The storm saved him. Another night in isolation. And then — the sky flashed through the window and five seconds later the crash of thunder.
The sky had come a-calling.
Who doesn’t like a good thunderstorm? He listened to the rain pounding on the roof and on the fronds outside the window. Another flash. And three seconds later, a thunderous boom. The storm was moving closer.
The lightning bolts and the sound of the thundering sky was a dramatic opera. Nature’s passion drove out his loneliness. He felt closer to her. He felt she came nearer to earth, and to him, with the mystical storm. And if he chose to, he could feel her presence. And he chose to.
She wasn’t making a personal visit, he wasn’t crazy, but her spirit was closer to him, the electrical energy of her soul was part of the storm.
Soul is the essence of who we are. The essential being. Untrap the soul from the religious trappings that surround it and you have the pure essence of yourself.
The soul is born of spiritualism, not religion. Religion is a herd-instinct manifestation of spirituality that can distort and pervert how we think, who we become and ultimately what we do. Hideous events throughout history right up to the present day prove this to be true.
Religion can turn human beings into inhuman beings who kill each other over conflicting beliefs that are insane in the first place. The conflict becomes a conflagration of atrocities.
In the purity of childhood we love one another. The love becomes twisted by religion and politics and we grow hateful and racist and obsessed with doctrine. We become blind to understanding and compassion. We become monsters. We slaughter each other in the name of maniacal myths and nonexistent gods.
The bullets and the blades and the flames destroy more than our bodies. They destroy our souls. And that is the end of humanity. This planet, this life becomes a hell beyond belief, beyond religion, beyond myth. The hell becomes reality and we all burn to death.
Sometimes I miss so many people it would take a galleon of angels to bring them back.
Since that’s never going to happen I find myself thinking of ways to go to them. Not in any real sense of course but I have found from experience that if one becomes sufficiently imbued (as in high as a kite) there is little if any difference between the real, the surreal and the unreal.
Several months ago a former colleague of my wife from our Miami Beach days called me out of the blue when she heard my wife had died and told me that what my godless lost soul needed was God. This old friend has an unshakable belief in God and offered to be my spiritual guide, so to speak, and take my hand on the “road to God.”
It sounded like a good idea. In the long span of my life I have never been this alone. Death has taken my wife and my son and two brothers. A few remaining relatives are scattered far and abroad and contact is infrequent. The few friends I had disappeared one by one.
Open mind, closed heart
So with an open mind I set out toward the road to God.
As the quest proceeded, I realized that although my mind was open to “believing,” my heart was not and I knew I could only find God through my heart not just in my mind. The discovery had to be heart-felt, not just cerebral.
But even while sparks of positive energy were being triggered in my brain, my heart was not responding. I didn’t know why and I didn’t know how to remove the roadblock. Nor did my godly guide. She became discouraged.
“I can’t help you anymore,” she said. This surprised me. I expected more of a Jesus-type commitment to my cause. In any case my quest ended on a dark cul-de-sac to nowhere.
Not enough Xanax in America
So here I be in my lowly dark bungalow, just me and the cat, reading a lot, drinking too much, watching movies on television, sleeping late and writing stuff like this.
Sometimes I write about society’s ills but when the stories involve the lies and hypocrisy of politicians it becomes so sickening there’s not enough Xanax in America to numb my revulsion.
So I’m back at the old pop stand writing 500-word memoirs, mostly about people I’ve lost and most of all about my wife. The memories, both great and grisly, the joy and the regrets, unresolved matters that I still need to talk to her about, that is to say, with her invisible presence.
And so in that sense I’m not alone, and as long as I have some brain cells still functioning the memories will grow like wildflowers.