of Dogen & his line) & believe that the radiant world is always available to all in its multiplicity and unity. Leslie’s work does more to enact & establish that relationship with world / word / self than anyone else. (Is it useful to talk here about such a thing as sensibility?) There is a big difference to be made between the idea of stream of consciousness and sea of consciousness: Leslie was as much a perfect mirror (to continue the zen perspective) as a light. Her writing was a place where things happened and where agency became a lesser (or different, or more interesting) question. She always seemed so much more open than any other writer - & that (perhaps) is why in her work so much can & does happen.
Of course there is her generosity and engagement and sensitivity: we are all here for that as well as her writing. —& her friendship —& her self —& now (here) for its lack. I imagine that Leslie knew this poem by Issa: “This floating world / is only a floating world – after all / & yet—”
No mind, no self, no suffering, no attachment, no lack. Except—Leslie! Fare well!—in those of us left.