Wednesday, July 22, 2009

God in The Gratitude Cafe

I met God in The Gratitude Cafe on July 16th. He came through the French doors wearing a white linen shirt, blue jeans, and black boots. He held his sunglasses in his hand, and he had the most beautiful head of gray hair I've ever seen on a man. He swooped through the door, across the room, and right up to the counter where my daughter and I were sitting. He leaned toward us and said, "Please tell me that the transformation of this place has just happened in the last week or so."

My heart has not beat the same since.

I knew immediately he was from my planet. We spoke the same language. He proved it over and over with every word he spoke. He even admitted being from my planet. I knew he was God. He told me that yes, indeed he was. I knew he had to be because I'd just seen Jesus in an ad on Facebook about finding my soulmate for those of us over fifty. Jesus looked really good, but God stole my heart. Ah...

He stayed long enough for me to find out his real name is Steve and he's very knowledgeable about computers and was too young to go to Woodstock. He also grew up in a drug store because that was where his father worked. He went to a local high school. I don't remember which one, but he bowed to me when I told him I was a Lynch grad. I knew then he must really be God.

Just as suddenly as he had swept into RejuveNation LifeSpa, he just as quickly sped away to see Bonnie at Orison's on the square. I gave him my daughter's card and told him about our next event this coming Friday. He loved what I'd done to scratch out her old address. I told him that if he looked at his name in the mirror it'd spell dog. He barked.

So, is God the most handsome male version of Cinderella? At the stroke of some time on the clock he fled to a shop on the square because he had to, and I haven't seen him since. Unfortunately, he didn't even leave one of his black boots behind. There is no sign of his existence. No one I've talked to even knows who he is except one person, the owner of Mama Emilia's, and he told me that God is married to Cindy and they walk their black lab around the square all the time. God did not have on a wedding ring, and I've never seen him walk the square. Ever. And I've seen plenty of couples walk a black lab around the square, but I don't know if their names are Steve and Cindy. And if there really is a God who's name is Steve and he's married to Cindy and they walk their black lab around the square, all I have to say is that Cindy is damn lucky.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A well-traveled road

As soon as it was time to go to college, I left the state I'd spent most of my life in -- Texas. I fled to Colorado. It was a place I had thought about and dreamed about for years. My every waking moment was spent fantasizing about living there. I imagined everything I'd do, how I'd live, and who I'd love. Ask anyone who knew me during high school. John Denver and Colorado were all I ever talked about.

Looking back on those 14-year-old's memories, I realize how few of those fantasies came true. So, what's up with all this hype about the law of attraction -- we attract to us that which we think and feel about? I thought it; I felt it; and I still didn't move to Aspen and become friends with John Denver. That was probably my biggest fantasy. I wanted to travel with him, to help run his show in some way. I didn't know what that would be. I didn't care. I just knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I could work and travel with this man.

After moving to Gunnison, Colorado for college, I took guitar lessons and learned how to play John Denver songs. I probably still have the music somewhere for "The Eagle and The Hawk." I was a music major playing the piano, and John Denver was not allowed in those classical music halls. Confined in my small room with a captive piano I would play for hours -- Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin, but never John Denver.

I was sitting in a room alone with a piano instead of outside in the Rocky Mountains that John would sing about. I was running my hands up and down a keyboard playing a long-dead musician's piece instead of picking "Rocky Mountain High" beside a river. I would spend hours and hours in a confined room playing the same arpeggios instead of traveling with a band that introduced John Denver to an audience so many nights on the road.

It didn't matter. I knew so strongly that this would come true that I didn't waiver. I kept playing until I was asked to leave the program for lack of a tolerable singing voice and for being tone deaf. I picked up my pen instead and became a writer. I ended up with a degree in English. I use it every day.

One of the first guys I met in Gunnison was from the Aspen area. I even hitchhiked to his mother's house my freshman year and spent the weekend with him there. He was a friend that I never forgot over the years. When I ran away from home with a six-year old daughter, I ran to him, and then again 18 years later when I struggled with a failing marriage and a buried identity.

