Thursday, August 24, 2006

(Long) Quote for Today

"As I was going home after the movie, I was heady for purpose. I knew that I could see the Virgin Mary - the real one, not Linda Darnell. I went home and up to the second floor where we had a closet. Chicky my dog had just had her pups so it was a dog nursery. I pulled the dog and the pups away and I got down on my knees and I prayed, "please Virgin Mary, please show up, I want so much to see you."

Then I remembered that Catholics tend to bribe the saints. "If you show up, I'll give up candy for a week - two weeks, okay? I opened my eyes and Chicky had brought one of her pups back. So I tried again. I said, "I'll give up candy and cannelloni and ricotta pie.(laughter) I kept counting to higher numbers each time. I counted to 167 and opened my eyes, sure she was going to be there - but she wasn't. Chicky had brought all eight pups back into the closet.

So I gave up. I walked to the window seat and looked down at the fig tree in the garden that was blooming. Suddenly it happened. I cannot say that reality outside changed, but suddenly I was part of a seamless web of kinship with all of reality and I knew absolutely that I and that fig tree and the pups in the closet and my idea of the Virgin Mary and my chewed up pencil, and fish off Sheep's Head Bay, and old ladies dying in Shore Road hospital, and new wheat in Kansas, was all dynamically related to everything else in symphonic resonance that made for an extraordinary unified cosmos. It was very good.

This went on forever. Lifetimes went by, but technically it was probably only two seconds. Then my father entered the house laughing (he was always laughing) and immediately the whole universe began to laugh - great, huge, joy. Years later when I was able to read Dante in Italian, I recognized the truth in the line deriso de l'universo - the joy that spins the universe. I was regrown out of the field of that experience - it became the template for everything in my life."

-Jean Houston

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