Monday, February 6, 2012
Getting Smacked; Talking Smack
Okay. So I have to admit it: it disturbed me that some unknown person who clearly didn’t know me or my spiritual beliefs and practices at all, was talking smack about me in public, as reported in yesterday’s blog. While the soul loves gossip, it hates outright lies. So I started to wonder how this person came by this opinion of me, and to add up what I know about the weird things people have said and thought about me, over the years. As a writer, it’s always useful to keep track of things like this. You never know when some character might be called upon to carry my putative sins, like one of those goats in Biblical times who, laden with amulets depicting the sins of the community, was driven out into the desert to die.
So to start with, I had to admit to myself that there has been a persistent rumor over many decades that I am a witch. As I am not a witch, the persistence of this rumor, I surmise, is due to its juiciness. I mean, anyone can have an affair or borrow someone’s lawnmower and never return it or get a DUI. Gossip about things like that dies an early death. Apparently witchcraft still has roots deep in the primitive psyche, where fears of the uncanny and the powerful – especially if embodied in a female – still raise the guard hairs.
I may even have come by this reputation honestly, if undeservedly. It all stems from a morning when my first husband, he who shall be called The-Husband-From-Hell, had a particularly bad morning and was, even for him, unusually nasty-tempered and abusive. He left for work, and I sat down in a chair and imagined his route, every twist and turn of it, down into the river canyon, back up the other side, all the way to the Calaveras Cement plant where he was then working as a heavy equipment operator. I will not tell you what I was repeating, over and over, during my meditation, but I will report that, not more than an hour and a half after he had departed, my husband was home again. His shirt was half ripped off his back. He was covered in scuffs, scrapes and bruises. His hair was wiry with cement dust, his face was white with it, and he looked wild-eyed, like he’d seen the Devil himself.
“Dear me!” said I, with what was probably less than compassionate concern, “What happened to you?”
This is the story: he was in one of the huge, rotating cylinders where the cement was dried. Suddenly, a 100-pound hunk of dried cement broke from above him and smacked him right down to the floor. At the time, he had just bent forward to pick something up, and so the mass hit him right across the back and shoulders. If he’d been standing upright, it would have hit him on the head and even his thick skull would have been shattered like an egg.
He related all this to me from a wary distance. Then, after a significant pause, he said in what I can only describe as true awe, “You made this happen, didn’t you?”
Now, whether I did or did not is a matter for conjecture. I’m more inclined to think it was his Guardian Angel, giving him his morning dose of instant karma. Be that as it may, it was an object lesson for us both: I never again have used my imagination for anything but positive purposes and he gained a healthy respect for me that was much needed. And he also, I suspect, began the rumor that I was capable of such things that is still morphing its way through the populace.
The power of the human mind is great and I have, at times, tapped deeply into that power but, since that experience, only for purposes of healing, whether on the physical, mental or relational level. Does that make me a witch? Of course not. Does that set me up for rumors that I am? Of course! This is a small town. What else is there to talk about?
Well – maybe about my buzzard altar. More about that, tomorrow!