Friday, May 08, 2015


from Small Stories from My Enormously Spiritual Life

“I never met anyone who came here earlier than I did,” he says.  “When I first came to the ashram, I was the only foreigner.”  He tells me stories of the saints, one of whom he knew when he was a solitary beggar on the street.  I ask him questions until the dal and veg are cold on his banana leaf.  “You must feel like the universe has shown a particular interest in you,” I tell him.  It sounds fatuous, I know, but I meant it.  Imagine knowing the saints before they were statues, when you could hang around and talk together on street corners.  

“My life has had a few perfect moments,” he says.  “One more story.”  He takes a few bites, clears his throat.  I wait for more news of great souls.

“Perfect moments exist.  They show up now and then.  Like when I was in 6th grade music class.  Awful class.  Taught by a sour old spinster who always made the boys sing stuff like, “I’m stuck on you.”  And what little boy wants to sing that?  Our job was to listen to the record, then try to sound the same.  She was that kind of teacher.  But I guess “I’m stuck on you” was getting old, because that day the needle jumped and the record played I’m stuck -- I’m stuck -- I’m stuck -- I’m stuck -- I’m stuck.

“Seriously, what are the chances of that?  Blew my mind.  I was 12 years old and I thought it was the most amazing thing that had ever happened.  Of course the music teacher had no clue what was so funny, so special.  She had absolutely no sense of anything.”

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