I saw God the other day and it wasn’t Charlton Heston or Morgan Freeman

One day I was in the car with a spiritual master and he laughed, “there’s goes Babaji, again”. Babaji, for some, is the name of the Divine; a divinity that comes and goes throughout all of time, showing up periodically in a human body and then disappearing into the spirit world again. This Babaji looked like an accountant.

Like everyone, I have often thought about the face of God, the topography of Heaven, the life of the Infinite. At times, I have prayed, chanted, meditated and spent hours at a time submerged in water with only my nostrils above the water line, cyclical breathing, rebirthing, conjuring my time before time.

Classically, we collectively think of angels, cherubs, pearly gates, wise and wizened men, all of the Hallmark images.

But one time when I saw God, it was none of the above and hardly anything I can explain but of course I will try.

My neck was bothering me so badly I could not bear to sit up for more than 5 minutes. I tried everything, heat, cold, adjustments of every kind, yoga, acupuncture, tinctures, salves, drugs, home cervical traction (a humorous, medieval-looking device, more scary for me than effective) and nothing worked.

So, I went to a surgery center and they shot something into my neck. In order to handle the pain of the shot, I required a mild, anesthetic that would keep me, they said, in a twilight state; someplace in between, instead, I went to Heaven.

10, 9…………………………….

And then cascading Escher prints of pure white, whiter than any white we know. The same image, collapsing endlessly, repeatedly into another, into another, into another; it might have been terrifying but it wasn’t. It was lovely, lovelier than anything I had ever seen. Although it never changed, when it collapsed and reappeared, it was every time more and delightful, more and more wonderful, more and more captivating.  As if plucked from a Talking Head lyric, Heaven was a place where nothing happened and when the party was over, it started again.

I wanted those white images to collapse into one another for ever. Perhaps, I was wrestling with letting go…I might have been a sad story to those who loved me here on planet Earth. He went in for a routine procedure and passed inexplicably on the operating table.

But I didn’t. I couldn’t. It was not my time, I guess.

Leaving Heaven was unbearably difficult, very sad. “Let me stay”, I wanted to scream, but I didn’t. Some part of me knew that I had more work to do here.

In the end, just the image and the joy; the peace, as they say, that passes human understanding was enough.

I have never been the same.

At 8, I went to YMCA Camp…Overnight for TWO weeks!

I wanted to go to overnight camp very badly; we lived in downtown Boston and the heat was overwhelming and there was only so much you could do with a stick and sliced-in-half pinkie ball. Although the fees were modest, it was still a stretch for my parents but they came up with the money and off I went on a bus to the Cape…Camp Ousamequin!!

Because I was tall for my age, they put me in a cabin with much older boys…boys who pushed me around a bit. Noticing my discomfort, Warren, our counselor, asked me to join him for a walk in the woods. He sat me on a stump of a tree and bent down to chat with me. He was so large to me, so manly, so hardy, robust, I felt very privileged.

He said, “they’re bigger, you’re smarter”.

It made sense, it changed my life.

I have tried to be Warren for someone my whole life.

I saw at ‘Alfie’ at the Cleveland Circle Movie theater

As we walked home, a pack of 12 and 13 year old boys, I dropped back from the main group to collect my thoughts. I was upset. I felt that the film had described my future life with women! Alfie was a con man, an unkind and indiscriminate womanizer, the opposite of my dad, a loyal, loving, committed husband.

I could not, at that tender age, imagine a life where I would love and desire any one woman forever; it depressed the hell out of me. One of the more sensitive barbarians in the group, dropped back to cheer me up but I was adamant that no true monogamous happiness was in my future.

And lo and behold, that would be my truth, my reality until a bald headed man showed up at my door in Santa Monica when I was 37 and about to leave town for good.

More on this later, I just wanted to give you context to enjoy the pictures of Lee in Italy.

Lee was a powerful manifester; one day she conjured up a fabulous three week trip to Italy…it took a few years, she made it happen. Here are some glimpses of the joy we experienced together in the Tuscan home she secured for us!

