"Letter to Chakmo-la" by Jamyang Kyi

Jamyang Kyi posted on her blog a letter addressed to her friend Chakmo (lCags mo). She notes that the letter was written in October 2008 but was only posted on her blog on 31 December 2008.
High Peaks Pure Earth has been monitoring Jamyang Kyi’s blog and when she didn’t post for several months over the summer of 2008, we were all anxious about her safety. The letter makes it clear that during that period she was visiting her family in Jadoru (Bya dmo ru).
Although the letter is personal, High Peaks Pure Earth has posted this translation as it would be of interest to readers concerned about Jamyang Kyi’s current well being.
Dear Friend Chakmo la (lCags mo),
How are you? It has been more than half a year since we last saw each other, but I never forget the moments that we were together. Although I had thought for months of writing you a short letter, I was not able to do that. Honestly, life is not predictable and it is just like a stream forever flowing.
Today, I woke up at nearly seven o’clock as usual. I spent two hours reading and had a chance to glance at the autobiography Freedom in Exile, (bTsan byol pa’i bag phebs) and with sadness I got up from bed. After breakfast, I went to the office. It takes half an hour from my house to where I work. When I arrived in Xining, after staying half a month in my hometown Jadoru (Bya mdo ru), I had gained four to five kilos in weight, so it forces me to walk to the office everyday now.
It has been raining almost everyday the past several days and the weather is unpredictable. Today, I walked to my office in the rain. I realized when the chilly wind brushed against my face that it is already close to the end of autumn.
The yellow leaves of the trees falling in front of my steps and ta ta sounds of the leaves crushing under my feet brought feelings of sadness inside me. When my mind became clearer, the thought of my beloved compatriots living abroad and the autobiography Freedom in Exile, rushed into my mind. At that moment I suddenly had an urge to write a short letter to you.
First of all, I would like to say congratulations to your translation of learned Tsering Woeser’s book “Poetry Named Tibet”. Some days ago you interviewed Paldan Gyal on his experiences in his homeland. I thought your frank and honest conversation was good.
Dear friend, I am sure you and your family are well as usual. Are you busy these days? Although I am completely occupied by the endless housework as well as occupied by a massive amount of office work, I am well and my family and relatives are also doing well. Do you remember once I told you that the happiness given to parents by their children is immeasurable? Naturally, this happiness comes with difficulties and suffering. When I was writing down my thoughts from the other day, my daughter was pushing and pulling from the back of my chair and trying to talk to me with nonsense words, and sometimes she held my hand so that I could not write properly. In the meantime I had to answer her questions constantly so I could hardly get a moment in which I could concentrate my mind on what I was doing. I clearly know that my child is wasting a lot of my time, but she is the only source of happiness of mine, so as a mother I cannot complain about her. I think a mother’s love to a child is why a mother risks her life to save her child and the final hope of a mother is her children. Countless mothers break their won dream for their children’s well being. This is hard to avoid.
Yes, since I was deeply overwhelmed by the past memories of our meetings, as I walked half an hour to my office, even the Chinese street became more silence and I arrived in front of my office without hearing the noise from the street. I locked the door of my thoughts then and put the key in my pocket. My mind and body was completely seized by a lonely wind.

One Comment

  1. Thank you for your important translation work! I was wondering, can you please clarify what is known about Jamyang Kyi’s whereabouts this summer? The letter only states that she was in her hometown for two weeks, but in your introduction, you suggest that more is known. Is it known for how long she was in detention?

    Thank you

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