Yesterday while a storm raged outside, I managed to get to yoga class where the instructor put on a storm cd, one of those new age deals where you listen to the sounds of nature and whatnot. I had to admit that it beat the usual massage table, new-age fare that haunts most of these settings and the irony of being protected from a storm while listening to one recorded in order to soothe was not lost on me. I suppose that's what writers do -- in addition to weathering the actual bullshit, the wretched love affairs, poverty, violent depressions, the betrayals, we force ourselves to create versions of these events on the page in order to give people experiences without the damage. The yoga class about put me in the home -- lots of balancing poses like the crow which I could not manage. I watched other people do their crows and fall out of them and felt an odd affection for all these strangers, so determined to transform themselves.
Before Berean Baptist Church shut down, I listened to the sermons of Brother Buddy, a reformed alcoholic turned preacher. He'd been bad to drink and loved to talk about being made a new person. The concept of being born again was not empty rhetoric. Unfortunately, he couldn't pull up enough of the old life to make the sermons anything more than the rote following of scripture. We lost our lease on the storefront we had given that there wasn't enough money being taken up every week in the collection plate to stay current on the rent. So the owner of the Stop and Go convenience store let us meet in the storage room in the back on Sunday mornings. The room reeked of Lysol and nicotine and instead of beautiful stained-glass windows, there was one dirty window so smudged and high up you couldn't see out of it. Determined to make the best of it, Brother Buddy said, You meet your people where you can. The other thing he'd say was, God is refuge in the storm. The abstractions meant nothing to me. But I could sense his loneliness, his desperate attempts to change the energy no matter how meager the setting. He never quite made it into the crow position or any other pose for that matter, but as they say in the practice, the effort is all.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Don't never follow you first mind, cause that's the one that's wrong. 'Cause the Devil beats God to you every time." Son House
Drinking memoir suggestion: 501 Minutes To Christ Poe Ballantine
Benedictions and Maledictions