Thursday, May 24, 2012
Castaneda, Coffee and James
Thin and wiry with the energy of youth the man set his book down and ordered coffee. I asked about his book. “It’s about sorcery,” he said and asked me if I’d ever heard of Carlos Castaneda. Castaneda conjures up images in my head of coyote, peyote, cactus; Indians, visions and sweat. Castaneda is to me the picture of seeking self, emotion and experience, dabbling in darkness and calling it true spirituality (“pure religion is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”)
The shop is located in a resort town known as a getaway for Hollywood types, fair weather for Snowbirds, and an L.A. breakaway for Bacchanalias. When temperatures allow it there is a small parade of older women who have been lifted and sewn that make their way into the store, plastic people on the outside with hearts of flesh inside. As light draws fish to a hook (‘but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire’) so they seek solace in drawing others to themselves. Seeking fullness in the temporal they miss wholeness in the eternal.
If the parade of indigents and synthetic seniors doesn’t hold your interest there is an art-fest of tattoos which stroll by daily. Seeking to make a mark on the world they have marked themselves. They shout to the world the message they feel is important not realizing that ‘the flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed.’
The sun goes down and the wind picks up. Night lights make it difficult to see the stars in the night sky. Different stars are etched into the sidewalks downtown. Sidewalks fill and flow into the many bars and restaurants. I’ll see the after affects when morning coffees are ordered---hot and cold caffeine to remedy red eyes and hammering heads. Some revel, some regret, all rebel. Seeking consistency they are blown and tossed by the wind.
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.