Old age again overtook me. Weariness stole into my limbs, and anguish dozed into my mind. I went to my Ulster cave and dreamed my dream, and I changed into a hawk. I left the ground. The sweet air was my kingdom, and my bright eye stared on a hundred miles. I soared, I swooped; I hung, motionless as a living stone, over the abyss; I lived in joy and slept in peace, and had my fill of the sweetness of life.
Arthur Rackham (September 19, 1867–September 6, 1939)
Today, April 17, 2022 Loja, Ecuador.
Today I am celebrating my self for being exactly who I am. Believe me I tried being you and almost everyone else but none of you worked out for me. Sorry. It is what it is. So I slowly settled into who I am. Now. Perfect with flaws. I like that description because it means even my flaws are perfect for me. It is the language which screws us up. It always does. Everything natural as it exists is perfect in and of itself. I believe situations such as war, murder, discrimination, etc. are unnatural. These are not of the self but from the power hungry, delusional minds of wannabe gods. It is this delusion which feeds imperfection. The greed for power and control. We each have our own perfect life, however that might be viewed or judged by others and ourselves. I am the perfect me. You are the perfect you. To be anyone other than who I am I would have to be imperfect and I am not.
…and I’ll tell you all the things I have in my head, millions, myriads.
Today I will complete my seventy-fourth voyage around the sun and begin my seventy-fifth. Although I have lived on the planet for many birthdays, there are only three I remember, my twelfth, my fiftieth and my sixty-fifth. This story is about the first.
Today, April 17, 1960 Trenton, New Jersey.
It is Easter Sunday and also my birthday. I am going to be baptized today. Mom tells me that until my twelfth birthday all of my sins were on her but after today all of my sins are on me. I never asked for any proof of this and took her word. “Wow! A clean slate.” I do not know how many sins I have committed during my twelve years of life. I have lied sometimes. I have lusted after the older (30’s) elementary school crossing guard. I masturbated. Wait! Is that a sin?
Today I am being baptized on the same day Jesus is said to have risen from the dead, Easter Sunday, my twelfth birthday. I am expecting great things on this holy day. I completed my Bible Study classes, a requirement before one can be baptized. Mom took me to Robert Halls, a men’s clothing store and brought me a new suit for the occasion. I was ready. We arrived at church and I changed into a white gown. I was taken to the back of the alter area under the choir stands to a small (10×10) pool filled with water. “I never knew there was a swimming pool behind the alter.” The church bells begin to ring. The doors magically side open to reveal the congregation. “I wonder if any of them knew about this pool under the choir.” The church is filled to capacity. “Did all these people come to see me and four others get baptized?”
I wade out to the Pastor who spoke a few words, placed one hand over my nose and mouth and the other on my back. He dunked me backwards into the water. I was held under for a few seconds and raised upward. I expected bells to ring out, lights to flash, I expected to be struck by the holy ghost the way some of the sister are struck at service. I thought I would want to dance and sing. Praise God in his holiness. But I had no feeling from the experience what so ever. There was no joy, no pain, no rapture. Nothing. Nada. I expected to be different. To feel the hand of God on my shoulder. Nada. The only thing which changed is that I am soaking wet, freezing and now all my sins are my own. My doubts concerning religion started this day. So much for my twelfth birthday. I have one more year to go then I will be a Teenager!
Note: Mom told me later it was Easter Sunrise service and that is why the church was filled to capacity.
Today April 17, 1998. Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California.
My fiftieth birthday. A story for another time…