Friday, February 1, 2013
My Date with Destiny
We got a little bit of snow last night. I love it!
Faith is flammable. It's a dangerous substance, like some kind of highly flammable rocket fuel. It's like the batteries on the Dreamliners. It must be handled delicately and with restraint. Otherwise: something's going to explode.
Here's what I'm thinking today - I'm friends with so many atheists of all stripes, from the vociferous to those who aren't worried about the big picture and see no need to try to figure it out. I'm drawn to atheists and I'm wondering whether their presence in my life provides some kind of ballast for my devotional heart.
Perhaps the number of atheist friends I have has nothing to do with belief systems - they are lovely people, kind, interesting, funny and like minded. That's good enough for me.
Enough about that! Whew.
Thirty four years ago today I was hit by a Southern Pacific freight train, after which I was unconscious for a long time. When I woke up, I had a spirit guide, just like that. I didn't know it yet, but she was there. Also, for the first time in my life, after the accident I suddenly had the where with all to seek the help of an "alternative" healer, the brilliant Paula Eschtruth, an osteopath who is still practicing in Salem, Oregon. She is 74. Wow. She brought me back to life, she did.
After the train hit me, my personality radically changed. I was more cheerful all of a sudden, more optimistic. It was a defining moment, that train wreck. Good lord!
If I were an atheist, I would try to understand this profound experience and the blessings it brought in terms of brain science. Because I am a believer, my way of understanding what happened goes like this: I was taken out of mundane reality to a very mysterious, deep space where a whole lot of negotiation took place. I have no memory of this nor did I think about it at the time, of course. When I woke up, in many ways I was a completely different person. When I woke up after the train hit me, I was a shaman. I've been a shaman ever since.
It was a divine knock upside the head, literally and spiritually too. It's traditional for shamans to be called by way of injury, illness or madness - or all three. I heard the call and decided to stick around. I was not conscious of it right away of course. It took years for the impact of that day to register in my mind, but nevertheless from the moment I woke up, my foot was set upon the path of shamanism.
Eventually I completely recovered physically, of course. Though when a front is coming through, my collar bone always aches. It was snapped in two that day, 34 years ago today. That was then and this is now. I am a shaman, and all is well. Shalom.
Ducks at National Capital Bank.