FATHER MYCHAEL

In my bedroom there is a low to the ground bed as the center piece, along with one large plant who, over the years has affectionately been named Elephante’ (like Harry Belafonte). My husband Matthew and I purchased him when he had only two tiny elephant ear leaves. Elephante’ has lived and grown as much as we have over the past twelve years. He now stands 5 feet tall, with about thirty large leaves that look like something out of “Horton Hears a Who”.

We have no pets, we are renters. I am highly allergic to cats, though I had four growing up. My mother was convinced I had only a dairy allergy. We had Benji who was assasinated for reasons I sighted in a previous entry.  Dave, Phineas, and the most stupidly named pet award goes to the only female cat we ever had; Catherine.  She was a whopping bitch of a being, who scowled, hissed, and beat the crap out of any other feline friend who dared to cross her. It might have had something to do with fact that a large rotary telephone fell on her tail and chopped half of it off.

Catherine was supposedly a “holy cat” who lived on one of my mother’s guru’s ashrams in Northern California, but all that bad cat behavior got the little bitch banished. Of course, it being an honor and blessing to receive anything from Da Ava meow, meow, meow’s ashram.  Mom was honored to take her “Cat Prasad” (a gift blessed, or used by the guru).  And so arrived our new little holy kitty bitch.  The cat arrived accompanied by two escorts like a fucking rock star.
As the stumpy tailed pre-madonna made her entrance, she lived up to her reputation immediately. She had the voice of the devil.

“WHowwwwwwww….HISSSSSSSCH%@#@^#^@$ RRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRrrr”
said the devil  kitty. Benji, Dave and Phineas looked at us like:

”What the fuck did WE do? Why is SHE such a hormone?” I gave them a look like “Don’t ask me man, I’m only seven…. “

Though I am 34 four and counting “TICK TOCK TICK TOCK” goes the biological clock, (the fucker’s loud!) the jury is still out on pro –creating.  As for dog’s, I refuse to pick up a pile of someone else’s shit every day, and walk around with it in a bag, besides, all the dogs I like, snore like truck driver’s. No offence to truck drivers.

So in the mean time, loving Elephante’, and the gaggle of children my husband and I care for everyday at work, curbs my craving. That, and the fear that I will have to take a long locked up vacation at a mental facility, with all the hormonal crap that happens during, and after pregnancy, financial insecurity, loss of sleep, less sex, and a no sanity/body back gaurentee if I don’t like the little fucker…the list goes on.

So our green companion sits across the small room from our bed on a large pedestal (a kitchen bar stool), rather than a crib, by the first of three windows that look onto our driveway, a teenage apple tree, and a hand made bird house, built as a Christmas present from my brother in law Hamilton.

I wake most mornings to my husband, who I’ve nick named “The tea bearer” with a pot of loose leafed Jasmine green tea that before steeping looks like rabbit droppings. Matt and I have gotten into the ritual of drinking it in the morning, while watching the world outside begin, through the triptic of bamboo shades that cover the windows, but not the view. The light comes in through out the day creating our own private gallery of shadow art. They arrive for a little longer than a hot minute, and like everything in life they fade, and meld into another form, till there is nothing left but the outline of the pubescent tree, and the roof of bird Shangra-La.

While my husband showers, I often begin my daily conversation with God? Universal energy? The Great Pumpkin? Mother/Father Gnome? My Higher self?  My ancestors? Angel’s? Don’t know, don’t care, to what, or with whom, I am connecting to, but I know I’m connected to something. I have concocted over the years a soup that consists of all that has resonance. A practical, loving, kind of energy that doesn’t care if I swear, who loves Dennis Leary, who seems to adjust to what I need it to be, at what ever time I need it. I am in some sort of dialogue with it throughout the day, because I don’t have fucking clue, about anything, most of the time!!! The conversation usually goes something like this:

“Hey.” silence,  (my God is so quiet!)
“ Thanks for the fact that I didn’t have to get drunk last night, that I didn’t have to ____________.” (you name it, fill in the blank).

“Please help me not to be a selfish prick today, help me not to judge people with low self esteem who feel the need to pump themselves so full of Botox, that they look like The Joker (It’s become an epidemic in Marin County). Grant me what I need, not what I want, and please give me the willingness to actually mean that.” Some times the prayer is just:

“Help Me”.

I watched a documentary a few years back, that changed my perception of things. (An event to be noted, for my perception is often quite skewed) It was called “The Saint of 911”. I was put off by the title, it sounded a bit melodramatic, but in the spirit of willingness, I moved beyond any “contempt prior to investigation” as Bill Wilson so eloquently put it, and gave it my full attention.

It is the story of a sober, gay, fire, fighting priest, who worked in the FDNY at a house near ground zero. His name was Father Mychael. He gave up his life of service, on a rescue mission during the crucial, early hours after the buildings collapsed, with those other selfless people, who were willing to walk into the belly of the beast first.

He was the real deal. A Mother Teresa, a Ghandi, a Martin Luther King, a Bono? (not sure yet, images of “The Fly” character keeps clouding my judgment on that one.) He was loving in the truest sense of the word. He loved unconditionally, the person right in front of him, no matter what the circumstance, who they were, or what they did. He loved. I strive for this in my daily round, though I fail often.

I close my morning conversation with…….ya know,  God,  with Father Mychael’s Prayer:

Lord,
Take me where you want me to go;
Let me meet who you want me to meet;
Tell me what you want me to say,
And
Keep me out of you way.

………and oh yeah, thanks very much.

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