Just a few short years ago in 2004, I left Boulder county where I was living to go to a symposium in Snowmass near Aspen. The symposium was put on by a John Denver foundation called Windstar. I never made it to the symposium, but I got reacquainted with my college friend. He flew me back to Gunnison where we'd met. We walked the main street where we'd been all those years ago. We talked about all the places we'd gone to there, the people we'd befriended, and what happened in those buildings. But most importantly, while walking down the street we remembered who we once were and who we thought we'd be. It was painful to see the incongruency in it all. It was a turning point, a defining moment for me like none other. It was my 48th birthday, and I was so disappointed with who I'd become.

The dichotomy of who I dreamed I could be and who I had become was such a chasm, I couldn't fathom a way to make it to the side I wanted to be on. The distinction between the two were so evident, so in my face, that it was too painful to not do something about it.

The drive back to Boulder county that day took me two extra hours and I don't remember it at all. I never stopped thinking about how I had to make changes. I didn't know how; I just knew I had to, and one of the first things I wanted to do was learn to fly. My Aspen friend flew me over the Maroon Bells and Pyramid Peak to Gunnison, and it seemed the world opened up to me. There was something inside that blossomed and turned me into someone who could no longer be that simple wife that did what it took to keep peace (in an angry sort of way).

Taking flying lessons was out of the question, according to my then husband. To me the only thing out of the question was to continue being his wife. So, after 27 1/2 years I became single again. After living near Denver and Boulder for all those years, I went back to the mountains in search of me. I went back to the mountains to hibernate for a couple of years and grow into someone I could be proud of.

One of the first people I met was a shaman that I worked with for months before finding out that he and John Denver had been good friends. We worked together in Aspen for a while, driving from Steamboat every week. I met many John Denver friends that way. I still get calls from them. And then last September I took a 5-day workshop with one of John's dearest friends, Tom Crum, on the Journey to Center. It was a John Denver lovefest. There were many participants that had been good friends of John's. I heard so many stories about him. We listened to his music, and his energy was so prevalent that it was palpable.

Within weeks of that workshop, I had moved back to Texas.

So, did all that visualizing/fantasizing mean nothing? Did I really not have my dreams come true? Did I not travel with John?

In the past when I've declared something as mine -- visualizing it and claiming it with affirmations, vision boards, etc. -- it has always shown up, but just not how I think. I've traveled all my adulthood with John Denver. I moved to Colorado in 1974 because of him. I spent many nights in the Aspen area because of him, and I moved back to Texas because of him. Every major event in my life has had a John Denver connection. Every trip back to Aspen has been a defining moment for me. Every experience there and every experience with his friends have helped shape my life into what it is today.

I thought I'd be lugging around guitars with a backstage pass around my neck. I thought I'd be hearing his music live from behind the stage. Instead, I heard him within. I followed the tiny nudges that kept leading me to the next step, and those steps led me to McKinney, Texas in 2008, 34 years after leaving Texas the first time.

I've learned to make my wishes known to the universe. To voice them in the ways I know how and then allow the events to unfold as beautifully and perfectly as they always have. I've learned to wake up to the possibilities in every moment and see the finer connection to all that there is. It's a lovely way to live. I am so grateful. Thank you, John. It's been a well-traveled road back.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What's time got to do with it?

Seriously, today's July 9th. Honest to God, how did that happen? Not to mention that it's 2009. I'm tired of this time thing. Can't we just do away with it once and for all? Can't we go to work whenever we feel like it? Same thing with eating and sleeping? What if we ran our lives by internal clocks instead? Actually, what if we ran everything in our lives from an internal barometer instead of any external ones?

For instance, I awoke this morning to water dripping from the bathroom ceiling. That's after planning a day filled with "have-to" things because of the direction my life has been going. Alyssa has her first open mic night at the new digs so there's a lot to go into preparing for it. Cyndy and I just got two parties to cater to today and in between prep time and serving time, we were going to go over a plan on how we could make a catering business work between us.

But then I awoke to water dripping from the ceiling.

Did I mention that the shelf in the closet fell and clothes are stacked on the couch, boxes filled with shoes, hats, and belts stashed in every extra space? My art supplies are in every corner possible. And surely I've mentioned that I'm working on an art project for Working Mother Media that needs to be sent to NYC as soon as possible, so my sewing machine, cutting materials, ironing board, and boxes of fabric are filling the kitchen and living room. Right now I'm propped on the end of the couch with my laptop on my knees typing in the dark, because Alyssa's fallen asleep on the couch sitting up. She stayed up last night working on things for her office space. She was there late with the electrician, a dear friend so generous to do the work, and then came home preparing for today.

