Wednesday, January 11, 2006

So I'm in My Hotel Room in LA--

I really am going to finish my series about my 4th Step. But life is happening...

So I'm in my hotel room, I'm just off the plane and a bus ride and, having come from East Podunk, I've been traveling a long time and got up way too early to do it. But--the whole way out I've been absorbed in this wonderful book, Father Joe by Tony Hendra.

It sounds like just the kind of book I would despise--the acolyte tells the touching story of the wise teacher who changed his life and gave him of those book-club books. But the look in my sponsor's eyes as he handed me my copy left little doubt: this was going to be interesting. I'd given him Sex, Death, Enlightenment a while back, a nonpareil spiritual autobiography, and I could tell that he felt he was returning the favor.

Father Joe had me enthralled for the entire plane ride, and I finished all but 20 pages or so. I had some time before I was supposed to join my family so I eagerly, breathlessly, tearfully devoured those pages sitting in my hotel room. Perhaps I didn't expect one of the minds behind National Lampoon and This Is Spinal Tap to deliver his own beautifully-written, insightful spiritual autobiography, his own love letter to a great soul (but that's my problem, isn't it?)...

and when I closed the book I was consumed by a painful gratitude--thinking of my own Teachers, of the incomprehensible Grace of my Divine Mother in showing Herself to me when I wasn't looking for Her and in leading me to the most astonishingly devoted, enlightened, humble Guru...and to other souls, like Ammachi, that radiant Ocean of Love. I shook with tears and gratitude, and thanked Kali, and after a while I got up to walk over to my aunt and uncle's house.

For years Kali has sent me hearts of various kinds, and the heart has become one of our symbols, one of the ways She gets my attention. And on this day in Los Angeles, as I walked out of the hotel with tears still in my eyes, She gave me this heart, as if to say, "Yes, my love, what else would a Mother do but see to it that Her child had teachers to guide him into Her lap?"

It's funny that this heart joins the lowest--algae on a sidewalk--with the Highest, and that it's green, the color of the heart chakra. When I got back to East Podunk I showed my sponsor this picture, and he was delighted--but not surprised.


  1. Mary and I both have people we call our "spiritual parents." Blessings indeed.

    Re the algae: One book that blew me away was Lynn Margulis' (& Dorion Sagan's) Microcosmos -- about not algae but bacteria. Incredible life forms -- like their ability to extract genetic information from dead fellow bacteria, including new survival mechanisms; and that's the tip of the iceberg.

    "Lowest" -- that's what they'd like us to believe.... :)

  2. thank you...I have Microcosmos somewhere. Lynn Margulis is one of my intellectual heroines...

    right: "lowest" is where we need to seek: as above, so below--as Alice Walker said, "we were looking high when we should have been looking high--and low."