While Bob was in treatment for his cancer, we attended The Wellness Community. Our favorite activity was Art for Recovery. We would sit around the table and draw how we were feeling and talk about our pictures if we liked. Edna, the art therapist, made each session feel like pure gold. We would leave and then have a leisurely lunch at a nearby restaurant and return home feeling so much better.
One day in the class, I drew a picture of Swami Z and talked about it. “I have been inventing this little swami and he keeps getting me up at all hours of the night. He is very high energy…like my aura is a peaceful blue-green and his is vivid orange!”
This spring A Guru in the Guest Room came out. In it, I explain how Swami Z came to me. “Vicki’s suffering opened the door for me to come in,” he says. “I bake her cookies.” The obvious charm of his character is offset by his pesky little habit of never taking me seriously. That leads for some quirky material in the book.
Essentially it is a story of awakening to the teacher within. In the midst of devastating sorrow, and I do not overstate that, I learned that laughter and wisdom don’t go away. In fact, they are continually inviting us to open the door and let them in.
I will let Swami have the last line in this essay. “Listen up, you people, I didn’t move in with Vicki for herself alone. I did it for the universe. And so far, the universe really likes my cookies. As it said to me just the other day, “Swami, you are a universal force for good.” And I replied, “Have a cookie, World. Have two….” (And now the universe has high cholesterol, but it is getting very, very wise.)
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