I don't think I lasted being vertical much past midnight even with a couple of cups of coffee. I was working on my art, but when it comes to using the sewing machine I really need to be fully functioning. I can screw things up when I'm overly tired. And my machine's been with me longer than most relationships, and it knows when I've had enough. It will just stop working, and it did very early this morning. It kept breaking threads, and I just called it a night.

When I finally got ready for bed, it seemed to me that the bathroom ceiling was still in one piece. It was between then and when I was awakened by dripping water, that the ceiling became less dense. It's got a nice line running through it with three holes that drip water. Alyssa called maintenance right away -- a 1-866 number -- and talked with someone from India. She told them that it was an emergency. They asked where she was. Not what apartment number but what apartment complex in what state and in what town. They said they'd get right over.

From India? From what state and from what town?

Just a few weeks ago, we would've been able to go to a very wonderful man in the main building and tell him what the problem is. He would've taken care of it, but now everything goes through corporate and apparently corporate operates out of India as does every other U.S. corporation that's still intact. No, I know they don't "operate" out of India, but it's their contract labor in India that we as consumers have to deal with.

So, how long do you suppose it's going to take to get maintenance here to fix a dripping ceiling and reinstall a shelf in the closet? Well, we'll see. Let's just hope that when they arrive, I'm here to take the dog out with me, because there's no one coming in here as long as he's here alone.

But didn't this posting start out talking about time and internal barometers instead of external ones controlling how our days are being spent? And just where was I going with that concept? Oh, who external surroundings are playing way too big a role in my consciousness right now to go any deeper. The internal workings are just going to have to work without me for a while. Right now I will just master going with the flow of wherever this river takes me. (Thanks, Silky, for that metaphor this morning!)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The best fourth of July ever...

Before I get into what I want to write about I have to say that I am sooo grateful for the rain and the 82 degrees. When was the last day that it didn't get up to 100? I hear people say that this hot weather is so unusual for this area, and all I want to say is: "THAT'S WHY I LEFT HERE IN '74! IT'S FRICKIN' HOT!" Okay, now that I've said that, I feel so much better and ready to blog about my night last night.

What a very happy fourth and fifth of July it was/is. First of all, my hat's off to Broken Code. You guys, rock. Seriously, do you not get how great you are??? I've heard each of the band members at Cadillac's, but I don't recall hearing all of them play together until last night. Where have you guys been hiding? If I'd had my camera I'd be posting pictures of the great time we had.

They were gracious enough to ask Alyssa and me to get on stage with them and sing, dance, and bang on things (like a tambourine). Hopefully, the music drowned out our voices. There are many things I'd have to say that my daughter and I are great at, but I know for a fact, that our singing abilities really suck. However, once I have a couple of glasses of red wine in me, I can do just about anything and not care. So, all you at Dodie's last night in Allen, I apologize if my voice really did come out on the mic. That was not my intention. I didn't know the mic was on. (yeah right)

I loved dancing and singing to Mustang Sally and Sweet Home Alabama, and I had no idea anyone could play Santana like they did last night except for Santana. I was mesmerized by the guitars and foot pedals that went with them. I majored in music back in the middle ages and I had no idea that there were foot pedals with guitars. Rod and Bob had millions of them. So, there they were picking and strumming with their hands, and their feet were tapping on these pedals. What? When did guitars come with pedals? I had no idea. It opened up a whole new world for me. With my big ol' piano a few hundred years ago, I only had three pedals and they had no lights flashing at me to let me know if my chords were in tune. Rod's and Bob's pedals had red and green lights to let them know if the chords they were playing were in tune, and digital numbers even came up to let them know which chords they were playing. C'mon, how cool is that? Gotta love technology...

I haven't shaken any tambourines in years and to be able to get myself up on stage last night at the age of 52 and shake my money maker was just plain fun. I want to thank Dr. Jim Johnston for a lovely night of food and drink, my daughter, Dr. Alyssa Summey, for playing with me, and to Broken Code -- Alan, Bob, Rod, and Phil, for just letting me play with them. It was a wannabe rock star's dream come true. I certainly hope you guys will let me do it again. I promise not to stick my mouth so close to the mic.