Friday, 3 August 2012

My Key Time On Earth

Mostly to prove to myself that I'm just as human as you lot, have gone through the same initiation of 3rd dimensional 'reality' - because at this stage of my life, being so caught up in current-time anticipation of our Ascension as a race of beings that I often forget that - I'm going to write about My Year in Manhattan.  No; for accuracy's sake, make that My First Year in Manhattan: I spent a year there (& thereabouts) some 25 years later, when I was well into my adulthood, and deeply involved in, and wedded, to my spiritual path.  But my first year there, in late 1955-'56, was during my coming-of-age years.  And thereby hangs a tale, about all the things we humans get involved in, and have to go through, on the way to our maturity; in each life experience, and on our soul's journey itself.

This reminiscence has been occasioned by my beginning of the reading of my third novel on the trot by Pat Conroy, during my retirement to my former hometown, of Long Beach, California, while waiting for the New Age to kick in in earnest - to land in the consciousness of the mass of humankind; an occasion that I have been waiting for deeply patiently, and superficially impatiently, for some 51 years in particular, and in general for some 6 years more before that, when a funny thing happened to me on the way to medical school.

But first things first; and back to Pat Conroy, Who is some storyteller, let me tell you, if you didn't already know that.  And not just in the telling of interestingly-plotted stories, but in how he tells them - the descriptiveness of them: the sights and sounds and smells, and the thoughts and feelings of his characters.  I thought at one time in my life to become a writer; but he puts me in the shade, as it were.  He is, in short, a consummate storyteller, and marvelous writer.  My hat (a wilted bluebell of a cotton beach cap from the Gold Coast of Queensland) is off to him.

So; in Prologue: Shortly after arriving back here in my old home town - after some 57 years away1 - I walked in one evening, in downtown Long Beach, near where I had landed (from the north of Scotland where I had been living for years in a spiritual community) for the next chapter in my life, to a store that mostly sold music CDs and records - and whatever these new-fangled listening devices are - but which also had, I noted from the street, a section of Used Books.  I am a sucker for such, and went in to browse it, and almost immediately on its crammed shelves a novel by Pat Conroy caught my eye, that I had never heard of.  Entitled 'South of Broad', it had  been published, I quickly ascertained, in 1995; hence, the no wonder of it.  I hadn't had time for years to read strictly for pleasure (was deeply engrossed in the New Age and so-called 'conspiracy theory' scene; with a helping of vaccinal side-effects outrage in particular and medical-pharmaceutical-complex atrocities in general on the side).  I had read at least one of his novels many years before my more singular, ascetic stage of life, and had been suitably impressed, I could recall; though not the details.  Those were vague; but the impression was still there: this was a writer to reckon with.2  So, as I now had more time on my hands, in simply waiting for the world to catch up to my consciousness (and that of a considerable number of other people, I was delighted to find out via the Internet, when I finally got hooked up to it in my new-old bachelor pad) - about where we were in our unfolding as a race of self-conscious beings, and what was about to happen, in the full flowering of that Event - I bought it.  And, for $4, had a good read.   

Which led me directly to check out, at the Main Public Library, another of his good reads.  I couldn't recall the title of the one I had read before, nor much about it; so, since he was such a good writer, even if I had read it before I could still enjoy the experience, couldn't go far wrong.  As it turned out, it was, indeed, the one of his (or at least, one) I had read before.  Titled 'Beach Music', the giveaway was immediate, when the pre-title page had a drawing of some baby turtles.  I instantly remembered that part of the story; and, trailing right along with that link made, how it also had to do with some stories out of the Jewish Holocaust in our somewhat euphemistically named World War Two.  But that was all that I could recollect of it.3  And, in the event, I was right about it.  So right, that it left me all teary-eyed and snot-nosed.  And immediately, game for more from this expert observer of the human scene.

And a word here about that; about why; why I was so moved by his telling a tale so well about life.  And why I was so moved that it occasioned me to write the following blurb in my workbook:4   

'I do not belittle people's stories just because they are just that: stories.  They have the stuff of life in them; and this stuff of life is what has allowed us to grow.  Ultimately, to find our way back home; the more conscious, more aware, for our experiences in wandering in the deserts of our making.  Thinking them - for their time hold on us - lush; and in any event, all there is.  we are now about to find out how much there actually is, and even on this level, this density of existence.  Before we go up a notch - somewhat like an electron, releasing light-energy in the move -  and give thanks to our Creator for life even more abundant, than on the heaviest level, where the basic learning takes place, about who we are, and what all we are capable of; living either in alignment with the vision of The Plan.  Or not.  

