Sundays are news days. That is, the best Sundays are. When there is little or no running around to do other than buying the Sunday Times, the day is spent reading news sites online and catching up with the world that I choose to ignore with greater or lesser success the two days prior. One of the ways I learned to read as a child was the comic section of the newspaper. Dailies had black and white strips of three or four boxes each with simple, easy to follow dialogue. Even a child could follow Mary Worth, Blondie and Peanuts. Sundays were Nirvana. A whole section devoted to comics! We didn’t even have to spend our hard earned allowances to run down to the five and dime to buy it.
Now my Sunday comic strip section is the New York Times style section. I read it with the same eye as I give to international stock markets and politics during the week. It’s been this way for years.
The cover story today was all about how the boards of the large arts institutions in New York including ballet and opera engage the services of fashion designers to both dress their artists and their annual openings. This very sensible collaboration has existed for millennia. Long before theater, dance, classical and opera music separated from their foundation, they were each found in varying degrees within political and ecclesiastical structures. Look at any time the Catholic, Orthodox or Anglican churches put on an affair. See all those old guys in expensive silks parading to ancient, well practiced music and rituals? Religion and rulers were our original theater, music and dance.
It’s all very nice and, in the proper mood, very enjoyable. Every four years Americans pull out our secular version of it in the inaugural rituals for our presidents. The first Monday in October is a great time for those of us who enjoy the Supreme Court. The justices parade themselves into court to commence another year of sometimes tortuous deliberations. All too often we see on news programs the ceremonies when bodies are returned from theaters of war to be carried to their final rest.
It has been my joy to know and work with many others over the years with the sixth sense. Some people have a tremendous sense of theater. They light candles and incense and use incantations when they sit with someone employing their services. I know many men and women who use tarot cards (whoever says angel cards are not tarot cards is not playing with a full deck), runes and rocks. It’s all in what works for them. It is their fashion. Some people will wear only certain colors or types of clothing when working. It is how they feel comfortable to do their work.
It all fascinates me.
As much as I love the pictures of beautiful women well dressed by fashion designers, it is far more important to me what I am wearing on my soul when I work. Am I open to listen to the person, to what comes to me? Am I willing to lay myself open?
It very often comes down to turning down some of the voices that constantly chatter in my ears. I hear so many angels speaking all at one time all day. When someone comes to me with questions, I have to tell the angels to be silent. I have to turn off the sounds of the angels’ voices because they clamor so loudly that they overwhelm me. It’s like listening to somebody speak who slurs their words or being in a crowd where several people are speaking simultaneously. Loudly. Very fast and very loud.
When I listen to jazz or swing or classical music, I can focus on the music. It is much easier for me to listen to music which does not have vocals because I rarely understand the lyrics. Everything slides together. There are no lines. There is no separation between words. It all becomes one vast musical line without a score in front of me.
When I see the marriage of high fashion with the arts, I see an expensive art form used to support other arts.
Listening to other people when they ask questions, when they are searching for answers ultimately leading them to the reasons for their existence, I get to use a spiritual art to support others’ spirits.
The spiritual work I do can be very complicated and fraught with dangers. My civilian job is far easier, far less complex. Finance is a game for me. It lightens my day to be able to use it for others’ personal good. My spiritual work marries what cannot be seen, felt or heard on a temporal plane with the essence of being. It applies the spiritual arts to the essence of being human.
Today I had the opportunity to suggest to somebody looking for the relationship between exorcisms and modern psychiatry Russell Shorto’s wonderful 1999 book Saints and Madmen. When I read it years ago it affirmed what I already knew about my own life. I am on the right path. I do the work given to me when and as it comes.
Until I am called to work again, I’m watching the angels playing on the lawn and in the trees.