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  • Your love feels like trumpets sound
    Your life is like a mountain and your heart is like a church
    With wide open doors, and to be with you
    Is to find myself in the best of dreams
    Your love feels like trumpets!

    Your love feels like high summer
    Your love feels like high, high, summer
    Your life is like an ocean yes, your life is like an ocean
    I want to dive in naked lose myself in your depths
    I want to be with you, to find myself in the best of dreams
    Your love feels like trumpets!

    Please don't wake me no don't shake me
    I want to be with you
    when being with you is the same
    The same as being you
    your love feels like trumpets!

    - Michael Scott, the Waterboys, “Trumpets”
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This night just fit this song, or the song fit the night, one. It was just a really cool night knocking about Georgetown. I went down to the clubhouse right in the heart of Georgetown, on Wisconsin near M Street. It was just me, Paul and Rick tonight, no newcomers. We caught up with each other, talked about all kinds of things, Rick’s upcoming trip to India, Paul’s trip to Bali, my lost and found backpack, wallet and keys.
  • These guys amaze me. When I first knew Paul, he was a hard core needle addict who literally couldn’t quit using to save his life, but who kept coming to this group, because he saw recovery here. He couldn’t stay away. It took him awhile to get it. Came around for 12 some years before recovery finally took hold. He had a moment, in his 4th or 5th rehab, where he got the concept that it wasn’t about him. A light went on. He walked out of the rehab, and came back to the group. He was still convinced that he couldn’t get well himself, but he no longer was worried about that. He was no longer concerned for himself. He came back so he could tell newcomers that he’d watched Rick get well here. He would testify to it, because Rick used to be just as messed up as he was, only angrier, and now he was o.k. He’d seen it happen. To him, that was a real miracle. He was sure that he was going to die in a couple of months, but that’s all he wanted to do until then. Witness about the miracle he’d seen.

    Paul came back just to do that. But a funny thing happened. With all selfish considerations out of his way, he got well, himself. I hadn’t seen either of them in 12 years before I came back last December, at Paul’s request. They’re both leading normal lives, now. Both are married. Both pretty damned happy. Both show up at the Clubhouse in Georgetown every Friday night, ready to work with any newcomers that come through the door. Other than that, they live their lives. Just like normal people. They got well, through experiencing the 12 Steps and recovering. Just like I did a long time ago.

    I learn a lot from both of these guys. Paul was telling me, on our way to our cars on O Street, about a movie he saw with Melissa up in New York last weekend, One Track Heart – The Story of Krishna Das, about a guy who used to play with Blue Oyster Cult, who got turned on to the Maharishi back in the 70’s and thought he’d found the answer, but then fell back into addiction after the Maharishi died, which devestated him. He later “gets it”, when he goes back to India and realizes it wasn’t the man, but the spirit of love and giving that held the answer.

    At that point in the flick, Paul had a revelation – he remembered running into Krishna at a folk life festival on the Mall a few years ago, when he was all strung out on smack and scrounging for food, and seeing how powerful and peaceful Das and all his folks were. How full of love and life they were. It was a real moment for him, remembering it. Paul is now into kundalini yoga, and Melissa had thought he’d like the story. She had no idea Paul had actually met the guy before. He didn’t either, until the movie triggered that memory. I told Paul about my friend Hank from Buckhead, Georgia, who goes back to India two or three times a year to visit his master, there. We used to be in N.A. together, back in the early 80’s.
  • We don’t hang around as late when there are no newcomers to work with. Since it was still relatively early, I decided to stop up at Georgetown University to visit Sister Jeannie’s Memorial Garden there. It was such a lovely night – though still in the 80’s, temp-wise, a nice cool breeze was blowing – a perfect late spring/early summer evening. I just wanted to make the most of it. Since it was late, I couldn’t get to the garden through the hospital, so I went around a number of the universities buildings and grounds outside to get to it. I never went that way before, so I was just winging it.

    Turns out it was Reunion Weekend at old Georgetown U., and there were a bunch of reunions going on all over campus. 30th reunion. 40th reunion. I must have looked like I belonged, because folks kept striking up conversations with me, and there was decent grub to be had, and though I don’t drink, there were sodas and iced teas, so I had a gregarious and filling stroll about campus as I made my way to my aunt’s gardens. I was reminded of the time I crashed a college reunion at a hotel near the airport in Pittsburgh with some friends, when I was 16, and wound up on a dance floor dancing with Tina Turner. I was thinking, “Cool, I wonder if I’m going to run into Tina again?” I didn’t. That was definitely one of those once in a lifetime things. But it was fun remembering that. That had actually happened 42 years ago. But, I’ll bet Tina can still shake it.

    I wound up getting completely lost on the campus, but I trusted that I would eventually find the gardens, and I did. My sense of direction was good, and I figured it out. The garden was as cool as ever, and just gave me such an overwhelming sense of peace being there. She always had that presence in life, and walking through her garden, she still has that presence 18 years after she left us. Her spirit definitely lives on in that garden, at the very least. I was so glad I decided to stop for the visit.

    After a lovely drive home, with the windows wide open, enjoying the perfect summer’s night air as I drove along Canal Road and past the Kennedy Center back over to Virginia, I pulled into my driveway, and what do I see on the bench out front of my house? A package from Budget Press!

    Oh, man, some nights just overflow with life’s richest blessings. This, my friends, was one of them nights. I grabbed me a cream soda, repaired to my car port to swing in my Sky Chair while I wrote this story, after which I will swing away in the soft summer evening breeze while breathing in some great prose, poetry and art.

    Radha Soami.
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