My first experience with Magic was when I was 8 years old.
My mom took us to the desert. It was hot and uncomfortable. I hated it. I complained all day – I want to go home already.
We pitched our tents and mom warmed up some ham, pineapple n’ cheese sandwiches. I had been waiting all day – God, those things are deliciously good, especially how mom toasts them.
The sun descends and night rises.
I had escaped into yet another Sweet Valley High novel; in the background, the sound of my brothers playing near the campfire.
At some point, I looked up to the smell of bread toasting and ham sizzling.
And I nearly lost my shit.
There in front of me, all around me, were a million stars. A gazillion of them.
Mom must’ve clocked my surprise cuz she says, “Put your book down and breathe it in.”
You know that song by Coldplay? Look at the stars, look how they shine for you?
One of my favorite songs.
When that song plays, I often think about that moment in the desert; book in hand, ham sizzling, brothers laughing, and pure Magic painted across the sky.
Speechless, humbling Magic right above us.
That was the first time I was certain there was a God.
The sun peeps through clouds.
I am dreaming of another time, another place, another life.
I look around and imagine life behind another’s closed doors.
I think of Dear Sugar, of Cheryl Strayed.
What a powerhouse.
A heart as big as houses.
As dense, mysterious and spacious as that corner one over there, with the high-reaching trees that guard it.
I think of the vulnerability of humans.
How we seek help from strangers, without filter, without fear.
Parental issues, a miscarriage, an affair, coming out, etc.
Here we are asking each other to hold our hand, to be there as we walk through a dark patch.
Cheryl, Dear sugar, is a real Street Level Miracle.
Take a listen or read the book some time.
A strange beautiful woman
met me in the mirror
the other night.
What you doing here?
She asked me
the same thing.
– Marilyn Nelson, b. 1946
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
Dream Deferred, by Langston Hughes
Jackie the dog…was brought to the ashram when he was very young. He never mixed with other dogs, nor did he play much. Instead, he lived the life of a sadhu. He would sit in front of Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] on an orange cloth that had been provided by a devotee and stare intently at Bhagavan’s eye. Because Bhagavan had a lot of love for him, and because he always behaved in such an exemplary fashion, he was always very well looked after… Whenever prasad [food that has been offered to God in a ceremony, then distributed to devotees] was distributed, Jackie would not eat until Bhagavan began to eat his own portion. On such occasions, he would watch Bhagavan’s face intently. As soon as Bhagavan put a morsel into his mouth, Jackie would start to eat his own portion.
I remember one incident concerning Jackie that occurred while Bhagavan was sitting by the well, surrounded by devotees. Jackie was sitting with the devotees, looking intently at Bhagavan, when a stray dog entered the ashram through the back gate. Jackie, distracted by the newcomer, began to bark.
Bhagavan gently chided him by saying, ‘You just close your eyes. You just close your eyes. You just close your eyes. If you do this you will not be able to see the dog.’
Jackie obeyed at once but some of the rest of us continued to look at the stray dog.
When I saw what was happening I laughed and remarked, ‘This is a good teaching. It is not only for Jackie, it is for everyone.’
– David Godman from Living by the Words of Bhagavan
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
A movie script is composed of the following:
1. Hero stars in Ordinary World
2. Hero receives Call to Adventure
3. Hero rejects Call
4. Hero meets Mentor, Mentor gives hero courage to accept the Call
5. Hero crosses Threshold, enters Special World
6. Hero encounters enemies and allies, undergoes ordeal that will serve as his Initiation
Continue reading “no wheel inventing needed”