As the case often has been, in Mankind's sorry history on this planet, this vale of tears; now about to shed its old image, and shine, shine, shine in the light of a new day.  Its new day; that on some level of its consciousness it has been waitings for for eons of time; until we Hu-mans were ready - well seasoned - to join Gaia in its Ascension further into the Golden Sun of its making, and destiny.  

(And in point of fact, an interesting way of looking at this Event is that it is not that the planet Gaia is a personage.  It is the persons that are the planet.  At-one-with, and -ment.  The persons, moving out of duality, into unity consciousness; and so ready to ascend as One.  Food for thought - that we are all, even as individuated souls, being welcomed back into our planetary Self.  The We that is I.)'  

Anyway; just to finish this prologue.  The reading and finishing of his 'Beach Music' led me immediately to check out another of his moving testaments to the human experience, and spirit. 5 This one I knew I had not read before.  Titled 'The Great Santini' , it was/is about a Marine fighter pilot and his ramrod rule over his beleaguered family.  I ordered it in from a branch of the Main Library; and am glad that I did.  It took me a while to get into it - I had/have a number of other books going at the same time - but once into it and with my 3-week deadline for its return looming, I engaged in a forced march through its pages, finishing it to the day.  And again all teary-eyed and snot-nosed,6 I returned this one, and at the same time, asked for more of the same.

This time I have checked out the above-mentioned 'Prince of Tides'.  As I say, I may well have read it already.  But I will certainly get a lot out of it, regardless.  Sometimes, the timing is everything in these things.

And I'm pretty sure that is what is involved in my experience, here.  I think I read his material originally at a time in my life when I couldn't appreciate it fully.  'It': the cry of being human and lost in it.  'It': the maze.  And as we are about to leave it, for sunlit highlands, it would be incumbent upon us to take a 'moment' fully to appreciate what we have gone through, to get here.

Among other reasons (like, giving ourselves credit): Lest we forget.

Coming up next, then, is 'My First Year in Manhattan' story.  For what it's worth.  To me, as a reminder.  And perhaps to others.  For their own re-membering.  Of what they have gone through to get here, now.  And of who they are, really, beneath the rich, varied - highs and lows - dramas of life.



1 including the aforesaid First Year in Manhattan; and minus a week in the summer of '82, when I helped the wife of my then-boss at an NGO in NYC called Planetary Citizens (and hence my Second Year in Manhattan) drive her Soling-class boat across the country for her to take part in a Pre-Olympics Regatta, to 'test the waters' off Long Beach/Alamitos Bay in the lead-up to the 1984 Olympics to be held in Los Angeles, and for me to visit my old home town & have a small reunion with high school mates whom I hadn't seen for going-on 27 years at that time (and exactly 30 years since our high school graduation)

2 A confession, based on reading other novelists as well in my dilettantish days: I must, in those days and readings, have said to myself many a time - or at least felt: 'Get on with it, Conroy.  Enough already with the pretty embroidery stuff.  What's the story?' , not realizing then that it was the stuff of the story.  The stuff, in a word, of life, and the appreciating, and observing - and expressing, and consciousness-raising - thereof; of the people passing through its various and multitudinous precincts.  Well done, Pat, for inhabiting - and honoring - so many of them so well.
     "Honoring the margins," as he described one of his novel grandmothers, who explored life with a  passion - and then was ready to move on.

3 good word, that: recollect.  As in re-collect.  And as in how we are about to re-collect our memories of who we really are, and where we really came from, in the Advent approaching us as we speak. 

4 mentioning here in further clarity that I am a firm believer - based on considerable evidence - in reincarnation, and that life therefore is essentially an illusion: a set on which we 'strut and fret our hour upon the stage, and then are heard of no more' - until the next go 'round of the passing pageant.  Where 'the play's the thing, wherein to catch' our consciences, and hone them, into a closer approximation of the higher thing; as the sparks of the Divine that we in essence are.  Readying, now, for Ascension onto a higher level of our spiritual-path experience; into what is called 5-D: Fifth dimension, or density, experience.  Moving seamlessly through 4-D because it is more of an emotional level, rather than a full-blown level of consciousness-raising experience.  

5 I was beginning to wonder if I had in fact read another of his before.  The plot of 'The Prince of Tides' seemed familiar: his protagonist getting involved with a female Jewish psychiatrist in NYC via the attempted suicides of his sister.  But the familiarity could possibly have come from a film of it, starring Barbra Streisand and Nick Nolte, that I had seen.  

6 It is fortunate that I have a tendency (perhaps because of being bearded) to collect napkins; I went through nearly my whole stash in these two reads.  Not to mention my poor, seemingly permanently disfigured handkerchief.

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