One night, we were in bed, battling the cancer, side by side. We were watching YouTube music videos and found Bruce and his band singing this song.

We immediately knew that this would be our ‘fight song’; that we would never let the other fall behind…that we would always wait, on this side or the next.

I wanted Lee on this side, desperately, with a physical need that wailed out of a wound that will never heal. We held positive thoughts, we coaxed victory out of the smallest gain; we never, ever lost faith or our footing.

In the end, Lee’s body gave out; it just plain longed to rest in peace, to go home. She knew and I know that there is no beginning and no end, that the soul, our spirit, no matter what you call it…it’s forever, timeless, perfect.

I am comforted and supported by this notion, as you should be, but in the dark moments of the night; in the fragrance of a flower, in the note of a song, I feel the loss that also passes human understanding and I remember this song…I wait for you.

One afternoon we sat eating a heavily buttered English muffin at the Longwood Spa and remembered that it was Ted William’s last home game at Fenway.
My cousin Gil and I ran across the Fens and arrived in the third or fourth inning. We bought a general grandstand seat and because there were so few spectators, we moved down to excellent seats, 15 rows from the field behind the Sox dugout.
You know the big finish here. On that cold and dreary last day of a mediocre season in front of a small but adoring crowd, Teddy Ballgame, the Splendid Splinter hit a majestic, towering homerun, his 521st, on his last at bat.
We cheered and cheered but Ted never came out of the dugout to tip his hat.
As the immortal writer John Updike, also there that day, brilliantly wrote in the New Yorker article, ‘Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu’.
"Like a feather caught in a vortex, Williams ran around the square of bases at the center of our beseeching screaming. He ran as he always ran out home runs—hurriedly, unsmiling, head down, as if our praise were a storm of rain to get out of. He didn’t tip his cap. Though we thumped, wept, and chanted “We want Ted” for minutes after he hid in the dugout, he did not come back. Our noise for some seconds passed beyond excitement into a kind of immense open anguish, a wailing, a cry to be saved. But immortality is nontransferable. The papers said that the other players, and even the umpires on the field, begged him to come out and acknowledge us in some way, but he never had and did not now. Gods do not answer letters.”

One afternoon we sat eating a heavily buttered English muffin at the Longwood Spa and remembered that it was Ted William’s last home game at Fenway.

My cousin Gil and I ran across the Fens and arrived in the third or fourth inning. We bought a general grandstand seat and because there were so few spectators, we moved down to excellent seats, 15 rows from the field behind the Sox dugout.

You know the big finish here. On that cold and dreary last day of a mediocre season in front of a small but adoring crowd, Teddy Ballgame, the Splendid Splinter hit a majestic, towering homerun, his 521st, on his last at bat.

We cheered and cheered but Ted never came out of the dugout to tip his hat.

As the immortal writer John Updike, also there that day, brilliantly wrote in the New Yorker article, ‘Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu’.

"Like a feather caught in a vortex, Williams ran around the square of bases at the center of our beseeching screaming. He ran as he always ran out home runs—hurriedly, unsmiling, head down, as if our praise were a storm of rain to get out of. He didn’t tip his cap. Though we thumped, wept, and chanted “We want Ted” for minutes after he hid in the dugout, he did not come back. Our noise for some seconds passed beyond excitement into a kind of immense open anguish, a wailing, a cry to be saved. But immortality is nontransferable. The papers said that the other players, and even the umpires on the field, begged him to come out and acknowledge us in some way, but he never had and did not now. Gods do not answer letters.”

One Afternoon waiting in line at Carnegie Hall

She had short hair, red lipstick, a scarf and a hoop skirt. She was waiting for tickets in front of me. She felt my presence, turned and said “I bet you expect to get everything you want.”

Later, one morning in bed, she studied my body and landed on a flaw. I winced, shy. She comforted me…she whispered, “every scar is a trophy.”

I should have loved her more, longer, the relationship ended, the comment lasted forever.

You might choose to look at your wounds this way.