(c) 2012 Jeanne Powell
"Adventures with Angels"
all rights reserved
Isn’t it amusing sometimes the way life slides about or lumbers along until some epiphany clears your vision and convinces you that change is necessary, even essential?
It may happen like this. Suppose your lovely apartment building is sold twice in a decade. After five years, the 9 to 5 office career is making you ill with boredom. Your biological time clock explodes in the middle of Union Square on a Sunday.
Your Larry Levine and Jones of New York business suits feel too tight again, and the seamstress cannot alter them any further. And you’re taking three sparring classes a week at the tae kwon do studio, years before it becomes fashionable.
At some point you give serious consideration to hiding out in Paris, the city of light, where you feel like a free woman, until your passport and your francs (that whole euro thing) begin to expire.
Your friends start to leave, well before their time – Emily gone from cancer at 25, the newlyweds dead in an auto accident on the other side of the world, Alisa from a fatal stroke at 40; and the feds close in to the point where two other soul mates -- Jean and Jim -- break off all contact and hide in the Underground permanently.
Suddenly it seems you need more -- much more -- than can be gained from a good cry in the pouring rain, from a friend’s homemade brownies, or even a really good bottle of wine.
So you look up, up at the sky when it’s not storming, and you ask: What? What is the what? What is the why? And why you?
Like God depicted in the film “Dogma,” Spirit does not answer you in so many spoken syllables because you’re only human and probably would not fare well at the actual sound of the voice of All That Is.
Then this really interesting game begins – call it Pick Up Sticks. The “sticks” may be made of flesh, bone, memory, symbols, flowers or may be suggested by temperature changes or a mysterious breeze, an aroma, or twinkling lights when you wake up too early while your soul is off dancing – that sort of thing.
And it could happen this way. You meet an empath named Carol, who lives in Mark’s condo complex. She takes you to an elegant afternoon event in St. Francis Wood where you find Donald, a psychic since birth. He introduces you to Nicole, a shaman in Seattle. Donald’s friend Joanne takes you to Leslie Temple Thurston. Your neighbor Sam brings you to apostolic Catholics deep in the Mission and then to Christian healers at Unity. And a poet in Alameda introduces you to a master teacher newly arrived in the country from the far east.
With the help of perfect strangers, books start leaping into your lap in cafes, on buses and park benches: authors such as Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh, Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, Caroline Myss and Paul Coelho. Endless PBS fundraisers feature talks and workshops given by Wayne Dyer and John Bradshaw. In bookstores you discover Elaine Pagels, Margaret Starbird, Michael Baigent, Henry Lincoln and Richard Leigh; collectively they serve to rescue Yeshua and the Magdalene from centuries of Euro-American PR, and you finally are able to sense Their presence.
Best of all, you walk past a bookstore on Market Street and you spy a poster in the window: Sophy Burnham is reading from The Treasure of Montsegur (set in the year 1244) and her heroine has your name. On impulse you walk into the bookseller's, listen to Burnham read and purchase her novel. You talk and the two of you connect.
Eventually you become curious about workshops and seminars with groups such as M.I.T.T. and Landmark. You know unique influences are at work when Donald gifts you with the first workshop, and you suddenly receive a full scholarship to the second one, when a grandmother shares hotel accommodations free of charge across the street from a third workshop in southern California, and Jerry admires your poetry so much he registers you in a year-long seminar he is taking. Later he says it was worth the entire $2,000 to see you speechless for 15 minutes!
Dear Oprah Winfrey, whom the traditionalists love to deprecate, synthesizes the solution to our problems and brings it to everyone in palatable portions:
[c] giving back.
But then, you already knew that everything we needed to know had been learned in kindergarten:
 don’t throw sand in other people’s faces;
 play nicely with others;
 if it’s not yours, don’t take it.
Now you’re feeling reborn, lighter than air, just like Bobby McFerrin suggested with “don’t worry, be happy” song lyrics, and you’re wondering what to do with the people who still firebreathe negativity every time they open their mouths. Oh, the horror, the horror – they used to be your friends.
First, you’re grateful for the opportunity to be a discreet example. Second, you treasure those of your other friends who waited patiently for you to get where you are now. As for the rest – the evil church ladies from the book club who serve Long Island iced tea to unsuspecting guests; certain harridans from the east bay pottage who pretend to poetics; and the workshop junkies who stay in therapy for 20 years but refuse to grow – you simply change your phone number or put their email addresses in your junk folder. Enough is enough!
You discover another of Sophy Burnham’s volumes, A Book of Angels, and you are enchanted. She explores the concept of angels in many religions. From an early age Burnham has seen angels, and now you are beginning to sense them. Sit quietly, allow yourself to experience clarity, and who knows whom or what you’ll discover!
For angelic inspiration, the following films are suggested:
1934 Death Takes a Holiday with Fredric March;
1977 It Happened One Christmas with Marlo Thomas and Cloris Leachman;
1978 Heaven Can Wait with Warren Beatty and Julie Christie;
1996 Michael with John Travolta;
1996 The Preacher’s Wife with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston;
1998 City of Angels with Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan;
1998 Dogma with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon;
2002 Dragonfly with Kevin Costner.
(c) 2012 Jeanne Powell
Causes Jeanne Powell Supports
Union of Concerned Scientists, VVAW (Vietnam Veterans Against War), Doctors Without Borders, Waterkeeper Alliance, PSR (Physicians for Social Responsibility...